Uncanny Valley

Uncanny Valley Review

The prescient, page-turning account of a journey in Silicon Valley: a defining memoir of our digital age

In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener—stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial--left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco, where she landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and, of course, progress.

Anna arrived amidst a massive cultural shift, as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power rivaling Wall Street. But amid the company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies, boyish camaraderie and ride-or-die corporate fealty, a new Silicon Valley began to emerge: one in far over its head, one that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building.

Part coming-age-story, part portrait of an already-bygone era, Anna Wiener’s memoir is a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power. With wit, candor, and heart, Anna deftly charts the tech industry’s shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment.

Unsparing and incisive, Uncanny Valley is a cautionary tale, and a revelatory interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand.

Title:Uncanny Valley
Edition Language:English

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    Uncanny Valley Reviews

  • Ariel

    HM. The first 25% was so strong but then it became a long decrescendo. I enjoyed this as an audiobook, I find memoirs work really well when someone is reading them to you and you feel like they're com...

  • Michael

    In her debut memoir, Uncanny Valley, Anna Wiener recounts how, at age 25, she abandoned her drab job at a New York literary agency for a high-paying customer support role at a Silicon Valley start-up....

  • Meborn

    Wiener is a very good writer, and I really liked the original essay that inspired the book. But this felt too much like a long-form essay extended into a book, with little narrative arc. I never felt ...

  • Emily

    I usually avoid reading about tech, but the excerpt on n plus one made me laugh out loud. Once I actually picked the book up, it was really hard to put down. The writing in this book is so good. It's ...

  • Doon

    This book is badged as an inside look into the world of tech bro’s by a woman who was there. However, the books main insights, that the men who work in Silicon Valley are mainly white, middle-class ...

  • Brandice

    Uncanny Valley is Anna Wiener’s story of working in tech, primarily in Silicon Valley. Anna is looking to leave her NY-based job in publishing, seeking more from a career. Millennials were flocking ...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Audiobook....read by Suehyla El-Attar [8 hours and 14 minutes]For Anna Wiener, working in the high tech industry from where she came from - a literary book background - was like learning a foreign lan...

  • Julie Ehlers

    These are the days of miracles and wonderthis is the long-distance callthe way the camera follows us in slow-mothe way we look to us allthe way we look to a distant constellationthat’s dying in a co...

  • mindful.librarian ??

    (free review copy) Hmmmm. Sigh. I had such such high hopes.Well, how about a summary:Privileged 20-something white female goes to work in Silicon Valley in tech. Literally nothing happens to her excep...

  • Andrew Smith

    This is the third audiobook I’ve listened to in the past few months that is focused on Silicon Valley. The first two concentrated on the development and life of specific companies, namely Yahoo and ...