A novel by the author of I Am God about a family of misfit savants that explores (dis)ability, artificial intelligence, and the interdependence of technology and the natural world, narrated by the family's deaf youngest son.
BUG is interested in the way personhood merges with technology ... The novel’s language is brainy and technical yet inflected by childhood naiveté, a high-wire act that translator Frederika Randall superbly conveys ... A Faustian bargain comes to the fore, as BUG’s camaraderie is really a power play for more processing capacity. Though its backdrop is dystopian, the novel is always on the side of erring humanity. Between BUG and the young narrator, only one has a conscience and an ability to love.
Throughout the tale, the narrator engages in telepathic dialogue with his mother, filling her in and urging her to awaken ... Sartori is deft at avoiding the risk, posed by his unique authorial imagination, of running his narrative off the rails and into the realm of superficial silliness, or mere comic caper, by reigning in that imagination and grounding it in the network of very human relationships that he creates among his family of very quirky characters ... Sartori's BUG is a study in quirkiness, but it is founded upon a serious and complex substratum ... underneath all the entertaining commotion is an investigation into the relationship of words, signs, feelings, and thoughts ... Bug is a worthwhile adventure cast in the melded whimsy ands ubstance characteristic of Sartori's work.
Italian novelist Sartori delivers a witty tale of family resilience and a dangerous, homemade AI bot ... While Sartori tends to pile on the similes and rushes his conclusion, the characters’ antics escalate in inventive and unexpected ways. This is worth a spin.