No One Is Talking About This book review by @duffythewriter


‘I really admire and love this book. Patricia Lockwood is a completely singular talent and this is her best, funniest, weirdest, most affecting work yet’ Sally Rooney, author of Normal People

‘A literary star … Captures better than anything I’ve ever read what it’s like to be online’ Hadley Freeman, Guardian

‘A furiously original novel, alive and unstable’ Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror

Guardian, Times, Daily Mail, Esquire, Irish Independent, Irish Times, Elle, Independent and Stylist Highlight for 2021

A woman known for her viral social media posts travels the world speaking to her adoring fans, her entire existence overwhelmed by the internet – or what she terms ‘the portal’. Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?

Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: ‘Something has gone wrong,’ and ‘How soon can you get here?’ As real-life and its stakes collide with the increasing absurdity of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy and justice in the universe and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.

Irreverent and sincere, poignant and delightfully profane, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the infinite scroll and a meditation on love, language and human connection from one of the most original voices of our time.

Duffy’s Thoughts on No One Is Talking About This

No One Is Talking About This is one of the most original books I have ever read. Did this mean I enjoyed it immensely? No, I can’t say I did. However, did it leave me thinking about the book long after I’d finished it? Yes, it did. It was a bit like reading a disjointed diary, with streams of consciousness, and then suddenly a jolting glimpse of all the bad, dark, crass, spiteful vitriol spewed across the internet. The same things I have seen, and which have affected me, particularly when doom scrolling took hold last year.

“Every day a new name bloomed out, and it was always a man who had been killed. Except when it was a twelve-year-old boy, or a grandmother, or a toddler in a playpen, or a woman from Australia, or … And often the fluid moment of the killing rippled in the portal, playing and replaying as if at some point it might change. And sometimes, as she saw the faces, her thumb would trace the line of the nose, the mouth, the eyes, as if to memorise someone who was not here anymore, who she knew about only because they had been disappeared.”

This book is definitely a book of two parts. The first is focused on the internet, ‘the portal’ where our unnamed main character has fallen down the rabbit hole after becoming an internet celebrity for posting one tweet which happened to go viral. Her life is now suspended between reality and ‘the portal.’ Then devastating news comes and the tone of the book changes. No longer are the pages littered with memes, fads and global crises happening in countries far away. Suddenly the focus needs to be out of the portal and with family as they struggle to come to terms with grief and loss.

A haunting, poetic, sometimes jumbled read that I’m glad to have had the privilege of reading, even if I’m not quite sure of what I read!

Available from all good bookshops from May 13th published by Bloomsbury