The debut novel by the acclaimed American novelist and former computer programmer Ellen Ullman, The Bug is both a novel of ideas and a suspense story.
'Thrilling and intellectually fearless . . . If more contemporary novels delivered news this relevant and wise they'd have to stop declaring the death of the novel'
- The New York Times
In one of the computer-dictated pauses that now constantly intrude on our lives, Roberta Walton starts to think back twenty years, to her first job in computing, to the bug she found there and the man it destroyed. Ellen Ullman's acclaimed first novel compellingly, thrillingly explores the connections between us and our machines, and between programming, obsession and madness. As the bug - bug UI-01017, The Jester - teases, defies and threatens its creators.
Ellen Ullman's The Bug is published by Pushkin Press.
Ellen Ullman's Close to the Machine, a memoir of her time as a software engineer during the early years of the internet revolution, became a cult classic and established her as a writer of considerable talent; with her second book, The Bug, she became an acclaimed and vital novelist; By Blood is her third. All three are published in the UK by Pushkin Press. Her essays and opinion pieces have been widely published in venues such as Harper's, The New York Times, Salon, and Wired. She lives in San Francisco.
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Number of pages: 368
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm
Thrilling and intellectually fearless ... If more contemporary novels delivered news this relevant and wise they'd have to stop declaring the death of the novel The New York Times Ethan Levin, programmer at a database start-up in the mid 1980s, has a serious bug to find, one that freezes the whole program. However, the elusive bug cannot be reliably reproduced; it seems to rear its ugly head only during high-stakes demonstrations for venture capitalists and prospective clients. As the bug continues to elude Levin and Roberta, the software tester, the idea that it has a life of its own seems less and less a joke (even to fellow employees), and more believable. While this novel can be enjoyed for its humor (albeit in a wry and dark sort of way), there is undoubtedly deeper meaning behind the individual trials of Levin and Roberta. Ullman's poetic and philosophical inclination shine through a story that is, on the surface, about technology. Readers may [also] gain a closer understanding of the way people interact with technology, the way small things can have huge ripple effects that profoundly affect people's lives, the way life itself reveals its meaning Booklist