The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World, by Nick Harkaway, John Murray, RRP£20, 288 pages
Nick Harkaway is a blogger, novelist and, incidentally, the son of thriller writer John le Carré. The Blind Giant is his first foray into non-fiction and takes as its subject the internet. All of it. The net, he says, is not a separate digital realm, but an overlay on the real one we all inhabit. As such, we shouldn’t see it as removed from us but an extension of us, which raises the question of his subtitle: how do we continue to be human in this digital world?
Unfortunately Harkaway’s argument is too big and unfocused. The Blind Giant is an impressionistic, discursive and at times circuitous journey through the internet’s possibilities and threats.