Bubblegum by Adam Levin
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Featured on The Thread: Ask a Bookseller: 'Bubblegum' offers a 'wonderous slog'
Bubblegum is set in an alternate present-day world in which the Internet does not exist, and has never existed. Rather, a wholly different species of interactive technology--a "flesh-and-bone robot" called the Curio--has dominated both the market and the cultural imagination since the late 1980s. Belt Magnet, who as a boy in greater Chicago became one of the lucky first adopters of a Curio, is now writing his memoir, and through it we follow a singular man out of sync with the harsh realities of a world he feels alien to, but must find a way to live in.