Subject of Surveillance

Tracking your every interaction and move is quite easy with all the conveniences available to us today. In Patrick Flanery’s I Am No One, one individual is targeted for tracking, throwing his otherwise tidy life into disarray.

After a decade teaching abroad in Oxford, England, Professor Jeremy O’Keefe is back in his native New York in a more lucrative position and nearer his daughter and mother. Upon his return, which was precipitated by suspect circumstances seemingly coordinated by an Oxford colleague, Jeremy receives deliveries of some chilling boxes filled with printouts of all his computer activity and correspondences and notices that there seems to be a young man following him throughout the city. In try to figure out who is behind these mysteriously delivered boxes, Jeremy reveals more about his past to the reader, offering a rationale as to why he might be the subject of governmental surveillance.

With an interesting and startlingly realistic premise within contemporary culture regarding privacy and identity, and some strong and highly educated writing, I did not enjoy the story as much as I thought I would. Perhaps the quick transitioning between current and past events was a tad disorienting, or perhaps I found it difficult to connect with and trust our unreliable narrator Jeremy and his extremely self-assured, self-interested behavior, despite finding aspects of his character I could identify with. While the introspective aspect to the narrative offered periods of thought provocation, the area of the story that would be of most interest, the exposure and potential fall out of Jeremy to the public, is left to exist only in the imagination of the reader and isn’t addressed, ending without any sort of tangible resolution or conclusion.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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