Technology. It is forever entwining with our every day lives. A screen plays havoc with the mind and strains the eyes. We as humans have come to heavily rely on technology. We feel naked without it. If you were to sit in a cafe right now with no phone or laptop, would you be able to say honestly that you felt ok? Would your hands feel dangerously empty and be twitching to scroll, type and text? Honestly dear reader, would you be able to cope in this situation without technology in your grasp?
Today on the blog I am reviewing Turn On, Tune Out By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood. A futuristic read that plunges the reader head first into a world ruled by computers. The scary truth of it all is that we are closer to this reality that we like to admit. Very, very close dare I say. If you wish to read more about Cynthia Adina Kirkwood, check out the links to her website at the end of this post. She has had an extremely interesting life.
A British composer turns outlaw in Los Angeles in the award-winning Turn On, Tune Out. Angelica Morgan flouts a computer law that cripples creativity. In L.A., Angelica finds an audience, love, and a passion to stop the insidious law from taking hold in Britain. In the near future of California, artists, who steal time off-line, are considered suspect, criminal, and dangerous.
The Year is 2033. Our story opens with a wave of noise. The reader has entered a world where buildings have climate control. The price of petrol has skyrocketed and computers are catering to our every need and requirement. Computers dominate their human prey. The state has enforced a law that requires citizens to watch 4 hours of TV a day. The mind and the art of creativity is slowly dying as it’s overseer is finding quicker and more efficient ways to get the job done. People are throwing their hands up in surrender to an easier life. A life of convenience. Being an artist is like being an outlaw.
‘Computers had become people’s lives, rather than only enhancing them, thus beginning the descent into an Orwellian hell with all the modern conveniences.’
I was really intrigued by the story as it fascinates me how scarily relatable this world is. It’s far too close to home to how we are evolving. Modern day tech is all rush rush; no time for imagination. Just information and onto the next job. Repeat. Kirkwood has laid out her plot and characters perfectly with a lot of consideration. She has thought about everything and how this new world effects artists. She makes the reader ask a lot of questions about themselves. What our beliefs, our vales and sense of purpose in this world are. And the answer is… to create of course! Whether that’s music, art or even life itself! We are masters of our craft and can’t help but create. So the thought of allowing a computer to take our imagination away makes me shiver with remorse. And that is what makes this story such a satisfying read. We NEED to be asking ourselves these questions before we lose sight of what’s really worth fighting for.
‘Why would anyone regard their own heart, their own soul, their own life and imagination when they could use a software package?’
Kirkwood portrays a strong message to the world. To limit ourselves to screen time and not become so engrossed in a world online that we miss out on our very real, raw, painful, yet beautiful reality. The only thing we should be switching off is technology. To go radio silent and spend those precious 4 hours with our imagination, crafting our talents into breath-taking works of art. We are all artists in our unique mesmerizing ways.
‘A computer is a tool, a machine for storing and accessing information. It is only as smart as the person who programmed it and as fast as its chip laid out by an engineer. Today most people have lost sight of that. They invest these tools with power, respect and, even, awe.’
This book is a work of art by Kirkwood. An enchanting painting created with words, voices and freedom for all to see. She captures the mind, heart and soul in one brush stroke. A computer fails to do this. It does what it’s programmed to and repeats. Kirkwood shows this perfectly throughout the story as the reader is reminded often to not fall victim to the deadly disease; square eyes.
‘The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.’
I can definitely relate to Angelica and her creative values. It is extremely refreshing in today’s world to still read characters in fiction just as passionate and dedicated to their art as myself. I sensed a lot of similarities between Angelica and Kirkwood. Both strong women with good hearts and a determination to have their voices heard. I envisioned myself drinking a delicious wine with these ladies overlooking the sea while speaking of our passions in art and creativity. Deep, meaningful, long conversations and friendly debates. When I finished the book I did indeed feel like I had made two new friends. Kirkwood can without a doubt create warm, charming characters that dance off of the page and into your heart. Just fabulous.
‘They understood that she could not stop herself from composing music. They knew that her sweet compulsion swept her away on emotional, spiritual and intellectual waves, cleansing her afresh each day. It drew on all her being, yet lifted her out of herself.’
The pace of the story is pleasant and flows much like a conversation with friends over drinks as the sun sets. It is only towards the end that it’s pace quickens and the reader has a lot of information to digest and understand. It leaves you a little frustrated but that is the beauty of this technique. You feel a sudden shock to the system that Angelica feels. Kirkwood never fails to immerse the reader in the character’s shoes. To know their thoughts and how they feel. It’s hypnotising and well done. You know just enough to know what’s happening and are curious how things will develop further into the story.
A remarkable story of a woman who fights for what she believes in and refuses to surrender. This book screams freedom and I love it. The freedom to create, to paint, capture art. To speak our minds and resist modern conveniences. And to never, ever stop making our voices heard. Never!
Creative, passionate and a revolution to us all to have our voices heard and stand for what we believe in. I am desperate for a sequel. I have come to call these characters my friends and am curious what happens after the events of Turn On, Tune Out.
Grab yourselves a copy here dear reader and do not miss out on this story of modern society’s struggle to remain creative. Don’t forget to also check out the links below for more information on the lovely writer herself, Cynthia Adina Kirkwood.
Cynthia Adina Kirkwood Website
Buy Turn On, Tune Out By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood
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