Customer Reviews for

The Unknowns: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted July 7, 2013

    The Unknowns is the first novel by American author, journalist a

    The Unknowns is the first novel by American author, journalist and software developer, Gabriel Roth. Eric Muller is the quintessential computer nerd trying really hard not to be a dork. At school he never quite managed to fit in, stumbling from one social disaster to another; as an adult, despite being a Silicon Valley millionaire, he goes to great lengths to not appear socially awkward, and his ultimate solace is still writing computer code. Enter journalist Maya Marcom. Eric finds himself in love with this enigmatic woman, but will their relationship survive the dark secret she carries from her past? Roth does a brilliant job of portraying a teenager with a dysfunctional childhood trying to understand how the world works and his place in it. The teen angst, self-centredness and confusion are skilfully conveyed. Even as the reader laughs, cringes, gasps and groans at his decisions, Eric’s adult thoughts are a revealing look at the analytical mind of the computer nerd. Because the story is told as a first person narrative, the reader never gets to know the other major characters really well, but this is entirely appropriate, as they are just some of the unknowns that Eric spends his time trying to allow for as he calculates (and sometimes grossly miscalculates) the best possible action to take to optimise his chances in life. Roth manages to inject plenty of humour (the Ecstasy episode is particularly hilarious), and handles certain dark topics in a sensitive and insightful manner. An inspired debut novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Diana

    Very good! I like your writing style!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Flower's Capture Chapter Three

    The head
    Glaciard cackled. "Now we will soon have enough power to drain regular girls and soon enough all children and then the adults too!" "Sir, word just came in of another girl entering our domain," a sweet female voice chirped. "Make a carbon copy of her. We dont want to be suspected and hunted again." "Okay, sir." "Oh and Raghn," "Yes?" "What is this prey's name?" "Violet, sir," "Great," <br>
    <p>
    Violet yawned. She looked around at all the flowers. "Hmm, thats strange," she thought. There were only three types of flowers. Dahlias, roses, and marigolds.
    <><><><><><><>

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Computers are Cool in 'The Unknowns' Note: I won this book in a

    Computers are Cool in 'The Unknowns'

    Note: I won this book in a Twitter giveaway from @littlebrown 




    Have you ever read a book that has you wanting to tear your hair out because you are so torn on how you should be reacting to it? This is one of those books. On the one hand, I loved it. I read it, more or less, from start to finish and could not put it down. Plus, it takes place around Denver, where I live, and a lot of the locations are real, so it was easily to visualize. But….  I feel a little disconnected from the decade that I grew up/went to high school in.




    Let me explain. The Unknowns is the story of a computer geek named Eric. A total nerd in high school who had his fair share of embarrassments, he becomes a multi-millionaire by the age of 24 by doing exactly what he was previously made fun of for doing. Of course, with money comes more opportunities for social exchanges, and this awkward kid learns to navigate the world of women. But soon he learns that not everything is as it seems and, at the root of things, there are unknowns (when I first started reading, I thought The Unknowns were people, but of course, they aren’t – they are the things about others that we don’t know, and in hindsight, this was fairly obvious).¿
    But back to my point. In the book, Eric is only four years older than I am. While I could relate to a lot of his high school agony, whether on behalf of him or his antagonizers, most of his high school days are about the desire to conceal his computer geekiness. The problem with this is that I don’t remember computers being so foreign in 1996. I had a family computer with AOL and chatrooms and word processing at that time. And I certainly don’t remember dark dungeon-like classrooms for the computer nerds to run off to during lunch. Perhaps this was the case when Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were doing their thing, but I don’t remember this being an issue when I was in high school. Then again, maybe my school just had an inordinate amount of technology and so it wasn’t as taboo as it was in other schools.




    Either way, Eric ultimately makes computers look cool. Maybe it’s because computer sensations  are cool now and so I’m backdating their coolness based on fame and success, but it happened none the less.  Plus, Roth does a great job of making the reader see the beauty in a software that works. Here’s a quote that demonstrates this much better than I could:




    “Most software makes people struggle, and so when they notice it they see it as an enemy. But if a designer can anticipate not only the user’s  goals but the user’s instincts and assumptions, user’s will feel that the software cares about then, pays attention to their needs – loves them. And they’ll start to love the software back. All feelings of love toward technology are this kind of reciprocal love, I think.” (p. 90)




    But where I’m unable to connect with Eric on a technological level, it is made up for in leaps and bounds on a social level. I remember being awkward. I remember being gawky. I remember (probably because this still happens) saying or doing the wrong thing in social situations.  His ability to delve into the human psyche is incredible, and Roth manages to put onto paper a perspicaciousness rarely found these days (perspicacious is also my favorite word right now and Roth is only the second author I’ve ever come across to use it).




    Another quote (because Roth says it best) to demonstrate this is:




    “…. we see others from the outside, all smooth surfaces and fixed appearances, and ourselves from the inside, with our subjectivities and histories…”




    The Unknowns has a way of threading its way into your inner self and thrusting your doubts and questions to the surface. Because we, as people, are social beings whose current lives are crafted by our histories, each reader will have a different experience – but each one is worthwhile.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Good read!

    I wanted to challenge myself and read something a little different than what I normally read. This was good it kept my interest. I love wit of the main character Eric.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1