Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams

Tell the Machine Goodnight

Pearl's job is to make people happy. Every day, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She's good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful. But how does one measure an emotion?Meanwhile, there's Pearl's teenage son, Rhett. A sensitive kid who has forged an unconventional path through adolescence, Rhett seems to find greater satisfaction in being unhappy. The very rejection of joy is his own k...

Details Tell the Machine Goodnight

TitleTell the Machine Goodnight
Release DateJun 19th, 2018
Publisher Riverhead
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Adult

Reviews Tell the Machine Goodnight

  • Nat
    It feels so good to have enjoyed a novel so fully that I read it in a day and a half. What had me so keen on the premise of Tell the Machine Goodnight is a) the fact that the synopsis "playfully illuminates our national obsession with positive psychology, our reliance on quick fixes and technology" and b) Gabrielle Zevin, one of my favorite authors who excels with her subtle little quips on our daily lives, blurbed it. Pearl's job is to make pe...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    I really love speculative fiction, so this was right up my alley. Imagine if there were a machine that could tell you exactly what you needed to do to be happier. Pearl works for the creators of Apricity, a device that does exactly that, and spends her days providing people with this coveted advice.Tell the Machine Goodnight is about Pearl and the people who are part of her life: her son, Rhett, who suffers from anorexia and stubbornly embraces h...
  • Jennifer Lynn Harrison
    I thought this book was unique and awesome. My ISBN says that this is the hardcover edition, but it is actually an ARC that I won in a giveaway, and it is one of those rare giveaway wins that I will treasure + keep + sing praises about! *I will return to this post to sing the praises at a later date, as I am currently playing an Audiobook atm and simply cannot listen to one story whilst writing about a different story at the same time! Suffice to...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    What if you could turn happiness into a consumer product? What if a machine could tell you simple instructions to achieve it? “Eat tangerines,” “Arrange fresh flowers,” “Write poetry.” What if the pursuit of happiness became a guarantee? This theme is explored in Katie Williams’ debut novel, which takes place in 2035. The response from the public, surprisingly, is not unanimous. Sure, there are many individuals clamoring to buy happ...
  • Frosty61
    Multiple narrators, pointless detail, unlikeable characters, and a unsatisfying ending all added up to a waste of my time and made me grumpy. :-(
  • Uriel Perez
    Literary sci-fi/speculative fiction intrigues me, especially when it draws comparisons to episodes of Black Mirror and the Twilight Zone. TELL THE MACHINE GOODNIGHT revolves around a device (called an Apricity) fabricated to deliver “contentment plans” for users, ensuring enduring satisfaction and lifelong joy for those who adhere to the plan. At the center of the drama is Pearl, a technician for the company that administers the Apricity test...
  • USOM
    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Tell the Machine Goodnight was like one major thought experiment. I adored the multiple perspectives of this book, not only because we were able to see the story from varying points of view, but also because each of them tell a new story. They add to the world, they add to the themes of family and relationships, and they are wonder...
  • Res
    Glimpses into interconnected lives touched by the Apricity machine, which can read your DNA from a cheek swab and give you three recommendations that will make you happy. On a sentence-by-sentence level, this is very nicely written, with a lot of clever turns of phrase and insightful descriptions of characters. The jacket calls these characters 'endearing,' but Rhett and Val and Calla were the only ones that I wouldn't have happily thrown off a r...
  • ReGina
    I felt like this book piqued my interest but had no point. It was a masturbatory exercise that I enjoyed initially and thought was going somewhere but really had no point or purpose. I like my stories to make a statement, not just introduce me to cool words and unexplored concepts. I did give it a three, however, because I did enjoy a good amount of it and it is well written. The ending, however, was unsatisfying and then made me question why I h...
  • Audrey
    3.75 starsThis review is based on an ARC of Tell the Machine Goodnight which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Penguin -- Riverhead). It seems to me that the new novel trend is to write a book with seemingly no purpose, no real plot, and no real point. At least this has been the case with the last few new books I've read, and that seems to be the case as well with Tell the Machine Goodnight. Now, saying this does make me hypocri...
  • Joyce
    Dit was het laatste boek van mijn reading challenge voor 2018, en wat een feestje was dat! De boekverkoopster in de Van Piere die het me aanraadde, heeft me echt moeten overtuigen om het te lezen, want ik las ergens iets met de term science fiction, en als ik iets nu niet interessant vind om te lezen, is het dat wel. Maar het verhaal, van een moeder en haar worstelende zoon van 16, sprak me zo aan en is ook zo uit het leven gegrepen, dat ik er to...
  • Erin
    Williams' novel is simply put both weird and wonderful. It's set in the near future and is centered around a machine that can give people specific recommendations to make them happier (oh if only this existed!). Although the book is separated into chapters, it actually felt more like linked short stories to me. I loved the odd characters and Williams' writing style is unique and captivating. I'm surprised this one hasn't gotten more love - I'm ob...
  • Janet
    Eh. I get what this book was trying to do, but it was a little too “avant-garde” for me. Everything about this book had a sort of vibe. It was sort of a futuristic. It was sort of funny. It was sort of sad. It was definitely a commentary on our times. I sort of got it, until I didn’t.
  • Kitty
    I wished this book would never end.
  • Lori
    I loved this book! It had an original story and lovable, relatable, realistic characters. While some of the reviewers have said the message isn't a particularly strong one, it hit me pretty hard at the end. I thought it was lovely the way it did hit me, because it was more like a "DUH!" and then a bit of feeling like crying because it should be SO obvious, but everything is so chaotic and messy that we forget. I say "Read it!" and I'll cross my f...
  • Charlotte Jones
    *Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.After reading Geekerella, I really fancied reading something completely difference and I was drawn to science-fiction, particularly after loving Spaceman of Bohemia so much. I received this book for review from NetGalley and I am trying to get to more of my review copies so this seemed like the perfect choice.Unfortunately this book felt like it should have...
  • Emily
    Got a free copy of this book to review. Thanks again for keeping me in books! :)Speculative fiction set in a near future world where happiness can be yours - just give the machine a quick mouth swab and you will be issued three simple directives. Follow these directives and you will be happy. Or will you? What happens to the determinedly unhappy in this world? Is happiness you don't earn true happiness? What if the machine is abused? learned a ne...
  • Katherine
    I really enjoyed reading this book and getting to know the characters in it. Although I fell like there were some issues with the direction of the plot, I thought it was well written and it definitely kept me interested. Also, I enjoyed the imagining of the future and the creation of a device that with a DNA sample, can tell us what we can do to be happy.
  • Lacey Tsonis
    Couldn't put it down. It's strange but completely draws you in.
  • Brandon Gutermuth
    Wonderful! Poignant, funny, with a very subtle but expertly implemented use of sci-fi. A phenomenal book.
  • Jacob Folkman
    Starts strong with interesting characters and what one would think will become an intriguing plot premise, but then fails to ever properly develop. Meanders to an uneventful end.
  • Robin
    Williams explores humanity's search for happiness in 2035 America. Lyrical prose and captivating characters. Beautiful.
  • Erin Mcmaster
    I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway.It is a quick, enjoyable read. I liked looking at the idea of technology and happiness. Happiness is different for everyone, some easy tasks and others more complex are given by the machine. The characters are mostly likeable yet still flawed. The ending is a bit abrupt but then I was expecting a fully laid out happy ending to a novel about happiness. I recommend this for anyone looking for a quick read.
  • Mary
    Great read. Kept my interest from the first page to the last
  • Linda
    [Content Warning: This book deals with disordered eating. I'm putting this at the top so that the people who need such a warning can see it, even though it has nothing to do with my review. One of the characters is purposely starving himself, and the book gets into his methods and motivations.] Tell the Machine Goodnight 's central concept--a machine that tells people what to do to be happier--is so rich with potential. The machine's instructions...
  • Andrienne
    Lots to ponder on this one. Like previous literary fiction I’ve read, I learn plenty of trivial information or bits that I pace been curious about but never pursued. This one involves pop psychology, linguistics, with a dash of pop culture. Pearl is an employee for a company that Invented a machine that can tailor happiness recommendations using a person’s DNA (I picture the device looking like those portable printer type). This novel has mul...
  • Kim
    Absolutely loved this story until the ending. What a disappointing ending! It seemed to just cut off the story unnaturally like Melvin's index finger tip. Apricity is a neat idea. The whole book flowed smoothly and I found myself unable to put it down. Was completely invested in all of the characters and that's why the ending was so disappointing. Can't win them all.
  • Jennilyn
    This review and other shenanigans are also posted on my book blog.The year is 2035. A machine called Apricity exists. It’s a machine which, from a simple swipe of a person’s DNA, recommends a few to-do stuff that will guarantee happiness. Stuff like: Eat tangerines on a regular basis, work at a desk that receives morning light, amputate the uppermost section of your right index finger. It’s entirely up to the person if he/she will actually ...