Kopi is more of a novella rather than a novel, but a brilliant one, given how precise and short it is. Narrated in third person, it follows the life of Kopi, an ordinary man whose life takes an extraordinary turn when he signs up for Virtual Cosmos. With technology advancing beyond our imagination, The Cosmos aimed for a real-life experience in a virtual world, where people could choose what they look like, whom they met, with no limits on what they could experience. One minute they could be waltzing on the rings of Saturn; another moment they could be completing office work in a remote forest. While keeping him connected with the real world, Kopi makes new friends in the Virtual Cosmos, whose interests match his and whose company he enjoys. With his increasing dependence on coffee in the real world earns him the title Kopi, he feels the line between the real and virtual worlds seem to blur for him. With religious groups holding protests and governments against the free-for-all policy, read on as Kopi comes to term with the good, the bad, and the ugly of the virtual world.
Narration in the third person is tricky to execute, but Bohm has done it really well. The scoring point of this book is that it sways from focusing on the main character to talk about the implications of virtual reality on the real world, not just socio-political, but also economical and psychological implications. The fact that this is a short dystopian book makes it ideal for a quick read on the weekend. Novels with such themes make the reader appreciate reality, our relationships with our families and friends, our childhood, and, most importantly, catching the essence of NOW. I highly recommended this novel for the young adult age group.
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