Nutting, Alissa. “Made for Love: A Novel”, Ecco, 2017.
Finding and Escaping Love
Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane and her father and his very lifelike sex doll are his roommates. Living with her father is stressful but she really has no alternative since she just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries. Gogol is a monolithic corporation that is determined to make its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over ten years, Hazel had been quarantined by Byron in the family compound and her every movement and vital sign tracked. When he demanded to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decided that her relationship with Byron that had been irritating had become unbearable. Leaving Byron was a big step since living with him had been living in a bubble and away from the nuisances of the world but in a world that was populated with a gaggle of deviant oddballs.
While Hazel tries to begin a new life for herself, Byron uses the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. When his threats become more and more sinister, Hazel is forced to take drastic measures so that she can find a home of her own and free herself from Byron. While this is basically a comic novel, it is also absurd. Yet there are serious issues in the themes of marriage, monogamy, and family.
If I were asked to describe the plot in just one word, it would have to be the word “bizarre”. What is not bizarre, however, is he fun you will have reading it. You will discover that as you come to the end, it all makes great sense. It is as if writer Alissa Nutting is standing with a camera and photographing our culture with the result that we are able to laugh at ourselves.