In a story that follows multiple people, I found myself knee deep in personal reflection. The Little Demons Inside by Micah Chaim Thomas supplied me with a full range of emotion through clear, thoughtful prose. He’s created a story world that is all too real. It’s not a place I want to live, but I’m afraid we may occupy a version of it.
The book opens with fire and action, we’re given chemistry that lingers and becomes romance, and the horrors of corrupt people with power threaten us from all angles. The writing is strong, transitions are fluid, and the characters are fleshed out people who have brought me to care.
Various characters, coupled with the narrator offer personal insight that critiques human nature with modern technology. As we’re still breaking the ice, I caught a line that seems a familiar thought to me. While describing smartphones, “You see, these narcissism toys, they keep us looking at the surface, they keep us from searching inward” (72). What we find by the end of the novel is that internal vision…and it’s bleak. The constant cultural conditioning to be the best little cog you can be is only overshadowed by a dream where your digitized narcissism is harvested for profit, leaving the subject apathetic or depressed. As with social media, you are the product. The algorithm figures you out, and your own tendencies become the fruit for an advertising campaign. The story doesn’t beat you over the head with this, but it’s where I found myself.
Though the darkness of the philosophy wants to exist in a vacuum, Thomas offers various insights to humor and humility that shines through. We’re left with a quality novel that fulfilled my expectations in that I was both made to think, and entertained.