Qualityland (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

One of the things I like about Speculative Fiction is that it's not a predictor of what Is To Come, but more a reflection of the Concerns of Today. QualityLand totall fits in that niche: Kling is taking what he sees happening online today, with Facebook and Amazon and companies being run by alogrithms to help them determine how to reach the Best Customers and pushing it to the extreme. And what we get is a weird, wild, often hilarious satire of what humanity might become if we let corporations and algorithms rule our lives. There's definitely a LOT to think about, and a LOT to talk about when you finish this wild ride of a book.  

— Melissa Fox

Hello, my name is Hannah Bookbinder. (Actually it isn’t but we’re briefly stepping into the insanity that is Qualityland so bear with me for a few minutes.)

Welcome to Qualityland, the place where your last name is now, depending on whether you are male or female, the profession your father or mother was in at the time of your conception. Thus we have a book featuring such delightful characters as Martyn Chairman, Sandra Admin, Oliver House-Husband, and our main character, Peter Jobless. And if this sounds odd, bizarre, or any other peculiar word, you would be right, and this is just the start.

Qualityland is a trip through a world where everything is designed to please you and give you what you want, and more importantly, what you deserve. Got that promotion you always wanted, and feeling as though your husband is no longer quite good enough? Use Qualitypartner to find a new more suitable partner, and break up with your old one for you in the process. But while the majority of society is happily rolling along as robots replace almost everything, including the president, payments are done by kissing, and digital assistants control more than just the music playing in your apartment, our ‘hero’, Peter Jobless finds himself less convinced by everything, especially he receives a delivery of an item that he does not want.

Qualityland is one of the most original books to have appeared in the last few years. Yet despite the fact that it will have you laughing out loud every other page, there is a slightly darker undertone to this book. Because it is not so absurd as to be impossible. Some of what appears in this book is already happening in various parts of the world. So enjoy the comedy and absurdity, be prepared never to look at Pride and Prejudice in quite the same way ever again, but maybe reconsider all those hi-tech personal assistant items you’ve been thinking of getting.

— Hannah Reidell


In the near future sci-fi world of Qualityland, algorithms help create an idyllic life for its citizens, but what if the perfect world wasn't built for you?

Welcome to QualityLand, the best country on Earth. Here, a universal ranking system determines the social advantages and career opportunities of every member of society. An automated matchmaking service knows the best partners for everyone and helps with the break up when your ideal match (frequently) changes. And the foolproof algorithms of the biggest, most successful company in the world, TheShop, know what you want before you do and conveniently deliver to your doorstep before you even order it.

In QualityCity, Peter Jobless is a machine scrapper who can't quite bring himself to destroy the imperfect machines sent his way, and has become the unwitting leader of a band of robotic misfits hidden in his home and workplace. One day, Peter receives a product from TheShop that he absolutely, positively knows he does not want, and which he decides, at great personal cost, to return. The only problem: doing so means proving the perfect algorithm of TheShop wrong, calling into question the very foundations of QualityLand itself.

Qualityland, Marc-Uwe Kling's first book to be translated into English, is a brilliantly clever, illuminating satire in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and George Orwell that offers a visionary, frightening, and all-too funny glimpse at a near future we may be hurtling toward faster than it's at all comfortable to admit. So why delay any longer? TheShop already knows you're going to love this book. You may as well head to the cash register, crack the covers, and see why that is for yourself.

About the Author

Marc-Uwe Kling is a German author and songwriter. Qualityland spent months on the German bestseller lists, has sold more than half a million copies to date internationally, and is currently in production as an HBO series. Kling lives in Berlin.

Praise For…

"QUALITYLAND is very funny and very scary -- my kind of book."
Mike Judge, creator of HBO's Silicon Valley, writer/director of Office Space

"Eerily prescient and peppered with near-future projections (including the cryogenic resurrection of Jennifer Aniston), Qualityland reads like the best Black Mirror episode as written by Kurt Vonnegut. Kling delivers scythe-sharp satire, steering us through a hysterical dystopian adventure of technological determinism, all while skewering consumer culture, politics, free will, and making me rethink my relationship with my Roomba. Witty, wise, and terrifyingly funny, Qualityland is a genius gem and an absolute must read. I laughed my phone off."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}Kira Jane Buxton, author of Hollow Kingdom

"Kling's dialogue is witty and sharp, the relationship between Peter and the droids is handled with a great deal of humour and warmth, and more often than not Kling lands his jokes--Qualityland is incredibly funny--a rare feat for a science fiction novel."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'}Locus

"A hilarious romp through an absurd hypercapitalist dystopia...This is spot-on satire."—Publishers Weekly

"QUALITYLAND is the best kind of satire, offering up a funhouse mirror version of our world that is so smart and so cutting, you have to laugh to keep from crying."
Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse

"The times we live in demand a satire as sharp and unrelenting as QUALITYLAND. The funniest parts will make you cringe. But rather than merely beat the reader over the head with doom and gloom, this novel goes further, showing the value of endurance and even hope in an age of emptiness."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'}Robert Repino, author of D'Arc and Mort(e)

"How much you enjoy this is in direct proportion to how much trouble you think we're all in. Sleep tight."—Kirkus

"Kling's sharp observations target the economy, the law, xenophobia, relationships, security, and government, sparing few and exposing with delightful brutality how close QualityLand is to reality."—Booklist

"The plot unfolds in a way that surprises, which is quite refreshing when dealing with storylines which create a cautionary tale about corporate overreach."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'}The Nerd Daily

Product Details
ISBN: 9781538732960
ISBN-10: 1538732963
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020
Pages: 352