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On sale

17th September 2020

Price: £19.99

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529401967

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‘Sly, subversive’ Olivia Laing
‘Outrageous’ Luke Kennard
‘Slightly too real’ Kate Clanchy

Meet Ned and Alice: internet entrepreneurs with a delightfully demagnetised moral compass.

In Berlin, their combined talents have brought social media start-up, The Thing Factory, to the verge of lucrative success.
But Ned – a businessman with a history of shady dealings – is unhappy at his increasing lack of control in the company.

When he launches a new app designed to ‘Uberize’ the escort industry, he finds himself treading in murky waters, having disturbed the fabric of Berlin’s underbelly. As his anxieties become harder to ignore, Alice’s ambitions are meanwhile tempting her to jettison her own principles for a turn at the wheel…

Both a satire on the social media age and a fast-paced suspense novel, Viral is a nimble commentary on power and control, the lengths people will go to acquire both, and what is at stake when personality and sex are tradable commodities.

(P) 2020 Quercus Editions Limited


Sam Byers
A fiercely smart and funny portrayal of tech arrogance, unhinged entrepreneurship, and the vacuous amorality of disruptive startup culture. Viral is a vicious delight.
Olivia Laing, on ASTROTURF
I loved Matthew Sperling's sly, subversive novel, a wickedly funny tale of how to come out on top in a fake news world.
Luke Kennard, on ASTROTURF
Outrageous, sexy and funny. Sperling writes with the caustic economy of Waugh or Spark, but his characters have more heart, including the sock-puppets. The plot is so taut I'm still re-reading it trying to work out exactly how he brings the tension of a heist movie to 30-something bedsit London, all the while deliciously subverting our expectations. A joy to read
Irish Times on ASTROTURF
Themes of warped masculinity, identity, survival and the pursuit of perfection are all vividly rendered . . . a brawn cocktail that nails the zeitgeist.
Olivia Sudjic
An irresistible, razor-sharp and hilarious takedown of our generation's masters of the universe.
Sunday Telegraph
Simultaneously funny and dead accurate
New Statesman
A pacey, dark dive into the morality of tech. It plays artfully on the subtle tropes of social media gurus and Silicon Valley bros without being obvious. Rather than being a parallel to Twitter discourse, it's a cathartic answer to it
The deft assurance of Sperling's writing... an engaging takedown of the social media startup scene and the moral ambivalence of its characters