Reality, and Other Stories by John Lanchester review – horror for the digital age

Vinegar-sharp ghost stories play with the hold that technology has over all of us

John Lanchester’s first collection of short stories begins with a lesson in etiquette. “You aren’t allowed to ask for the Wi-Fi password before you say hello,” says the narrator to his nine year old son. “It’s simply one of the rules.”

Reality, and Other Stories is a collection of eight contemporary ghost stories, with the horror stemming from the irresistible power that technology has over us. In real life we are obsessed, distracted, impolite, floating through a world of unravelling human bonds and never-ending notifications. Could fiction be worse?

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