January 19, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Silicon Follies: A Dot.comedy

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Thomas Scoville
genre
Fiction
We gave it a B

Despite its sardonic insider’s edge, Scoville’s saga — a sort of Tales of the City for the Silicon Valley set that was originally serialized on Salon.com — is, like Maupin’s famous Bay Area soap, reassuringly sweet. That doesn’t mean it’s not funny. But this little romance about a journalist turned ”infotech weenie” and a Stanford English-lit grad-turned-reluctant corporate drone is saved from sourness thanks to Scoville’s refusal to take the industry’s Porsche-obsessed illiterate moguls, chimerical IPOs, misfired e-mails, lofty hackers, iffy product launches, and general avarice more seriously than his characters’ basic humanity. Who would have guessed that an attack on ”the valley of the nerds” could leave you feeling so optimistic? B

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