The Unknowns by Gabriel Roth is about hacking the girlfriend problem for a high school lad in 2001. This seems to be Eric’s problem well after college, too. Eric is into computers and coding. He is a freshman in high school in Denver in 1996. He keeps a notebook about the girls, data collection. One of the girls in it steals it and uses it to humiliate Eric. Eric is more into computers, hacking, and coding. He befriends another geek, Bill. They spend time in the basement of the school writing software. Then we jump in time to the future after college in San Francisco where Eric started his own computer software company and he is still awkward with the ladies, until he meets Maya, a reporter.
Eric doesn’t matures as he should as the book progresses through his two segments of life, high school in Denver and a professional life in SF. Sexually he seems to remain the same insecure, self indulgent, over concerned person. His relationships are bizarre especially as he negotiates and navigates this realm. Parent child relationships are also strange and convoluted in his life and in Maya’s. Roth is too interested in shock rather than truly developing better characters. I think he missed the boat on a good area he should have pursued, False Memory Syndrome. Had this been introduced earlier and expanded and explored more, I think he could have had a better story. He wallows in too much geekness, which was fun, but left other areas of intrigue unexplored.