Permanent Record by Edward Snowden
Permanent Records, perhaps one of the most famous autobiographies of the present century, by Edward Snowden has created huge anticipation among the readers. Like me, I am sure, there should be many more who have been waiting for something to read about the life and deeds of the guy who changed the perceptions about the internet in the world. Before the Snowden episode, we seldom thought seriously about our privacy but now we do. So, the question arises, is this book equally exciting as the reveals by Snowden? Did Edward Snowden do justice with his happening life in this autobiography? We will need to find this out in the course of this book review by me, Aditya Shankar, for The Last Critic.
In the Sphere:
Permanent Records has 29 chapters. It has been divided into three parts. The first part introduces the readers to the man called Edward Snowden – his childhood and adolescent and then his youth. The second part introduces the readers to the work of Snowden (for CIA) and the guilty conscious that begins to take its toll on him. To understand the flow of Snowden’s story, you can say that it begins with excitement and anticipation and ends in apprehension and realisation. However, he can only be a just critic for his own conscience.
We have to understand that Edward Snowden’s life and his autobiography are not entirely two different things; however, the ways these two should be interpreted are certainly different and should be distinguished to each other. Snowden’s life is known in stories and his book should be judged on the basis of literary merits and demerits. And so, let me say it at the outset that the book is amusing, interesting and also entertaining. Nevertheless, at the same time, you can also find that the autobiography seems to be planned and delimited. Edward has released only the information that he deems fit for the public domain and, though he has the damn right to do what he wants, this makes the book questionable. It, if construed this way, becomes not an autobiography in general but a well-planned defence for his actions.
Looking at the qualities of this literary text, the book has been generally well-to-read throughout. The author has kept in mind the wider audience and Permanent Record can be read by any reader having common knowledge of the English language. The book has a straight story to tell and it does so rightly. More than an interesting story of a popular man, the book has very little to contribute to the literary flow. It will be read and adjusted…
Snowden’s Permanent Record is an autobiography and it should not be compared with the autobiographies of literary importance. It is a simple tale of an extraordinary man’s life and it should be treated as such. The ideal audience will be those who want to understand the concept of the deep state in the narrative of not a bystander or hypothetical lawyer but someone who has been involved in the very operations of the deep state. There will be entertaining and interesting hours for the readers who read this book along with something that will force them into thinking. So, Permanent Record is a happening book with a limited literary portion… you can buy the book from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
buy the book – click here to buy a copy
review by Aditya Shankar for The Last Critic