Like most (if not all) books that grew out of magazine articles, Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows has gained some unwanted pounds in the process. Carr also seems strangely oblivious to the wave of backlash against the Internet that his work is just a part of (even claiming in an Afterword to the paperback edition that he felt as though he was paddling a “very empty rowboat against a very strong tide”). That said, this is one of the more readable and well- grounded attempts to express the sense of unease that most people of a certain age have about the digital revolution. As with so many of the train wrecks our civilization is headed toward – environmental, economic, political – some kind of cultural collapse now seems unavoidable. We can only wait and see what the post-literate future brings.