M.T. Anderson Returns to Future Earth with Satire of Art and Truth

Landscape With Invisible Hand
by M.T. Anderson

Teen artist Adam and his family adjust to life in the wake of an alien invasion.

Earthlings, prepare to meet your squat, coffee table-shaped overlords.

Jacket cover
When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to Adam and the rest of planet Earth – but not necessarily an unwelcome one. After all, can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable?

Turns out, an invasion doesn’t have to look or act like an invasion to actually be one.

What’s Different
Aliens in an unexpected and hilarious form, pay-per-view 1950s-style slices of life, and a young artist’s struggle to be recognized for his artistic efforts.

What’s Awesome
The humor. This slim 149-page novel tackles heavy topics that we’re living through in today’s society and political environment, but the author’s sarcastic wit keeps the reader laughing and turning the pages in the hopes of seeing Adam vindicated after many indignities and insults.

This Best-Selling Authors’ Secret
M.T. Anderson never underestimates the intelligence of young adult readers, as evidenced by the challenging themes and situations in his novels Feed, which I found brilliant, and loved, and in the National Book Award-winning The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party, which I found brilliant and depressing; I couldn’t bring myself to read Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves. Both volumes were Michael L. Printz Honor Books.

What Others Say
“Practically every word reflects a prescient, bitingly precise critique of contemporary human folly, of economic and environmental inequities and absurdities.” – The Horn Book (starred review)

From Chapter 1, page 2
…Boyfriends and girlfriends squeal and lean into each other. Couples grin. They’re parked in fifties fin cars and “necking.” The movie screen above the field of parked cars is reflected in their windshields.

Of course, when the interstellar invasion came, it looked nothing like that.

Author Bio
National Book Award winner M.T. Anderson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1968 and lived for a few years in Italy with his family when he was a little kid. He said the sights of Roman ruins and old statues of saints and castles on hill-tops changed him completely.

Learn more by taking a few minutes to read his bio at It provides insight on why he writes stories and gives you a taste of his humor:

…What do I do with my time when I’m not writing? I like traveling to exotic places and seeing the ruins of ancient cities. I hike a lot…I like music, especially music written before 1750, and, on the other hand, very modern music. I’m a big fan of the harpsichord. I also like fried food. My idea of heaven would be a harpsichord recital where they serve funnel cakes.

I’m still waiting on that one.

This review was first published at on June 4, 2019

Katherine Valdez loves writing about books, authors, and the writing journey. She laments the proliferation of book reviews that spoil the plot.


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