Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World. (Image: DC)
A case of mistaken identity and all the chaos that starts to occur in author Naomi Klein’s life is the main focus of Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World. In today’s polarised times, it’s almost a norm for troll armies to bash people in virtual space for their personal, political, and religious views. The germ for this book was sown when Naomi Klein was mistaken for another author cum hardheaded personality who shared her first name (i.e. Naomi Wolf). Her doppelganger, the ‘Other Naomi’ has some extreme views on various issues – feminism, COVID-19 vaccines, democracy, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories, and even climate change.
The book makes for a compelling read, as the writer shares her daily experiences and tries to go on with her life. But she finds herself spending hours reading all the hate messages, insults, threats, and abuses hurled at her (the Other Naomi) on social media. Like it or not, negativity and toxic language do affect any person. Yet, through wit and real-life experiences, Klein weaves in her story and the Other Naomi’s world to explain how one can easily spiral down the internet rabbit hole. Klein writes: "I tracked her new alliances with some of the most malevolent men on the planet, the ones sowing information chaos on a mass scale and gleefully egging on insurrections in country after country."
The book touches upon several issues — public shaming, identity crisis, political propaganda, and their far-reaching effects on society and democratic values. The book gives the reader a sense of the widespread intolerance, existential anxiety, and crazy times we are living in today. The author’s writing is nuanced, concise, and unbiased. She tries to strike a fair balance when she tries to present her views and those of the Other Naomi. There are times when you chuckle at the absurd and bizarre conspiracy theories that the doppelganger and her likes come up with. It reminds you of the television panel discussions, where people are at each other’s throats. Conversation is an art. And Klein’s sober, yet powerful prose knows how to start a conversation and hold a mirror to the world.