ANYONE ON FOOT in suburban California is one of four things, you learn not far into Transmission: 'poor, foreign, mentally ill, or jogging'. What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed. You don't have to read too much of Hari Kunzru's second novel before you realise you are in safe hands: a slick, aphoristic joke; a neat turn of phrase; a truth that makes you laugh.
Transmission is essentially a comic novel, the story of a computer virus called Leela which does its semi- - - autonomous very best to bring the world to a halt. Leela is an executable file which you initiate when you open your e-mail. It shows you an animation of a