The Machine. As in Pink Floyd's Welcome to. But this is Mr. Deininger's Machine and it is unlike any other.
I'm not even going to go into the plot at all, because the book description and a bunch of other reviews already do that. I'm just going with my impressions of this novella here:
Death of imagination and creativity
In my mind, this book was about all of the above and more. This is the type of tale that can (partially) morph into whatever you might think it is about. And if you don't feel like thinking, you can do that too and still come away impressed. Which, to me, is impressive by itself. I've read one other book by Mr. Deininger, and to be honest I thought it was just okay. I am so happy that I gave this one a shot, because I would have missed something special. Welcome to the Machine, reader. You are in capable hands with Keith Deininger.