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Idiots in the Machine
Author Edward Savio
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Babelfish Press
Publication date 2001
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN 0-9706730-0-0
OCLC 48461557

Idiots in the Machine is a darkly comic 2001 novel by Edward Savio about a man who is inadvertently dragged into the media spotlight.


The central character, Noel "Satan" Dorobek, is a reclusive near-genius who gets his nickname because he believes there are people living inside the Earth, and that this is the Eden we were cast out of. Because he believes wearing tin foil keeps him safe from harmful gamma rays, he becomes a media sensation by marketing a successful line of tin-foil hats.

The story is set in the U.S. city of Chicago, Illinois.

Savio was inspired to write Idiots after stumbling upon John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. As Savio noted in his acknowledgement, the first two paragraphs of Idiots are an homage to Toole's opening.

Film adaptation

Idiots in the Machine was actually sold as a movie before it was sold as a novel. Although it is common for film rights to be purchased before publication, Sony Pictures purchased the film rights for Academy Award-winning producer Wendy Finerman six years before the novel was published. Savio has said in interviews that after writing several screenplay versions, he went back and rewrote the novel.

Although purchased by Sony Pictures in 1995, no film has yet been made. At one point Chris Farley was rumored for the lead role.