The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. By Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
This book was a real brick...by brick I mean it was a full 700+ pages long and the hard cover was a good two inches thick and weighed a ton to tote around while I was reading it. I was doubtful when I began that I would ever actually get through it. (Just finishing it is an accomplishment to me.) That having been said, it was also my first foray into ever reading something by either of the authors.
The premise of the book was intriguing... a secret government agency that uses time travel to try and bring back magic into the world. I had heard of Stevenson before and wanted to read something by him so I chose this book. My local library happened to have a nice new copy of D.O.D.O. on the shelf. This book was not quite what I was expecting (I don't really know what I was expecting) but I was highly entertained by it even though the prospect of slogging through 700 pages of it was a bit daunting. If I didn't have such bad insomnia maybe I would have never finished it. Keep in mind though I have no other works by either author to compare it to. I also would not shy away from reading something else or something previously written by either author in the future.
Mix up a studious intellectual type, a straight jacket military type, a bit of romantic tension, throw in some physics and time travel, a few scheming witches, romps through historical times such as Puritanical New England and the smelly streets of 1800's London-in a bawdy house, a cunning banking family named Fukker-I mean Fugger, and a hilarious Viking raid on a WalMart and you will have an idea of what to expect from this book. On it's face its all a bit absurd so you can't be expecting some serious look at human nature that will astonish philosophers into the 25th century. The whole premise of the book is meant as entertainment. If you like plays on words and to poke fun at corporate seriousness you will smile while reading this book. It's a bit of irreverent fun without taking itself too seriously. I rather enjoyed the different forms of getting the story across- diary entries, journals, letters to an Irish pirate queen from her trusty spy- the whore, office communications, silly policy pronouncements, and the odes of Viking warriors. The reader was able to experience the story from different points of view. But there is no denying it was a long book, probably too long.
After reading it I looked at some of the book reviews on Amazon and it seemed that a lot of people were disappointed by the ending or they were expecting some earth shattering insights into the human condition from this book. I thought the ending was appropriate and was satisfied by it, I was not disappointed in my quest to read for a diversion from the seriousness of life. The ending did not scream out "sequel" to me like it did to other people and if the authors choose to write additional novels about the characters in D.O.D.O. I will decide then if I desire to read more of them. The ending let me use my imagination about what the main characters, Tristan and Mel, would be up to now, and the thought also crossed my mind that it might make an entertaining T.V. Series.
|Authors Neal Stevenson and Nicole Galland|