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The Word Exchange: A Novel Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon describes a similar type of world.
In the not so distant future, the Meme, which is kind of like the most ridiculously amazing iPhone/iPad ever, has taken over. People love their Memes and rely on them a lot. Gone are books, paper, letters, dictionaries. . .
But what comes with this convenience? A virus. A word flu that is taking over, destroying coherent speech and causing individuals to become deathly ill.
Anana (like “banana” without the “A”) works at the Dictionary, where her father is in charge of one of the largest Dictionary rewrites in history. When he goes missing, and the word flu begins to rear its ugly head, Anana knows there is more to the story, including her ex-boyfriend potentially having caused this virus and disorder.
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon was an outstanding book, written in 26 chapters each named for a letter of the alphabet. Told from both Anana’s and Bart’s (her father’s close co-worker) perspectives, The Word Exchange leaves you thinking. Are we really that far away from a society where everyone relies too much on electronic devices?
The Word Exchange is gripping, captivating, yet realistic as well. It’s the kind of book that might encourage you to put down your iPhone and check out some books, letters, or even a physical dictionary.
What word would you miss if it disappeared from the English language?
Thanks for reading,
Rebecca @ Love at First Book
The lead character, Anana Johnston, is believable as is her quirky lexicographer father and her various love interests, despite a few stereotypical hobbies and attributes on behalf of the men. For a novice author, I felt the plot twists and close calls were mostly skillful. The book really pulled me in and through to the end.
I suspect that not every reader of novels would be quite as horrified as I over the dire prospect of abstruse volumes being lost to humanity, but the arguments made by the characters and author as to the absolute necessity of words, languages, history and connection are profound.
As Ana combs through her father's possessions and snoops in the basement of the New York City building where she works, she learns that a malevolent virus is altering communication and affecting people in unpredictable ways. Ana is afraid, but not cowed. She is determined to find out what happened to her father and intent on helping to save his dictionary, which is in danger of being eradicated. Graedon's villains are blinded by greed, obsessed with power, and too ignorant to understand the preciousness of what they are destroying.Read more ›
Literary novels can get away with lacking an exciting plot when they are filled with profound insights or inspiring artistic language that like poetry conveys complex emotions and relationships. Genre novels can get away with the opposite, being completely plot-driven, large-scale, 'simple' entertainment, even if formulaic. I become most impressed by the authors, or specific works, that are able to pull off the best of both worlds. That kind of mashup is a risky endeavor though, for sometimes it can come out where neither side really comes out well in the product, and that unfortunately is the case overall with "The Word Exchange".
The premise of the novel is wonderful, and lovers of books, languages, and the power of words will appreciate at the very least the foundations of the novel. The early chapters are dominated more by the literary side of the equation. While the writing is good throughout the novel, it is probably best here Although it verges on gimmicky with the advanced vocabulary-laden prose, that doesn't feel like a major fault until it gives way to being replaced by fake words for the remainder of the novel. The trick gets old fast, making the advanced real words sometimes overlap in one's mind as an elemental tool with the fake ones to come. Graedon writes well, but only rarely does it seem profound or elegant. Rather than words being carefully chosen to fit the flow and of the sentence, they are instead chosen to fit the style, or theme moreso, of the novel's plot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a light read. I found myself thinking (and talking) about it more than any other book I have read recently. Read morePublished 1 month ago by John F. Reeves
Too many words. I read about 30 pages and my head was spinning. I don't know if there's a plot in there somewhere, but there's definitely a lot of words. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. Plass
I initially picked up this book at the library - it was wrapped up as part of a 'Blind Date With a Book' display for February - and I loved it so much I purchased my own copy. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Beth H.
5 out of 5 stars
Words and the ability to speak people into places (emotionally and physically) they wouldn't have gone before has always intrigued me. Read more
Language is incarnate. In Alena Gradeon’s debut novel, The Word Exchange, I have ascertained new meaning for language, and have grown a much deeper appreciation for the written... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Frankie Brazelton
This author never met a set a parenthesis she didn't like. Seems like every paragraph has at least two parenthetical sentences. Some times even whole paragraphs are in parenthesis. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Michael E. Parrott
An interesting futuristic theme about technology. It kept my interest.Published 8 months ago by Catherine S. McGinn
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