Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel Hardcover – June 13, 2017
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“[An] immense and immensely entertaining genre-hopping yarn. . . . A departure for both authors and a pleasing combination of much appeal to fans of speculative fiction.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Quantum physics, witchcraft, and multiple groups with conflicting agendas, playfully mixed with vernacular from several centuries and a dizzying number of acronyms, create a fascinating experiment in speculation and metafiction that never loses sight of the human foibles and affections of its cast.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[An] enticing speculative thriller . . . a complex and engaging what-if tale that blends technology and history.” (Booklist (starred review))
“There’s a lot going on here—stylistic flourishes, comedic pratfalls, romance and science—but it’s handled deftly. Those familiar with Stephenson will recognize his humor and ideas, while Galland (author of Stepdog, Crossed, Revenge of the Rose and others) brings a fresh and irresistible voice to this ambitious novel.” (Washington Post)
“Glorious.” (Cory Doctorow, Prometheus Award winning author of Homeland)
“The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. reflects the familiarity of authors comfortable in their respective genres and who trust the change of style the other brings. The book is more than the sum of its authors’ parts.” (The Straits Times)
“Stephenson and Galland, full of zest and brio, have expertly assembled…a delicious soufflé of adventure, laughter, hubris, and mind-twisting diachronic paradoxes.” (Locus)
“[The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.] explores the boundary between magic and science with wit, intellectual intensity and panache.” (Financial Times)
“Whimscial and chaotic. . . .Crack the covers and time will seem to slip away.” (Toronto Star)
“The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. is a high-stakes techno-farce with brains and heart.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
About the Author
Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Usually, I need at least two complete read-throughs of a Neal Stephenson novel, with some intervening months to absorb the revealed technology. Not this time. What Neal and co-author Nicole Galland have done is to examine the real-life implications of successful time travel (or "diachronic operations", the second "D.O." of the secret Department's title), while they simultaneously expose and lampoon the inevitable bureacratic takeover of a technical endeavor.
Even without the ancient tongues that bring Melisande into the Department, the language is dizzyingly, deliciously convoluted. Military acronyms and bureaucratic double-speak abound. My favorite passage involved the attempt of a rigid office-manager boffin to prevent the techies from using unsanctioned acronyms and labels. (The techies promptly labeled her policy memo with an unsanctioned acronym, of course.)
Perhaps the story's accessibility is due to the combination of Stephenson's favored 'Innis mode' with a mixture of narration and epistolary delivery, particularly suitable to a novel in which time travel has scrambled the chronology. Some of those epistles are email, some are hand-scribed letters and journals written on parchment—some are even carved into living flesh. (Further detail might be a spoiler!)
On the other hand, as I read I found myself uncomfortably reminded of my experiences in the late 80s and early 90s, working for a tech firm started by engineers. At the time I signed on, the founders were still in the top management positions, and we had a one-of-a-kind product in a brand-new tech niche. I was there when a venture capital firm bought out the company, still there when they "retired" the founder CEO and replaced him with a business-type. I left when the engineer-COO and engineer-R&D chief were also replaced by MBAs. (The firm was out of business a year later.)
No doubt that personal history added to my enjoyment of the eventual "fall" implied in the novel's title. But you need not have had a similar traumatic experience; D.O.D.O. is a great story, and you won't want to miss it!
Imagine being told that magic, actual magic, was real and that there is a government plan to bring it back. The shock of this reveal to the characters is one that I, the reader, was looking forward to. However, Melissande seems to buy it with very little push back. In fact, when told of the actual existence of magic, time travel and witches, not one character seemed even the least bit skeptical which made the book a bit boring and unrealistic. The characters are poorly developed and one-dimensional which I guess would be cool if this were a 100-page short story. ‘Rise and Fall…’ however is essentially an unabridged dictionary, chock full of a confusing array of acronyms, never-ending ramblings and memos. If the point of the novel was to illustrate to the reader the life and fun-sucking nature of internal email, memos and corporate policy then it has served its purpose. Unfortunately however, many of us read novels to ESCAPE mundane minutia, not to be bombarded with it.
The author spent nearly 10% of the book on these ‘office communications’, but only briefly hinted at WHY the government would spend such time and resources into magic. Hinting vaguely that other countries may have a witch/ODEC at their disposal, but never delving deeper into this possibility. With seemingly hundreds of employees doing thousands of ‘DTAP’s costing millions of dollars, we never even see a single useful result, leaving the reader with a never ending parade of ‘why’s’. Why is the government even doing this? Why do the witches join when they have nothing truly to gain? Why would Tristan not be suspicious when he was told he was being Sent to 20,000 B.C.? Why were so many words given to Rebecca Oda, but so little spent on actual detail? When a novel is 768 pages, there should never be a lack of detail. The author spends many pages painting D.O.D.O. as a shadowy government entity, while at the same time showing that literally EVERY ONE was invited to just walk in off the street to join. LARPers, spouses, coffee shop employees and costumed children and family members all are just allowed be inducted, while historical figures are left to walk modern streets unsupervised.
To close, I personally believe that what makes science fiction and fantasy great is that it should be wonderfully unbelievable, but realistic. D.O.D.O. fails in that the novel is horribly unrealistic, while never really taking the time to explore the unbelievable, leading to nearly a thousand pages of office paperwork for the reader to sift through.
Most recent customer reviews
A page turner w I t h some unique twists