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The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel Hardcover – June 13, 2017
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Frequently bought together
“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 bestselling author of the novels Reamde, Anathem, The System of the World, The Confusion, Quicksilver, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac, and the groundbreaking nonfiction work In the Beginning . . . Was the Command Line. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Nicole Galland's five previous novels are The Fool's Tale; Revenge of the Rose; Crossed; I, Iago, and Godiva. She writes a cheeky etiquette column for the Martha's Vineyard Times. She is married to actor Billy Meleady and owns Leuco, a dog of splendid qualities.
- Item Weight : 2.2 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 0062409166
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062409164
- Hardcover : 768 pages
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 1.94 x 9 inches
- Publisher : William Morrow; First Edition Later Printing (June 13, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #207,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Short version: The book is interesting, sometimes funny, often shallow. The characters are one-dimensional (except Rebecca). The military jargon is bad. The use of letters/diaries/journals as the narrative works ok, but there's no framing story to explain why these things are collected, or by whom. The mechanics of magic are believable enough to suspend disbelief.
I read at least one volume of the Baroque Cycle ( The Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World ) every year. The characters are believable, consistent, and so well-developed over their lives that I can jump back into Quicksilver and remember young Eliza after having last read about older pock-marked Eliza in SotW and feel like I'm meeting her again. It takes place across such important historical events and does such a good job of putting characters in places of import with humor and subtlety that make it all just so fascinating.
I've also read a lot of Clancy's Ryan books. Clancy did a lot of collaborative stuff, too. I remember reading the first Net Force book. I feel about The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O (dodo) the same way as I do about Net Force. It was fun. I remember liking the plot and the character interactions, but I can tell you nothing now of substance about any of them. Prior military, I think? One had a Plymouth Prowler? They were throw-away books. Fun, but not meaningful.
Dodo feels like a read-and-forget novel that is leading into a series. It ends without resolution, and given that the former work these authors did together was a number of books in series, I'm expecting to see more of these. If they show, I'll wait for the reviews before deciding if it's worth the time/money. There are many things touched on but never utilized that a good edit would have removed, unless they will be needed later. Storing data in an ODEC, for example.
In closing.. read it if you've got the time and the price comes down, but if you are a fan of NS, lower your expectations.
This is really hard for me to write, but its the first book by Stephenson that I have read that I wished I could get my money back. It's the first book that I would suggest even fans avoid.
I hate to say this as it has all the right ingredients, vivid and interesting characters, a great premise and an insight into bureaucracy that is both smart and snarky at the same time. Those are the real strengths of this book.
The failure is in the plot and what it is driving to. There is a plot at the start, but then it fails to materialize. There is no real antagonist or villain.. Sure there is, but they are not as villainous as they shoudl be to drive a story.
In the movies, they fault the director of a movie which has a great cast but does not seem to deliver. This is the case here. Not Stephenson's best and it may be his worst work.
Top reviews from other countries
"Reader, if you don't know what a database is, rest assured that an explanation of the concept would in no increase your enjoyment in reading this account. If you do know, you will thank me for sparing the details".
If you know your Stephenson you'll know what a close shave that is. You might also wish that someone had suggested it to him when he started exhibiting too much enthusiasm for chains and orbital dynamics in Seveneves. Maybe it was Galland. Whoever it was, thank you.
D.O.D.O. is a brilliant book and it's not a bad entry point for this author's work.
“DODO” is also very long – and by about 30% of the way in the reader may bore of the saga that it seems to evolve into. It is a sprawling read with odd changes in pace as if the authors forgot where they were and just started throwing in the first thing that came into their heads. The first DODO mission slips into seemingly pointless historical episodes which drag on quite a bit and may lose the casual reader. It doesn’t match the exciting pace of the earlier section of the book where the central premise is established. But stick with it. The pace starts to pick up again half way through. Towards the end it gets increasingly exciting and starts to resemble a Mission Impossible movie as the mystery thriller elements start kicking in. Then it becomes a true page-turner. If you are a lover of history (particularly Shakespearian intrigues) and European ancient linguistics then this is the novel for you. Co-author Neal Stephenson is known to explore areas such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy and the history of science whilst co-author Nicole Galland is known for her historical fiction. A glance through their Wiki pages reveals how much of themselves is so invested in the little details of DODO.
As with other time-travel malarkey the reader may spot some obvious plot flaws and inconsistencies that suggest the authors did not care too much to get this sense-checked before publication. The adventures present obvious paradoxes that seem only to be explained away by magic (if explained away at all). The story is written from multiple points of view with different characters narrating the story thread in different contexts such as letters, reports, diary entries, bios, archive/wiki entries, emails, white papers, etc. – almost as if the story is being reconstructed by a historian in the future. Which is probably intentional and rather clever. Some of the sections concern internal DODO memos that are intended to show how the mechanics of the programme operated through largely amusing anecdotes. It is fun but doesn’t always move the story on very quickly. Anybody who has worked in a large corporation or Government bureaucracy may well nod in recognition. The bit where a character suggests they all move over to “ISO 9000 compliant job titles” nearly did make me laugh out loud as I have personal experience of such nonsense… All-in-all a thrilling, highly intelligent, read - even if a tad confusing at times. You will really need to pay attention to get the best of this.