Book: Codex by Lev Grossman
Publisher: Mariner Books 2005
Genre: Thriller, techie
Source + Date Read: Personal copy + September 2015
Recommend: Techno-thriller bibliophile lovers.
Book Pro’s: Uh, uh. Hmm… I’ll get back to you on that.
Book Con’s: Oh just read below. I’ll list them.
Lev Grossman, I’m mad. I am really mad, you took a concept I utterly love, a bibliographic thriller with technology infused to make cut-throat tension and you utterly ruined it. I repeat: r-u-i-n-e-d-i-t. I don’t know how else to do this review but list the things that irked me (I’m so sorry):
- Grossman has a penchant for writing financially successful or wealthy white male characters that are unhappy with life just for the purpose of being unhappy. The protagonist is a 25 year old investment banker and he’s darn good at it. But he’s so unhappy! Boo hoo! I get it, just because you have money it doesn’t mean that you’ll be happy but, but, that is no excuse to become so completely lethargic and utterly annoying about life. You see this in his other works such as The Magician but that as magic, so is thus forgiven. This has no magic. It is not forgiven.
- That pace tho’: What is up with it?! It was so immensely slow, nothing happens for so long and then everything happens in the last few chapters by when I am so utterly disengaged and lacking investment in the book that I can’t fathom or even understand what the heck just happened. “This chilling resolution,” when you find it, do let me know.
- The beginning. OK, it’s a small thing to whine about but if I’m a pretty successful person and get told to do something completely off of my repertoire and skill set, I’m sorry, I’m not going to do it. I’m just that cut and dry. Yup.
- What’s with the game? I really didn’t enjoy that bit, it didn’t make much sense and Edward’s sheer fascination with it and harping about the people who play the game or games like it is just annoying. You’re playing it dude! Why hate on gamers?!
OK, I’m done whining. I’ve become as bad as Edward *shudders*.
What did I like?
Well I’m not a fan of our female protagonist but she was certainly interesting if not a bit (read: a lot) robotic. I did get her passion though.
The stars of the show for me were Edward’s friends whose names I cannot remember at the moment but I do love their sense of humour and authenticity.
Recommend: Even though I harp on this book a lot, it didn’t even enter the “hate” category, I’m just very meh about it. It might be interesting to some so I wouldn’t say to not read it, but don’t go in expecting brilliance (like I did) because you just won’t get it.
Book read before this: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.
Book read after this: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice.