The Word Exchange - Alena Graedon
Author: Alena Graedon
Pages (File size): 384 (2 MB)
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, E-Book, I Love Libraries
Genre: Dystopic Fiction
Description: In the not so distant future, the forecasted "death of print" has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers and magazines are a thing of the past, as we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication, but have become so intuitive as to hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order take out at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called The Word Exchange.
Anana Johnson works with her father Doug at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the final edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or video-conference) to communicate--or even actually spoke to one antoher for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices leaving a single writen clue: ALICE. It's a code word he and Anana devised to signal if one of them ever fell into harm's way. And thus begins Anana's journey down the proverbial rabbit hole. . .
Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague (who is secretly in love with her), Anana's search for Doug will take her into dark basement incinerator rooms, underground passages of the Mercantile Library, secret meetings of the anonymous "Diachronic Society," the boardrooms of the evil online retailing site Synchronic, and ultimately to the hallowed halls of the Oxford English Dictionary--the spiritual home of the written word. As Ana pieces togehter what is going on, and Bart gets sicker and sicker with the strange "Word flu" that has spread worldwide causing people to speak in gibberish. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: For about the first third of the book, I enjoyed the book and was promising to be something that I would enjoy. But for some reason, the final two-thirds melted into something that I was unable to understand fully as to where the author was going with the book and ended up feeling confused as to what the book was about.
While the author had a very interesting idea, it kinda felt like the book got away from her and it became something that was unreadable and that the intent of the author was lost on me.
Bottom line: The concept of the book was interesting, but somehow got lost on me and I felt that the book was over-hyped. It was clear to me that this is a book meant for readers who enjoy dystopic fiction. Recommended, but only for those who really like this particular genre.
Pages for 2014: 19,013
If you have read this book, what did you think of it?