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The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel by…
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The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Neal Stephenson (Author), Nicole Galland (Author)

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1,2306911,164 (3.7)56
"Boston, present day. A young man from a shadowy government agency shows up at an Ivy League university and offers an eminent professor a lot of money to study a trove of recently discovered old documents. The only condition: the professor must sign an NDA that would preclude him from publishing his findings, should they be significant. The professor refuses and tells the young man to get lost. On his way out, he bumps into a young woman--a low-on-the-totem-pole adjunct faculty member who's more than happy to sign the NDA and earn a few bucks. The documents, if authentic, are earth-shaking: they prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for much of human history. But its effectiveness began to wane around the time of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment; it stopped working altogether in 1851 at the time of the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London. It's not entirely clear why, but it appears that something about the modern world "jams" the "frequencies" used by magic. And so the shadowy government agency--the Department of Diachronic Operations, or DODO--gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that is shielded from whatever it is that interferes with magic and thus send Diachronic Operatives back in time to meddle with history"--… (more)
Member:walrii
Title:The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel
Authors:Neal Stephenson (Author)
Other authors:Nicole Galland (Author)
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2018), Edition: Reprint, 768 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson

  1. 20
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  2. 10
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (amanda4242)
  3. 00
    The Trolley to Yesterday by John Bellairs (themulhern)
    themulhern: The fourth crusade, and siege of Constantinople, are important in both books, which involve time travelers returning to accomplish some task. Who can say Stephenson didn't read Bellairs when he was a kid?
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» See also 56 mentions

English (68)  German (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
This latest effort from Neal Stephenson suffers from his usual issues. The story ends just as I start seeing the tale I really want. You don't go into Stephenson works hoping for good character development (and you won't find it here). Not to mention the sex feels tacked-on and unnecessary... ( )
  sci901 | Sep 18, 2020 |
It should be no secret that I was immediately interested in this book from the moment of reading the blurb. I'm a very big fan of fantasy and science fiction and the mingling of the two is one of my favorite things to read about if done well. And this was a book that was done well.
This is a brick of a novel but don't let that hold you back on giving this book a chance. I went into it uncertain what the concept would be but was very pleased that it was taken in a direction that I found highly engaging and exciting. It does have its humor to it which sparked a grin from me several times. My favorite parts were the characters getting right to it with time travel and dealing with subsequent mess that it brought. It was the characters interacting with the world that I liked the most.
However, it did have some flaws. The book felt like it was plagued by an undercurrent of sexism that the authors simply didn't notice. I highly doubt that they intentionally meant it and it shows through in the book. The one specific thing that I was particularly bothered by was the fact that Belvin, Stokes' former superior, was mentioned to have sexually harassed Melisande. Nothing comes of this. Instead, Belvin more or less fades away into irrelevance to the plot altogether near the end. Here I was thinking that Melisande would be able to have her moment of glory against Belvin but, to my great disappointment, that didn't happen. This is just one example of several that other readers might pick up on. It brought down my enjoyment of the story and felt like a flaw that could've easily been done away with. Make of that what you will. There was also some lingering problems with pacing and giving detail to things that I honestly didn't care about and less so towards things I did, such as actual adventures on going time traveling. It dragged in some places but was made up for by when the characters took over the action.
I liked the ending which for the most part, neatly tied up any lingering questions and would eagerly look forward to a sequel. All in all, this was a greatly enjoyable read that I sped through in the course of two days. It brought in fresh and new concepts that I have not seen done before. I would highly recommend at least giving this a chance if you are at all interested in a fresh spin on Time Travel and Science Fantasy. ( )
1 vote noirverse | Sep 4, 2020 |
Hilarious caper. "The Lay of Walmart" is excellent. But eventually the book somehow becomes overextended and ends up a bit trivial. On the way, there is some good satire, and some good history. The book is no more than the sum of its parts; but there are a lot of parts, it's a long book, and some are very good.

The narrator was excellent. Rebecca East Oda's dry observation were exceptionally well delivered. ( )
  themulhern | Aug 29, 2020 |
I finally finished it!! 👯‍♀️🎉
I did enjoy it. The story is cool and the characters are fun, but it was so loooong. To be fair, I probably found it to long mostly because I read it as an audiobook. That was a mistake : the audiobook was well done, but I just don't have a good enough attention span or enough patience for an audiobook that is over 24h long. ( )
  julie.bonjour | Aug 14, 2020 |
A mix of science fiction and fantasy with a nice dose of satire thrown in, has quite a few of Stephenson's trademarks but doesn't rise to the heights I expect from him. I think this is partly down to the form, which includes too many disjointed narrative sources - but also the lack of depth in narrative and characters. June 2020. ( )
  alanca | Jul 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Stephensonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Galland, Nicolemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Daniels, LukeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Liz Darhansoff
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My name is Melisande Stokes and this is my story.
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"Boston, present day. A young man from a shadowy government agency shows up at an Ivy League university and offers an eminent professor a lot of money to study a trove of recently discovered old documents. The only condition: the professor must sign an NDA that would preclude him from publishing his findings, should they be significant. The professor refuses and tells the young man to get lost. On his way out, he bumps into a young woman--a low-on-the-totem-pole adjunct faculty member who's more than happy to sign the NDA and earn a few bucks. The documents, if authentic, are earth-shaking: they prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for much of human history. But its effectiveness began to wane around the time of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment; it stopped working altogether in 1851 at the time of the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London. It's not entirely clear why, but it appears that something about the modern world "jams" the "frequencies" used by magic. And so the shadowy government agency--the Department of Diachronic Operations, or DODO--gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that is shielded from whatever it is that interferes with magic and thus send Diachronic Operatives back in time to meddle with history"--

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Haiku summary
It could be a tool,
Could be a weapon as well,
When interests clash.
(DeusXMachina)

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