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Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson
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Fall; or, Dodge in Hell

by Neal Stephenson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4702135,075 (3.4)1 / 15
"The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seveneves, Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon returns with a wildly inventive and entertaining science fiction thriller--Paradise Lost by way of Philip K. Dick--that unfolds in the near future, in parallel worlds"--
  1. 10
    Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  2. 00
    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: Normally I find it silly to recommend books by the same author, but The Diamond Age is a deep cut by now. While completely different stories, I find the parallel of the virtual quest/actual reality intriguing.
  3. 00
    Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks (Mind_Booster_Noori)
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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson.


This is a Neal Stephenson book. Let's talk about Neal Stephenson.

Everyone by now knows about his quote unquote flaws: He goes on for way to long on technical bullshit no one cares about, sacrificing characterizations, plot structure and worst of all decent endings. He's and Id-catapulted ball of chaos furiously scribbling down whatever he read on Wikipedia that morning without an Iron Maiden of an editor to tighten up his bullshit.

I disagree. He strikes me as an incredibly precise author, not necessarily an accurate one. If you sat him down, and pointed to a random word choice and asked him to justify it, I have no doubt it would be harder for him to stop than start. The problem, then, is does that word choice actually do anything. Is this book, if not good, the sum of it's parts?

I think it's both, as long as you read the entire Neal Stephenson disclaimer. There's going to be massive shifts in plot, tone character and even fucking genre. Plot points will be created then dropped like an inexperienced juggler. You'll learn more egregious acronyms developed by him than motivations. But throughout it all, I was thinking. Neal Stephenson has a power to make whatever book that's in your hands utterly dominate your thoughts for the rest of the day, and I think that that's his purpose. Fall, or Dodge in Hell may not be a good book, but it's sure as hell an engrossing one, and sometimes that's all you want.

I'll say this though: A consistent and easy to understand main villain. Eat your heart out, D.O.D.O! ( )
  sigma16 | Dec 5, 2019 |
Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson.


This is a Neal Stephenson book. Let's talk about Neal Stephenson.

Everyone by now knows about his quote unquote flaws: He goes on for way to long on technical bullshit no one cares about, sacrificing characterizations, plot structure and worst of all decent endings. He's and Id-catapulted ball of chaos furiously scribbling down whatever he read on Wikipedia that morning without an Iron Maiden of an editor to tighten up his bullshit.

I disagree. He strikes me as an incredibly precise author, not necessarily an accurate one. If you sat him down, and pointed to a random word choice and asked him to justify it, I have no doubt it would be harder for him to stop than start. The problem, then, is does that word choice actually do anything. Is this book, if not good, the sum of it's parts?

I think it's both, as long as you read the entire Neal Stephenson disclaimer. There's going to be massive shifts in plot, tone character and even fucking genre. Plot points will be created then dropped like an inexperienced juggler. You'll learn more egregious acronyms developed by him than motivations. But throughout it all, I was thinking. Neal Stephenson has a power to make whatever book that's in your hands utterly dominate your thoughts for the rest of the day, and I think that that's his purpose. Fall, or Dodge in Hell may not be a good book, but it's sure as hell an engrossing one, and sometimes that's all you want.

I'll say this though: A consistent and easy to understand main villain. Eat your heart out, D.O.D.O! ( )
  sigma16 | Dec 5, 2019 |
Another B I G book from Neal Stephenson. I'm a fan of his, and I enjoyed this book, but think it could have benefitted from a shortening of the Quest part towards the end.
As a whole, it is Sci-Fi meets Lord of the Rings with biblical themes and language thrown in. The start is brilliant. The section on Ameristan is comic genius (but sadly too true). The sci fi of brain scanning and later rebooting is good sci fi - believable enough for fiction. The large section on life of the rebooted "souls" is thought provoking - but too long for me.
So, well worth reading, but no cigar. ( )
  mbmackay | Nov 18, 2019 |
I'm increasingly convinced that Neal Stephenson desperately needs a ruthless editor, like Thomas Wolfe did. You can with little harm skip hundreds of pages of this. Like Anathem. Even in The Diamond Age you can see the beginnings of the bloat. Nice questions, good SF settings, interesting resolution; it just could have been half the length. ( )
  adzebill | Nov 17, 2019 |
Hilariously, while reading this I thought "this reminds me of... what's that book? Diamond Age! Oh right, he wrote it too."

It's good. Reamde's one of my least favorite Stephenson's so it took me a while to connect them, but I enjoyed this more. I'm going to be pondering this Enoch Root revelation for a while.

Here is my professional complaint:

"It was a flat wallet that she slung over her shoulder on a thin strap. It was big enough to carry ID, tampons, pens, a miniature multitool, a spare house key, and an improvised rosary of electronic fobs and dongles and mini-flashlights."

I find it both a failure of knowledge and imagination to think that in this far future tampons are still both necessary and our best option. Come on. In 2019 we have contraception methods that produce amenorrhea and better technology for collecting menstrual blood than tampons. In a world of self-driving cars, people are still going to be shoving uncomfortable wads of cotton up their vaginas? I bet Sophie would at least have a menstrual cup. ( )
  g33kgrrl | Oct 25, 2019 |
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