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2 stars (38/100)

Fall; or, Dodge in Hell

2019 · Neal Stephenson · 883 pp

This book was infuriatingly uneven. It begins with a fascinating look at the culture of the near-future, exploring the shifting concepts of truth and identity in a culture that gets its reality from an increasingly social, increasingly hoax-laden information network (and, in some cases, rejects a shared reality altogether). Then, it wastes hundreds of pages on an excruciatingly gradual construction of a new society of post-human digital life forms inside a simulation representing the concept of scanning one’s consciousness into a computer system for eternal life. Every single choice made in this section is wrong, it grinds the narrative to a halt, and caused me to set the book aside for a full year before getting a running start to finish it off. I wish I hadn’t bothered.

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