Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The most bathetic ending since Great Expectations, 28 April 2007
This review is from: Codex (Paperback)
This book does not live up to the billing on the back cover.

The 'mystifying parallels ... between the game's virtual reality and the legend of the codex' remained mystifying to me, I'm afraid.

While I was impressed by the author's knowledge of 14th century literature (but then what would I know), his knowledge of other specialist areas was lacking.

'"Uh-huh," he said, with precisely the manner of a radiologist examining an X-ray of a crushed spleen.'

Doesn't sound panicky enough to me - while you were leisurely examining the X-ray (on which you wouldn't see anything anyway as a spleen isn't exactly radio-opaque) and 'uh-huh'-ing, your patient would have died of blood loss.

Has Mr Grossman ever been in London Heathrow arrivals? 'red and white payphones' (actually British payphones are blue), 'high-tech cigarette machines'!, 'snack bars with alcohol' - in Arrivals?? 'suspended videos showing TV'? I don't think so!

"..., Heathrow was rich in arrows and signs, branching trails, forking paths, into which his anonymous fellow travelers busily sorted themselves"

Has the author ever even got off a plane before? - last time I did we all followed the same path (which is literally walled off from those going the other way) - to Baggage collection via Passport Control.

Then there are the irritating errors with timing. One minute it is 5.05pm and Edward is watching the sun beginning to set at the front door of the upstate branch of the library (the sun setting at 5pm in September?!) and then, after doing no more than finding their way down to the subterranean warehouse levels, it is 'past seven'!

Finally, Edward Wozny must be the most irritating hero since Pip (and you don't realise that in the case of the Dickens until the end). You just want to go in there and shake some sense into him. And why is he so hot all the time - with all his hedge fund wealth, couldn't he afford air-conditioning?

The only explanation I can think of for this book is that it must be a kind of living allegory of the waste of time that is a computer game - and reading it is too.
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