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Fall, or Dodge in Hell

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  363 ratings  ·  78 reviews
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 Phillip K. Dick—that unfolds in the near future, in parallel worlds.

In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. No
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ebook, 896 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by William Morrow & Co
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Barry Bozeman Zachary is correct - Dodge the creator of TRain and his brain are key but Fall is easily a standalone effort where Reamde is not a prerequisite.
Barry Bozeman Definitely not a prerequisite but Fall should lead you to Reamde - another Neal Stephenson tour de force.

Community Reviews

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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  363 ratings  ·  78 reviews


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M.
Jan 26, 2019 marked it as later  ·  review of another edition
Where have I seen this before...

We Are Legion - We Are Bob (Bobiverse #1) by Dennis E. Taylor

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.

Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware a
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Lisa Wright
Richard "Dodge" Forthrast, the creator of the world's most popular video game, dies suddenly, unexpectedly, and without updating his will. So his heirs are obligated to cryogenically freeze him or find a way to upload his mind to a computer. So begins this fractal of a novel filled with computer science, mythology, eschatology, corporate dirty tricks, life, death and what might come after. Stephenson's digs down through layer after layer of what-ifs. Themes appear, disappear, and reappear. A wil ...more
Richard Derus
May 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
Watch Neal Stephenson discuss the successor volume, not sequel!, to REAMDE with Nancy Pearl!
Martin
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I devoured this book immediately after receiving it. Absolutely top shelf Stephenson. This novel is absolutely overflowing with ideas and questions, any one of which would make me put the book down and have a bit of a think for a while. The amount of research and the presentation of knowledge is tremendous but not overwhelming. This is a book I will return to in a few months or so. Very highly recommended.
Eric
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I had some issues with this book, overall I liked it, but I found it was easier to separate into the good and the bad:

The Good:
- One of his more readable books, so no heavy technical nonsense like in cryptonomicon
- Features the Waterhouses, the Shaftoes, the Forthrasts and Enoch Root
- Topic of discussion is really cool as its all about the afterlife
- Ameristan is the most hilarious thing

The Bad:
- As usual, its way too long, just under 900 pages
- When the book switches gears at the 3/4 mark an
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Joe
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paradise Lost for the Post-Matrix Age.
Campbell
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, this is different. It's not at all what I expected (a fault, I admit, of my own Creation), given its connection to Reamde. It's a Giant, shambling, shaggy dog mess of a story and completely all over the place.

The first third Mr Stephenson was in technology heaven, riffing freely on all manner of deep questions concerning death, the continuation of consciousness, the digitisation of the (for want of a better term) 'soul' and all that jazz.

Then there comes a point where, over the course of
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Nooilforpacifists
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jon Lewis
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I will have a full review on LA Books, but this is a mixed bag. The first 2/3rds are excellent, but the last 1/3rd left me cold. There are two great plot lines that are resolved, but incomplete to my tastes.

All that said, the first 2/3rds are his work since Anathem.
Carrie Nellis Crisp
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Johnny Mnemonic meets Matrix then Adam and Eve . This was well written but long . I found myself writing notes so I wouldn't forget if I had to put the book down for a few days . This is not a easy read however it's a very good story and this will keep you occupied for a good while ..
Greg
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Fall is occasionally exceptionally poignant, when Neal Stephenson chooses to engage with his near-future real world, with the wide implications of AR, automation, post-truth, culture-divides and even the implications of running an after-life simulation.

Most of the time, it's bogged down in it's own self-mythology created from the patrons of the transhumanist afterlife, with a few "I kid you not" moments of old-gods resembling greeks being ousted by judo-christian replacements souls complete wit
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David C Ward
Interminable. . . It’s rare that I can’t or won’t finish a book but I couldn’t finish this one and so won’t rate it - and I’ve read all of Stephenson’s other books from his great Baroque Cycle to the weak 7Eves. The theme of the year for me is, what ever happened to editors? Winslow, Elroy and Stephenson have all recently published giant manuscripts in which the novel itself (i.e. the terrain of the subject) is buried by excess and self-indulgence, as well as a simple disregard for things like n ...more
Peter
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Neal Stephenson has long been one of my favorite authors—Cryptonomicon (1999) and The Baroque Trilogy (2003-2004) were real hoots based on a technology platform: in the first, Stephenson explored the creation of cryptocurrency in an action-filled WWII setting; in the second he explored the 17th century Enlightenment with a penis-mutilated pirate ("Half Cock Jack") as the key character. Each was a fascinating tour de force that I enjoyed for its erudition, its humor and its zaniness.

Even today t
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Vojislav
Jun 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I read reviews for two different reasons: 1) I haven't read the book and I want to see if I should, or 2) I've read the book and I want to see what other people think about it. This review will try to satisfy both of these motivations. If you haven't read the book, keep reading the review from the next paragraph. If you have, feel free to skip to the spoiler tag and click on it.

What makes "Fall, or Dodge in Hell" worth reading? If you're the kind of person that ponders the effects of technology
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Tim Wadham
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
At least as thought-provoking and perhaps even more than Seveneves. Stephenson’s take on where the internet is going—the idea that we are reaching the point where nothing can be believed and that cyberspace needs a complete reboot—is just part of Stephenson’s prescient commentary on technology. The main thread—demonstrating how technology can give us eternal digital life—is written as an epic, biblically-inspired creation story, in which the digital souls, or “processes,” create a brave new worl ...more
Jason Pettus
So to establish my bona fides right away, let me mention that I've read and loved all 16 novels that Neal Stephenson has now written in his life (yes, even his disavowed 1984 debut, the now out-of-print The Big U), and consider him one of my top-three all-time favorite writers currently alive and publishing new work. So what a profoundly heartbreaking thing, then, to finish his latest, the 900-page virtual-reality morality tale Fall: Or, Dodge in Hell, and have to be forced to admit to myself, " ...more
Andrea
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-2019, fiction
A fascinating and enthralling ride again from Neal Stephenson. It raises questions we all should be grappling with today as regards the acceleration of technology and what it means for the human race. While I was delighted to catch up with characters from his previous work, his reinterpretation of the creation story bogged down in places. All in all, a great, if long, read.
Michael David Cobb
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noah Tye
Not as good as Anathem or Seveneves. Fall, or: Dodge in Hell can be roughly divided into three parts: the first part is gripping, the second part is tragic, and the third part is boring. Readers of Cryptonomicon et al will be pleased that Fall finally explains the identity, nature, and intentions of Enoch Root.

After thinking about it, Fall seems to imply that Stephenson has some very different views than I do regarding identity and morality. Presumably his attitude makes the end of the book very
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Oleksandr Zholud
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a SF novel about digitalizing consciousness.

The author, Neal Stephenson, often writes books, which in paper version can be used by powerlifters. 896 pages, over 31 hours of audio! Just like late Robert A. Heinlein he is in urgent need of an editor, who will cut the manuscript in half without losing all the great ideas. To answer a question whether other books (Reamde, Cryptonomicon) should be read to enjoy this one, No.

Richard “Dodge” Forthrast is a Silicon valley billionaire, who founde
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Bradley
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very hard book to review, but one thing is absolutely true:

I'm absolutely blown away by this book.

Ameristan! Lol MOAB! lol

This is definitely one of Neal Stephenson's better books. Just for the ideas and the great twisting of several tales in one, I'm already looking forward to a glorious re-read. He does lead us down a few winding paths that eventually turn out to be VERY important to the whole, and I admit to laughing out loud several times when the important bits bit me on the butt
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Bruce
Jun 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
I can't even begin to describe how excited I was to get this book and start reading. Not only that but once I got started I was totally and deeply engrossed in what was perhaps the best writing and story Neal Stephenson has come up with yet. A culmination and continuation of my favourite books and characters, I couldn't put it down and had a hard time trying not to stop people on the street and contact everyone I know to say "have you read this book? it's fantastic, it's amazing, it's fun and pr ...more
Steven Mastroyin
I'd like to give a little more than 3 stars but it's hard.

Generally though, 5 stars for meatspace, 2 stars for Bitspace. This seems to be the general consensus of reviews, and while I hate to agree with consensus, it's hard to find fault. I suppose like others I completely missed the point because the stories of Bitspace I found to just be so uninteresting, derivative, and boring. I guess the idea that the human mind would not be able to escape the trappings of human experience is interesting, b
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DT
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, but I'm a big fan of just about everything Neal Stephenson writes (though I have to say the Baroque Cycle was a bit rough to get through). I read Neal Stephenson for the fun excursions through big ideas so I'm prepared for some wordiness.

This wraps up a bunch of different ideas that he's been dancing around in previous novels and puts them together in an entertaining way. It also has some very of-the-moment stuff as well on how society is starting to view tech and the
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Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson is a highly recommended science fiction/fantasy thriller. This is a brilliantly unique novel with great characters and world building established in a cautionary premise.

Richard “Dodge” Forthrast is a multibillionaire from a game company he founded. Now he can enjoy his life, especially spending time with his niece Zula and her daughter Sophia. When something goes wrong during a routine medical procedure, Dodge is pronounce brain dead and put on life su
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Bentgaidin
Jun 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
'Fall, or Dodge in Hell' is a book that's hard to talk about because I find it basically fractally bad -- at any level I look at it, there's an interesting idea shot through with some fatal flaw, and so if I let myself I could go on at far too much length about any one of its problems. At the highest level, it's a story about uploading human consciousness and the creation and organization of virtual realms, told with a tech-bro's certainty in technology and obliviousness to anything else, plus a ...more
vonblubba
Jun 13, 2019 is currently reading it
Lately I've got problems with long novels, where with "long" I mean "over 800 pages". Reading one of those beasts usually takes me about a month/a month and a half. So it really has to be worth the effort. I find that's always the case with Stephenson's novels (since he seldom produces anything under this page count).
It is probably very easy to find Stephenson excessively verbose; every other page he starts rambling about the most obscure subjects, not always related to the plot. In the first fe
...more
Dan Allosso
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Top-shelf Stephenson. I was very happy with this story, and with the Audible performance of it. I especially liked the resolution of the Enoch Root mystery.

I have a couple of questions, though, about choices the author made. I understand how these choices were necessary for the logic of the story, but it still seems to me they need explanations. First, why would El choose to enter Egdod's afterlife? I can sort-of buy that many regular folk would lack the resources to boot up their own "Land" to
...more
Barry Bozeman
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Qualia - a subjective conscious experience of FALL or Dodge in Hell

Trumpsters, Birthers, Doxers, Swatters, Alex Jones lovers and other malicious fake news promoters will hate this book while intelligent thoughtful sentient beings could love it, and that's just the first half.

When the miasma (Internet) is flooded by the hoax nuclear destruction of MOAB and C+ finds his soulmate - the continued experience of Dodge from Reamde becomes transcendent.

Neal Stephenson has wowed my septuagenarian mind s
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Paul Daniel Ash
ugh

I am a huge fan of Stephenson’s, and enjoyed about the first 66.666% of this book: the part where it was a characteristically Stephensonian mix of science fiction, smart observations on society, fun gaming allusions, dad-joke pun acronyms and big concepts. For reasons known only to himself, though, right as the action was rising... the author suddenly decided to write a ponderous work of high fantasy instead.

The pace, which up until that point had been building very nicely, slowed to a crawl
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Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
“I would say that the ability of people to agree on matters of fact not immediately visible—states of affairs removed from them in space and time—ramped up from a baseline of approximately zero to a pretty high level around the time of the scientific revolution and all that, and stayed there and became more globally distributed up through the Cronkite era, and then dropped to zero incredibly quickly when the Internet came along. And I think that the main thing it conferred on people was social mobility, so that if you were a smart kid growing up on a farm in Kansas or a slum in India you had a chance to do something interesting with your life. Before it—before that three-hundred-year run when there was a way for people to agree on facts—we had kings and warlords and rigid social hierarchy. During it, a lot of brainpower got unlocked and things got a lot better materially. A lot better. Now we’re back in a situation where the people who have the power and the money can get what they want by dictating what the mass of people ought to believe.” 1 likes
“Within seconds he was reading the IMDb profile of this actress, a veteran of numerous television commercials and a few indie films.” 0 likes
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