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Buddy Reads (Just Read It!) > Fall, or Dodge in Hell Buddy Read

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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Coralie and Susan will be doing a buddy read of Neal Stephenson's Fall, or Dodge in Hell. We welcome any of the rest of you to join us. We hope to start in March, but may shift dates based on the availability of the book at our libraries.


message 2: by Susan (last edited Feb 26, 2020 05:58AM) (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Fall, or Dodge in Hell

beginning March 1

(Book 1)
Mar 1-7: parts 1&2: 174 pages
Mar 8-14: parts 3-5: 134 pages
Mar 15-21: parts 6-7: 214 pages

(Book 2)
Mar 22-28: parts 8-9: 140 pages
Mar 29-Apr 4:part 11: 216 pages


message 3: by Susan (last edited Mar 14, 2020 02:11PM) (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Participants:

Susan
Coralie
Dee


message 4: by Susan (last edited Jan 29, 2020 08:26AM) (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Fall, or Dodge in Hell contents

Various editions may be slightly different. The one I consulted had 883 pages. Expand the spoilers to see details. There are 54 chapters, so the list is very long.

Book 1 - 525 pages
(view spoiler)

Book 2 - 356 pages
(view spoiler)


message 5: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments Susan, If you would like to read it in February, there is currently a ebook available from my library but I don't know if I could borrow it for more than three weeks. Don't worry about me doubling up on buddy reads. I always read half a dozen books simultaneously.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I think March is probably better for me also. I'm supposed to be reading The Way of Kings for Bookopoly, and it's huge, too. And I'd hate to start on this one, have to turn it in unfinished before I move, and then have trouble getting one in my new place.

How does the breakdown of sections to read look to you? Should I make a draft that has us finish in only 3 weeks, in case the ebook is the only one you can get?


message 7: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments Sorry to take so long to reply. I am happy with five weeks although I would willingly change to three. I feel that the book availability will work out all right.
How long are your library loans for?


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Coralie wrote: "Sorry to take so long to reply. I am happy with five weeks although I would willingly change to three. I feel that the book availability will work out all right.
How long are your library loans for?"


Mine here in Indiana are for 3 weeks. I don't know about Maryland. But I'll have access to multiple libraries there, even in other counties and in DC. So I don't forsee any problems.

How about if I keep you posted on my progress on my other long book, and you keep me posted on your progress on the waiting list for yours?


message 9: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments Susan, it looks as if someone has pulled out of the race and I am next up so my book may be ready any day now. Is this an inconvenient time for you? If so I can pull out and put myself back on the end of the queue (it isn't very long).


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Hmm. How long do you get it for once you get it? And can you put yourself on the list again once you've checked it out, so you have a good chance of getting it soon after you have to turn it in? [I'm thinking about whether we'll be ok with the 5-week schedule I've mapped out, or if we need to adjust it down to a 3- or 4- week schedule based on how long you can have the book once you get it.]

I'm also trying to figure out how the timing would work for me. I think it might be ok: I won't have access to a physical book from a library until I get a library card in my new place, which I hope will be Fri., March 6. However, I'll be driving for 10-11 hours on Tues. & Wed., March 3 & 4. And a long Stephenson book would be great to listen to on the road. Once you get to pick up your book, if we set the dates so our first week includes Tuesday and/or Wed., then I'd have time to get the physical book for weeks 2 and after.


message 11: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments i'm potentially interested in this - would listen to it but can get the audio by mid-week likely - could start this weekend


message 12: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I can keep it for three weeks. I can't get myself put back on the waiting list if I have it checked out but I am intending to increase my loan period (by another three weeks if needed) by switching to digital. They have more copies of the e-book and there are currently two available so that shouldn't be too hard.


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Glad to have you join us, Dee!!

Coralie - I know you're next on the hold list to get the book, but do you have any clue when that will be?

For example, we could say we'll start on March 1. But that won't be good if Coralie doesn't have the book yet.


message 14: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I just checked and it's on the shelf waiting for me to collect it right now so March 1 looks really good.


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Coralie wrote: "I just checked and it's on the shelf waiting for me to collect it right now so March 1 looks really good."

Great! Realistically, I won't personally start until my house is packed up and I get in the car on Tuesday, but that shouldn't mean the rest of you have to wait.

Let's use this as our schedule, then. I've changed it in message #2 above for easy reference.

(Book 1)
Mar 1-7: parts 1&2: 174 pages
Mar 8-14: parts 3-5: 134 pages
Mar 15-21: parts 6-7: 214 pages

(Book 2)
Mar 22-28: parts 8-9: 140 pages
Mar 29-Apr 4:part 11: 216 pages


message 16: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments i just started chapter 4 - so probably around pg 65ish - anyone else start? i'm doing the audiobook and enjoying the narration so far


message 17: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I have read the first three chapters and am also enjoying it. I like the way the author concentrates on the small things in life.


message 18: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments I finished up part 2 last night - how are ppl enjoying? I enjoyed part 2 more than part 1 I think - the cyber stuff was fascinating


message 19: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments ok the whole religious group portion is just weird - i wonder where everything is going


message 20: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments There seems to be a lot of setting up in this book - or perhaps the whole book is going to jump from one thing to another.

I'm also wondering how many ties from his other books are going to crop up. I will probably miss them because my recall is pretty bad, particularly for character names. I had even forgotten who Csongor was, although it is not all that long since I read Reamde.

If I hadn't been so lazy, I would have got out my atlas while reading part 3. Once you head inland from the west coast, my knowledge of US geography dries up so I had no idea which direction they were heading in or how practical their route was.


message 21: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments I finished up part 5 this - it’s gotten intriguing - I love the premise of can your brain live on in the cloud after you die


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I'm glad to see you ladies are continuing with this. I hadn't expected to be so out of touch the last week. Every little thing that had to be done in my new place has seemed to take forever. I didn't even have my modem and router hooked up at first, to be able to read or post anything.

And now that I'm checking, I don't even see the post I thought I'd made after I finished Parts 1 & 2. I was able to listen to them both on my drive here. I agree with Dee: I found Part 1 kind of blah, but really enjoyed Part II. I assume Part I was just essential setup for who Dodge is and what the whole issue is about preserving him or his brain. But once he died is when things started getting interesting for me

Now I have a physical copy of the book in hand (just in the nick of time - they're closing the library here on Monday for a couple weeks), so I'll be able to jump in again. I'm behind, but I should catch up fast. I see that as of yesterday Dee had finished part 5. Where are you in the book now, Coralie?

Coralie, it never occurred to me that there would be overlap with his other books. It's not like they're considered part of a series at all. I'm not good about remembering particular character's names, either.


message 23: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I'm half-way through Part 6 at the moment. I will probably be switching over to digital when I finish Book 1 as the paper version is due back at the library and I can't renew. So far there is no suggestion of closing our library (but they are really slow to close things here - witness the chaos of the Grand Prix).


message 24: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I finished Book 1 this afternoon and as it was a lovely evening for a stroll, I wandered along the waterfront, admiring the sunset, to see if the library, which closed this afternoon until at least the end of the month, wanted it back, but the notice on the door said I didn't need to return it while the library was closed so I have it for another two weeks.

One of the characters I do remember, who hasn't changed since the Baroque cycle is Enoch Root.


message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Coralie wrote: "One of the characters I do remember, who hasn't changed since the Baroque cycle is Enoch Root."

I haven't read the Baroque Cycle. Only Snow Crash, Reamde, Crypotonomicon, and Anathem.

I'm near the end of Part 3 (not catching up as quickly as I expected to, I guess), still on the road trip.

I remembered what had struck me in Part 2 that I'd wanted to comment on. I was fascinated by the idea of the plot to "kill" the Internet because of all the disinformation, and doing it by posting so much more disinformation that people stopped trusting it. Very counter-intuitive, but I could sort of see it. Now, in Part 3, 17 years later, when Sophie is a young adult, it's funny to hear them talk about "before they got Facebooked," whatever that means. And they all have "editors." So there's no universally shared knowledge. It's clearly an extrapolation of what we already see in news today. The people who watch FOX News and those who watch CNN are definitely being told different "truths."

I'm hoping there will be more filling in of the history of those 17 years - how Ameristan came into existence, etc.


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I was really taken by Sophia's discussion with Enoch - well, her question and his answer - about our ability to agree on facts about things we can't see (the very last pages of Part 3). He suggested the internet was the cause of the disintegration of that ability. Interesting, because one would think it could've had the opposite effect. But I'm beginning to wonder if he's right. In the United States, both in this election and the last one, huge groups of people believe diametrically opposed things to be true. I don't mean just philosophical differences, but differences in what people believe to be "the facts." Climate change is one clear example.

Do you both live in the U.S.? I'm wondering whether that inability to agree on facts exists to the same extent in other countries.


message 27: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments i'm in the US...but i have noticed over the course of a decade or so - the increased friction and inability to listen and comprehend differing POV's


message 28: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I'm in Australia. It exists here too but perhaps not as strongly (or perhaps I just don't mix with people who have diametrically opposite ideas about what are facts).


message 29: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments Having thought about it a bit longer, there are people who believe conflicting facts about our summer fires. There are those that believe the fires were started by arsonists where I believe the facts are that the major ones were started by lightning. There are those that believe it was all the fault of conservationists stopping the governments from using hazard reduction, whereas I believe that the states did all the hazard reduction they could considering that climate change limited the safe reduction burn opportunities, and wouldn't have had much effect anyway as the fires were crown fires and burnt anything, even where it had just been burnt. And so on....


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Coralie, what you're saying about your summer fires is exactly the kind of thing I was wondering about. I think one of the things Stephenson is trying to do is to extrapolate from these kinds of things. If they're fed, in part, by all of us choosing to read or listen to the news accounts we trust, and those sources tell us the things that buttress what we already believe, then that can push us all into diametrically opposed positions.

We know (sociologically) that if you put a lot of people with the same beliefs together, they will all end up moving to more extreme versions of those beliefs. Presumably because they're all confirming each others' ideas. But if you put people with differing opinions together, the trend is toward moderation. The internet (as well as having a gazillion cable TV networks to choose from) is the digital equivalent of putting us all in rooms with only people we already agree with.

Stephenson's books are so dense that there are many themes in each of them, but so far, this is a little underlying one that really strikes a chord with me. I find it rather scary. Not so scary that I'd like to blow up the internet like C+'s friend did. But still scary.


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I am so tired of the descriptions of Egdod creating his world! It's all super repetitive. I keep trying to push through, to get to the other parts, which I really do enjoy. But I find myself so unable to concentrate on the Egdod parts that if I'm in bed reading in the evening (my usual pre-sleep pattern), I fall asleep way before I intended to.

I've just finally finished Part 5 and begun Part 6. I know both of you are way ahead of me. Can you give me some hope - will I be done with these minute details of his reconstructing his world around him any time soon?


message 32: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments I’m kinda on hold right now because no commute - will pick up again next week or I might cave and borrow the ebook


message 33: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I have found each part to be quite different. Which is a comforting thought as I just finished part 9 and didn't enjoy it. But I am having trouble concentrating on any of my reading at the moment. I have no need to rush with finishing this book as I can't return it to the library until they open again and I can't see that happening any time soon.


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Coralie wrote: "... I can't return it to the library until they open again and I can't see that happening any time soon."

Good thought, Coralie. I haven't checked what my library's policies are about renewing books while they're closed. If I had to, I could walk to mine and turn a book in an external slot without coming in contact with any other people.


message 35: by Bea (new)

Bea | 4659 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Coralie wrote: "... I can't return it to the library until they open again and I can't see that happening any time soon."

Good thought, Coralie. I haven't checked what my library's policies are ab..."


Susan, the two libraries I use (SC and GA) moved the due date to the date they expected to re-open. Both do have drop boxes externally for book that have been completed.

Since I have seen cars at both libraries when I have returned books to the drop box, and since both libraries are processing those books off my account and notifying me of holds that have come in, I assume some of the librarians are still working.


message 36: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments The external drop box at my library is covered over with a sign saying DO NOT RETURN BOOKS so I don't have much choice in the mater.


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Dee wrote: "I’m kinda on hold right now because no commute - will pick up again next week or I might cave and borrow the ebook"

You're way ahead of me, so if you have other books to read in the meantime, there's really no rush.


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Bea wrote: "Since I have seen cars at both libraries when I have returned books to the drop box, and since both libraries are processing those books off my account and notifying me of holds that have come in, I assume some of the librarians are still working.
"


That would be so nice. I don't see any movement on the holds I had placed before this all started, though.

I did check, and our books were automatically renewed until May 3. Even as slowly as this book is going, that should be plenty, even for me.


message 39: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments i'm switching to the print book beause i don't see me getting the audio finished any time soon (I only have 2.5 weeks of my current commute before i deploy for a year) and other audiobooks coming in from the library as well


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Oh, my! I hadn't thought about the fact that travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders don't necessarily apply to those in the service. I hope you're deploying to some place safe.

It'll be good to have you back in the discussion. I've been slowly plodding along in my reading, and I still have trouble making sense of a lot of it. I've just started Part 11, so nearing the finish line.


message 41: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments we have some stop movement orders that are being executed - but if you are being deployed you are mission essential but getting travel overseas is the delay right now for many of us


message 42: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I have finished the book but I was not terribly impressed. It is definitely not one of his better books. I found that too much of it just did not make sense.


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Coralie wrote: "I have finished the book but I was not terribly impressed. It is definitely not one of his better books. I found that too much of it just did not make sense."

I'm already pretty sure I agree with that, Coralie. And your description earlier of how each chapter or part was totally different was right on. It made everything feel rather disjointed. It's hard for me to believe it's the same author who wrote Reamde or Anathem.


message 44: by Susan (last edited Apr 28, 2020 06:54AM) (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
Whew! Finally done! My review here.


message 45: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2587 comments honestly i came to the conclusion over the weekend that without the audiobook - i'm just not invested enough in the story to continue reading - maybe i'll come back to it in the future


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