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Connect de Julian Gough
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Connect (original: 2018; edição: 2019)

de Julian Gough (Autor)

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361532,188 (3.63)1
"In a world run by computers, hackers have power--and awkward, homeschooled Colt is among the best. But when Colt secretly submits his mother Naomi's breakthrough research to a biotech conference, and it is immediately shut down, mother and son are forced to go on the run. Now Colt is coding for his life. As the military, and Colt's father, hunt them through a Las Vegas of self-driving cars and surveillance drones, Naomi has to decide how far she will go to protect her child. Can she kill a man? Can she destroy the world? And Colt is finally forced to leave the comfort of virtual reality and face his greatest terror: love"--… (mais)
Membro:mdlerma
Título:Connect
Autores:Julian Gough (Autor)
Informação:Anchor (2019), Edition: Reprint, 496 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Connect de Julian Gough (2018)

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An ambitious, simplistic, entertaining, frustrating, sincere, cliche-ridden, brave, incoherent book. I don't know whether Gough lacks trust in his readers, or simply bit off more than he could chew, but he ends up spending more time telling us about his big ideas than using his world and his characters to make them real. By the final stretch he's in full didactic mode, and unfortunately the curriculum is unoriginal and superficial. I admire his decisions to give his characters a happy ending, and to write what was presumably a heartfelt paean to the power of love -- but the reason those things are brave is because it's easy to look silly while doing them, which unfortunately Gough sort of does.

I called the novel 'incoherent' because its disparate elements merely coexist, rather than reinforcing each other to form a stronger, more complex whole. The result is not quite believable, not quite as moving as it tries to be, and not quite narratively satisfying. The two main characters are actually pretty compelling to begin with, but the way their stories play out is mostly unsatisfying, and sometimes frankly cringe-inducing: I also admire Gough's willingness to make himself vulnerable by writing about sex in a way that risks scorn, but the part where Colt's mother softens the heart of his homicidal ideologue father by finally uttering the safeword that she never used during their BDSM sessions was a bit much. And generally the resolution of the story is a weird mishmash of metaphor, techno-handwaving and implausible interpersonal dynamics.

The prose is functional and simple in a way that I rather like, but it is often too on the nose: sometimes obvious things are spelled out because they're not obvious to the main character, who has to consciously piece them together; but sometimes Gough just seems worried that we might not have understood him the first time, or unsure that he can convey the intended plot point or emotional state with any subtlety.

The big advantage of telling rather than showing -- the main reason the standard advice is sometimes wrong -- is that by attacking an idea directly you can often explore it more deeply, or at least in a more detailed and rigorous way. Unfortunately, while Gough has some genuinely interesting ideas, they all culminate in some post-GFC-thinkpiece-level 'what's wrong with the world' pontificating, and the aforementioned love will save us stuff, which I would write off as lazy pandering if I hadn't already come to trust the author's sincerity and bravery. (To be clear, I would love to read convincing versions of those things; the problem is that when they're done badly, the former is boring and unconvincing, and the latter makes me feel more cynical rather than less.)

It's a small world, really, and somehow our handful of named characters are able to decide its fate with remarkably little interference from outside the narrow point of view granted to the reader. The sense of scale -- physical and conceptual -- is lacking, and the major characters aren't rich or believable enough to carry all of the book's weight by themselves. I don't at all regret reading this; it was entertaining and often pleasingly idiosyncratic, for all my complaints about where it went wrong. But I'm not sure who I could recommend it to. ( )
  matt_ar | Dec 28, 2019 |
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"In a world run by computers, hackers have power--and awkward, homeschooled Colt is among the best. But when Colt secretly submits his mother Naomi's breakthrough research to a biotech conference, and it is immediately shut down, mother and son are forced to go on the run. Now Colt is coding for his life. As the military, and Colt's father, hunt them through a Las Vegas of self-driving cars and surveillance drones, Naomi has to decide how far she will go to protect her child. Can she kill a man? Can she destroy the world? And Colt is finally forced to leave the comfort of virtual reality and face his greatest terror: love"--

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