I recently finished, after some long stressful days, The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon.
The stressful days weren’t caused by the book, I should add. So. This book. I alternately loved, hated, was exhilarated by, and was irritated by this book. I’ve noticed a lot of the reviews of this book have ranged from 1-5 stars, so it’s not just me. What I can say is that I think this book is challenging to read, but I also believe that is part of what makes it awesome. Because the story is about losing language, when characters start to sound like Jabberwocky (which YES is hard to read, on purpose, people), then it adds to the experience of the story. It is just like it would be if you were living in a world where electronics and a weird word flu had taken over.
So. The book is about the future when we are even more addicted to our electronic devices than we are now (shocking), and a virus seems to be attacking people’s abilities to speak and corporate moneygrubbers are out to control language and there are good people and bad people and people who don’t know what they are. At times, the story was difficult, especially when some of the characters who were troubled by both their wavering ethics AND the word flu were trying to tell their part of the story, but it was such a relief when Doug or Anana would report that it made up for most of that. I’ve said before, this is NOT an easy book to read. Then again, neither are many of the classics, and I don’t think we should only be giving good reviews to books that are easy on the eyes and don’t challenge us. This was definitely worth the read, although it took me a bit longer than normal…I did enjoy it in the end (there were, yes, moments when I did NOT enjoy it). So. Read it.
One thought on “The Word Exchange”
OMG, k, I am reading this and was about to look for reviews to tell me whether to stick with ot. Feels like a slog right now… I would like more action. I was thrilled with the blurb and the promised focus on language and words, but this is challenging for me with so much tell and so little show. I recognize it could be a deliberate, skilled choice of Graedon’s, but I just keep hoping for some physical motion. I’ll read on and see if the words sweep me up…