Thursday, November 06, 2014

Book Review - Welcome to the Divide

Welcome to the Divide by SP Daley is without a doubt the most unique book I have read in a long time.  It was given to me by Mr. Daley, and like all books I get in the mail I was suspicious if this was going to be a good book, or somebody's half attempt at a book with no clear point or purpose.  It wasn't until I had a flight and knew my cell phone would not last the trip that I broke it out and started reading it.  And I was thankful I did.

At first I was annoyed with his writing style which consisted of the narrator using "etc., etc. etc." excessively and other oddities such as referring to himself in the third person.  Also at the beginning the hero refers to himself as "we" when it is only one person.  If you were under the impression Mr. Daley was a first time author, you'd be within your rights to think he was a 24 year old trying to be "cute" with these antics.  But they are not antics at all, but very much planned and key to the development of the rest of the book.

Once you "get it" and realize the role it plays, the book takes your mind on a truly intellectually engaging exercise.  Not only are you reading a story about a near future-bordering-economic-collapse sort of tale, but one of incredibly deep and heavy philosophy, science, technology, economics and politics.  It also has action which moves the story along, and an incredible amount of creativity when it comes to plot, character development, and surprises.

If this description still leaves you wondering what this book is about, it's because it is that unique and hard to describe.  It is about individualism.  It is about freedom.  But it is also heavily meshed in with psychology, technology and philosophy, making your mind say, "wow, just fucking wow!  I had never thought of that before!"  I also do not want to ruin your reading experience by even running the risk of spoiling any part of the book for you, so am also being purposely vague.  Yes, I did like it that much.

Still there were two drawbacks to the book.

One, sometimes the author gets WAAAAY too in depth about his "binary" theory.  For the reader it's too detailed, but then you have to realize, "holy cow, this guy had to come up with this idea as the author and thought it through to this extent!"  Still, this impression aside may it a bit Ayn Randy with a bit of excessive detail.

Two, the author is too smart.  This meant I had to reread things several times to truly understand what the hero or the antagonist were saying or what was going on.  Between the philosophy, the author's own personal theory, and the neural-networking of human communes that was going on in the book, I at least reread 40 pages of the book to make sense of it.

These minor problems aside, the book is one I recommend as a "must" if you want your brain to be challenged and imbued with new ideas and thoughts.  It may not be for everybody as you might have different tastes than I do, but I have not been that intellectually challenged since college.  You can find "Welcome to the Divide" on Amazon and visit Mr. Daley's site here.


Peregrine John said...

Sweet. I'm in.

Tim said...

An extremely well-thought out thesis for the book. I think it is one of those books that will need more than one reading.

The beginning is laugh out loud funny, which helps!