Friday, June 1, 2012

Codex

Codex is the first book by Lev Grossman, written and forgotten again way before he was famous for The Magicians. It was revamped with a new cover because of his success with the fantasy book, but this book is shelved in the mainstream fiction section, and I think the only people who would go looking for it are the fantasy fans who read Magicians. That, and people who love to read books about books because they are book nerds and will go hunting for it.

A synopsis, from BN:
About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hotshot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. His task is to search their library stacks for a precious medieval codex, a treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons. Enlisting the help of passionate medievalist Margaret Napier, Edward is determined to solve the mystery of the codex-to understand its significance to his wealthy clients, and to decipher the seeming parallels between the legend of the codex and an obsessive role-playing computer game that has absorbed him in the dark hours of the night.
       The chilling resolution brings together the medieval and the modern aspects of the plot in a twist worthy of earning comparisons to novels by William Gibson and Dan Brown, not to mention those by A. S. Byatt and Umberto Eco. Lev Grossman's Codex is a thriller of the highest order.


In the first two chapters, I kind of hated Edward Wozny. He's a work-80-hours-a-week kind of guy and all he did was complain about the two weeks of free time before a big move to a London firm. How can anyone be that miserable about a vacation? But he became much more interesting very quickly, as he finds himself getting completely absorbed in cataloging an old library (which would be so much fun!) and just like that I like him.

And honestly, how could I not like this book? It's about books, and it speaks to my nerdy heart. It's compared to Dan Brown in the description, but it's nothing like Dan Brown. For one thing, it's actually good. But it does have a "quiet thriller" aspect to it that keeps the pages turning quickly. I still don't understand the significance to the video game.

Not really much to say about it. It was good and definitely worth reading, but I didn't love it love it. I'll recommend it to all my reader friends and fellow bookworms. And if you also like books about books, like Among Others or The Rule of Four or IknowI'vereadothersbutcan'tthinkofanymore, you'll like Codex.

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