Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Algorythm of Power - Pedro Barrento

Linked by...

This book is what we consider a "First Link" in our blog. Not linked by any other book we´ve already read, it will be the start (I hope) of a new "reading chain" and maybe it will connect to old readings as well.

If you follow our blog you know that "First Link" books are quite limited, but we do sometimes open exceptions for books that are gifted to us, or books that our readers highly recommend. This one was the first case: an offer. It was the author himself that gifted me this edition, after I contacted him through Goodreads: An "Advanced Reading Copy", of what will be his third book, expected to be publicated in January, 2018.

I contacted the author after seeing this book on a Goodreads giveaway. I have always been curious about Pedro Barrento´s work, but hadn´t had the opportunity yet to read any of his books. As you know, my reading choices are almost all "dictated" by other books. Inexpectedly the author made me this wonderful offer, "opening the doors" for it to be part of our blog as a new starting point for more linked books. 

I was really happy and eager to read this story, and for it to be a part of this blog,  and would like to thank Pedro Barrento for his kind gesture.

Linked synopsis...

"A society run by an operating system...

A world without politicians...

Digital Alternative is a new movement that intends to revolutionise politics... by doing away with politics.
From its humble origins as a buggy strategy game developed by a geeky teenager, Epochs evolves to become The Network, the operating system that will rule over the whole planet with chilling efficiency.
Split between the 21st and the 24th centuries The Algorithm of Power is a new type of dystopia. One in which the future that awaits us is not democratic and where the government has no use for torture, gulags or a secret police - because no one even notices there is a government.
Welcome to the reign of software!"

source: amazon.com

Linked opinion...

What a wonderful book! I started reading this book with great curiosity and enthusiasm, but it turned out be be even more than I could anticipate. I´m quite amazed by this story and have now become even more interested in the work of Pedro Barrento. 

I confess that utopian/dystopian settings always have a great effect on me, and that I just love thinking about, discussing, debating and imagining these kind of things. George Orwell´s 1984 truly blew me away when I was quite young. However, nowadays, I´m not often surprised or feel engaged in utopian/dystopian books or movies, as they always seem to me "stories that have already been told". But I knew this "Algorytm of Power" had got to me, when I realized I spent all my lunch break talking with great enthusiasm about it...

For many chapters I was glued to the book, and just until the final chapters I was planning of giving a five star rating on Goodreads, which is not something that happens to me very often. It was only by the final chapters that the story changed for me. Until arriving there, the book was really amazing, but then it changed a bit for me, from "amazing" to "really good". If only the final chapters were different... but well, I have nothing to complain. This was truly one of the best books I read this year. And these are some of the reasons why.

The book is very well written, in a simple but efective style. Straight to the point, without overdoing anything. The story has a sound structure, that goes back and forward in time, with no risk of the reader getting "lost". The story is very original, imaginative and creative, with no need to make up stuff, like often happens in science fiction books, where the contraptions, machines, structures are so "out there" is hard for the reader to get in the story and fully understand it. One of the most interesting things to this story is that is really doesn´t have much new or made up features, but the way the author combines existing things is truly original.

The locations in the story, for us portuguese people, are familiar day to day places everybody or many people know, and yet the author manages to make it totally believable that so much happens or has happened "next door". It´s really an immersive story, and I know this is really strange to say, as it´s a science fiction dystopia, but I felt that I shared something with these characters. Also, I almost had a sense of pride for being portuguese like the author, and knowing that there are portuguese authors capable of producing a story like this one. This could easily be a bestselling book in many countries (including Portugal...). 

The edition is also great, loved the cover, loved the book, and so...I truly reccomend it. If you love utopian/dystopian fiction, please don´t miss out on this one, and even if you don´t,  I highly recomend you give it a chance, as I suspect many people will be surprised (for the best!).

Linked books...

Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson

Marlene and Sofia - A Double Love Story  - Pedro Barrento (mentioned on the back cover)

Os Maias - Eça de Queirós

The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Morning of the Magicians - Louis Pawwels and Jacques Bergier

The Prince - Niccòlo Machiavelli

The Prince and the Singularity - A Circular Tale - Pedro Barrento (mentioned on the back cover)

Twenty Letters to a Friend - Svetlana Alliluyeva

Linked people...

Fidel Castro
Henry Ford
Mao Zedong


Linked historical and economical events...

Global Financial Crisis
The Crusades
Cuban Revolution
Russo-Georgian War
British Documentary Movement
Linked scientific theories and other science related things...

Linked proverbs and sayings...

"When a father gives to a child, they both laugh. When a child gives to a father they both cry"
William Shakespeare

Linked looked up words...

binge - a period of excessive indulgence in an activity, especially drinking alcohol or eating.
briars - any of a number of prickly scrambling shrubs, especially a wild rose.
politburo - the principal policymaking commietee of a comunist party; the principal policymaking committee in the former Soviet Union in 1917.
wacky baccy - cannabis.

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