Read of the Week

Connect

Julian Gough

Picador

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

I started off really liking this book and continued liking it, until I got to the end.

The story ends with an orgasm – yet, ironically I found it anticlimactic.

Connect is a story seemingly set in the near future – based on the pop-culture references.

It is about a dysfunctional family of awkward geniuses, all of whom are on the verge of major breakthroughs in their personal fields; biology, coding and military

The breakthroughs catalyse each other and become interlinked in an artificial intelligence.

This book is very science heavy and is not an easy digest.

Nearly every scientific field gets a bit of spotlight in the story – biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, techonology – which is held together with thick stitches of philosophy and religion.

The themes in the book are not new: craving connection in a more and more disconnected society, the bad, big brother government, outsourcing more and more natural processing to artificial intelligence etc – but the story is clever and original and does not feel stale.

The edgy pace, which matches the characters’ predominant mood, is pushed along by a fair amount of intrigue and surprise, making for an enjoyable, albeit intense, read. The only thing I didn’t like about the book – apart from the flat ending – was the over-simplification of complex spiritual and emotional concepts.

According to the story, inherently human drives like love and faith are purely primal or biological reflexes.

This book will find a ready audience with fans of dry and detached, old-school sci-fi.