Where was I on Thursday before Pat Conroy had to die and throw a wrench in my blogging plans? Oh yes, I was complaining about Codex. I felt bad about that after I posted it, but the good news for Lev Grossman is that his book provoked strong feelings in me, and that’s a good thing no matter what the feelings are, right? And the other good news is that overall I did enjoy Codex. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was a fun, quick read that kept me happily occupied for a few days, and that did not put me to sleep while I was reading in the car. I suspect that my memories of the plot are going to fade quickly, because they already are. I finished it last Wednesday and I can’t remember the main character’s name. Wait. It’s Edward. Andrew. No, Edward. See? That’s bad.
The plot of Codex is definitely compelling and fast-moving. But the problem as I see it is that the subplots that Grossman tries to weave into the main plot of the missing codex just don’t quite fit in. Like the MOMUS game subplot—I really thought that it was going to somehow help Edward find the codex, but it ends up just being a red herring. It was cool and everything, but just didn’t end up where it seemed like it was going to. The other thing was Edward himself. In what universe would a type A investment banker become a gamer zombie obsessed with finding an ancient manuscript in less than two weeks unless there was some deep disconnect between Edward’s outer life and his inner life? I would have liked to have learned more about his past. Grossman give a couple snippets, but I think that would have been helpful to explain why Edward did the things that he did.
I guess that’s kind of all I have to say about Codex. It’s so plot-driven that to say much more would probably ruin the book for any potential readers. I don’t think that Codex was poorly written by any means, I just think Grossman needed to work on his plotting a little bit. I’m sure he’s much better at it now. What I’m trying to say, in a very disjointed manner, is that Codex was not without its faults, but I enjoyed it more than it annoyed me (except the ending. The ending annoyed me so much that it almost ruined the rest of the book for me). If you are feeling nostalgic for The DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons, then this is the book for you to read on your next vacation. Also, it’s a Kindle Unlimited book, so you can read it for “free”!
I can’t remember the plot either, but I would say you are correct, it was enjoyable but not perfect.