Walkaway by Cory Doctorow is set in a near future where the world has been overcome by all the disasters we talk about today: climate change, automation of work leading to job loss, ever increasing surveillance technology, an ever widening gap between the rich and poor and so on. A dystopia ripped from the sensationalist headlines – a dystopia with only one solution to get away from: to walkaway.
I need to be clear – the premise of this book is great, the execution of the premise however is TERRIBLE. I found that half way through the book that I didn’t care about anything or anyone in it, I pressed on however hoping that at some point this book would show improvement – it didn’t.
The primary aspect of this book that made me dislike it was Doctorow’s persistent use of lingo, slang and made up words that added nothing but confusion to the story. They were used in this book recklessly to the point that it went from being uncomfortable to irritating quite quickly. It also dated the book – planting it firmly in 2017 despite it supposedly taking place in the future. The characters never used words commonly used in the 80’s or 90’s or 00’s (cowabunga!, bodacious!, whatever!, like totally!).
Secondly, Doctorow attempted to make the characters unique – but they all fell flat, terribly flat. Their interactions were annoying and unconvincing, I didn’t care about any of them. When I finally pushed myself through to the last chapter of the book that involves some battle with a prison that one of the characters was in, I did something I NEVER do with books – I skipped 20 pages and just read the epilogue.
So far this has been the worst read of the year.
I regret to say this, but I will never pick up another book by Cory Doctorow again.
☆ – Walkaway by Cory Doctorow