The Word Exchange: A Novel

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Regular Price $21.56

Quick Overview

This dystopian thriller features a fictitious epidemic of word flu that renders people incapable of communicating verbally. An exciting read! For a limited time, we are offering 20% off the price of this hardcover book.

Product Description

We depart from our usual evidence-based works on health to offer an exciting novel, The Word Exchange, by Alena Graedon. This dystopian novel features a fictitious but terrifying epidemic of contagious word flu that makes it impossible for people to communicate coherently.

Because we, Joe & Terry, are Alena’s parents, our enthusiasm for the book could not be viewed as objective. So we think you will be interested in what the reviewers have to say:


“A wildly ambitious, darkly intellectual and inventive thriller about the intersection of language, technology and meaning.”
—Kirkus, starred review

“[A] spectacular, ambitious debut… With secret societies, conspiracies, and mega-corp Synchronic’s menacing technologies, Graedon deploys all the hallmarks of a futuristic thriller, but avoids derivative doomsday sci-fi shtick. Instead, her novel is rife with literary allusions and philosophical wormholes that aren’t only decorative but integral to characters’ abilities and limitations in communicating, and it succeeds precisely because it’s as full of humanity as it is of mystery and intellectual prowess.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“What if we became so dependent on our gadgets that we lost our ability to speak? That’s the big idea in Graedon’s entertainingly scary debut… This is a remarkable first novel, combining a vividly imagined future with the fondly remembered past to offer a chilling prediction of where our unthinking reliance on technology is leading us. And, as you’d expect, Graedon’s word choice is exquisite.”
—Booklist, starred review

“[A] nervy, nerdy dystopic thriller…. Clever, breathless and sportively Hegelian in theme … The Word Exchange combines the jaunty energy of youngish adult fiction (boyfriend trouble, parent conflicts, peer pressure and post-collegiate jitters) with the spine-tingling chill of the science-­fiction conspiracy genre…. Graedon makes you wring your hands for her heroine—and tremble for the future of the English language throughout her 26 chapters, achieving the singular feat of turning the alphabet into a cliffhanger. As much fun as Graedon has with her Borgesian doomsday scenario, her novel folds serious meditations on language and society into its manhunt.”

—Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review


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