Chaos, A Fable
Review of Chaos, a Fable, by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
Moroccan Islam, lagranian motion, St. John the Divine on Patmos, and complaining about computers are a few of many plot points in Chaos, A Fable. It's an interesting book that weaves different cultures together. The main character is simply known as a "Mexican", traveling around Tangier when he is drawn into a chaotic vortex of events, largely set in motion by the son of his old friend. We're put into the Mexican's shoes, experiencing a chaotic symphony of events, which ends with…the supposed destruction of the modern internet and financial system.
The plot is interesting, if a bit out of left field. At least to me, the notion that someone would have the resources to build a spaceship that could travel to an L3 point and proceed to take down satellites, as well as coordinate cutting all subsea telecommunication lines is a little absurd, bordering on conspiracy theory.
Plot quibbles aside, the book really shines when describing the culture. Given that this book was the intersection of orbital mechanics, Islam, and politics, it does a remarkable job of describing and showing the day to day of life in Tangier. What's more interesting is the driving theme as well, which is that chaos is messy when experienced, but also guided in more ways than one. Chaos is ultimately still bound by rules, and the rapid-fire injection of characters into the book adds to the supposed feeling of chaos. The moral of the book was to reflect on what is considered terrorism, although the serpantine plot somewhat obscured that.
Overall, I liked the book, although I'm certainly very partial to any book that touches on the same subjects, having studied astronomy in undergrand and studying Islam now. It's certainly not a straightforward book, and the characters are quite hard to follow at times, although this might've been an artifact of translation. I'd recommend Chaos, A Fable if you're looking for a fiction you can sink your teeth into.