Here & There - by Joshua V. Scher
Posted on January 31st, 2017
This book starts off as a letter from Daniel Brand to the author of the book, Josh. In that letter, Daniel apologizes for such a weird package but he didn't have any other way to get in touch or expose such unbelievable story. It's about his mother's work. As a psychologist, she developed this new technique called Psynar® that helps her understand victims or perpetrators and uncover truths otherwise hidden. Her last assignment is that surrounding a, so called, Reidier's test sponsored by DARPA that didn't result in exactly what they were hoping for. Her research is the text that follows in around 30 chapters.
In them, we learn about Reidier's history. How his family got formed, how is work got shaped. Where he went and what he did. Who his friends were and how much devotion he poured into his profession. As a researcher and professor in physics, Riedier works around quantum physics and how they can change the world as we know it drastically. The book alternates between a number of narrators including Reidier's own notes or recordings, Daniel's mother (Hilary) notes, Daniel's own notes around his mother's notes and Eve (Riedier's partner) journals. They all intertwine throughout the book without much structure to keep the reader in a sense of multilevel analysis.
The story mixes some mathematics and physics explanations from Riedier to Eve that help the author explain some concepts to the reader. Some of them (like public/private key encryption) are pretty good. But quickly, the book gets very long and some of the mysteries are fairly predictable. There are attempts to make it more analytical and critical to our human minds but it never got to me. I wouldn't recommend it. The author is apparently trying to make it into the movie industry and it shows. The book could be turned into a fun movie where not as many clues of the outcome and more emphasys on the highlights would work to keep the audience tuned. As its current novel version, it is hard to stay focused and I needed extra effort to finish the long chapters.