That’s really the gist of it all.
Sometimes a book is just strange enough to make you put it aside and wish you’d never started it. DAG is not that book. It’s very hard, maybe impossible, to put this book down. Even when you can’t believe what you’re reading.
DAG is the story of Dagney, a Department of Agriculture worker, who ends up in places you’d never think you’d find someone like her. She’s named after Dagney Lind but, given the extended riff on ATLAS SHRUGGED at the end of the book, I can see Dagney Taggart too. Not that Wilson’s Dagney is anything like Ayn Rand’s Dagney. Very different.
For example, Dagney the federal worker does more than investigate improper storage of fertilizers on corn farms. She investigates corn farms, coal mining companies, vineyards, and many more expected things. What you’ll never expect are mustard gas grapes, plant-human hybrids, week long pregnancies, and babies with clover for hair.
And even saying all that? It’s not spoiling anything… mostly because I couldn’t explain it if I tried. Which isn’t to say this book is not worth reading. It is.
Underlying it all is the distinct impression that Wilson is making a social commentary with this novel. All the strange things that happen are tied to the Cox brothers who are attempting to control every part of American life; from farms to fuel to Cox News. Some of the social commentary gets a little wordy and skim-worthy but that’s probably to be expected.
The characters and their banter, much of which involves porn references in the strangest, least sexual way you can imagine, make it worthwhile.
This probably doesn’t sound like a glowing review suggesting you read this book but… it’s neither the best book I’ve read nor the worst. I’m glad I read it and, if it sounds like your thing, why not try it.
It’s available for purchase now.
(I received a copy of DAG through NetGalley in exchange for an honest & original review. This review will be cross-posted at my blog, NetGalley, and on Goodreads.)