New Delhi blogger Sakshi Nanda on the complete Moby Dx
‘Moby Dx’ is full of a plethora of characters, each with his/her unique history, typical characteristics and individual aims. Most, like Jay, Vladik, Arianna and Lakshmi are non-conformists marrying science to life and looking to make a future. But when it comes to the ‘means’ being used to reach an ‘end’, Max stands in direct contrast to those who surround him, always ‘more focused than ever on his needs’.
I did not fall in love with Max, and know, Dear Reader, I do fall in love with characters in books. He just drove me crazy!
Max is like a patch-work quilt seamlessly made of myriad traits sown together – some nice, mostly monomaniacal. Perhaps, Dan’s idea was to create that one Mercurial Man representative of various facets of Silicon Valley put together, including the ‘repressor gene for fashion’? A character created such that he floors with his ‘fevered intellect’, puts-off with his egoism, amazes with his resilience, tires with his sexcapades, exasperates with his temper and shocks with his self-interest. All this, even as a sense of search-for-self surrounds him most of the time, like an Icarus, frustrated by the extent of his own dreams, or lack of genius surrounding him. And for a man who ‘hated the structure, the processes, the rules … didn’t want to have to convince a board, a team…he wanted to be the decider’, you either think daredevil or you think an autocrat. He abandoned those who failed, took credit away from those who did not. But here comes the interesting bit – you just can’t get enough of him!
Like Arianna says for him – ‘He sweeps you along in his what? His wake? He sweeps you along and you become a willing participant without knowing it’, even as he plots ‘to pwn’ his own friends. No surprise then that Jay and Vladik seem to have been created as clear foils to Max.
Max, or should we call him a modern day Ahab?