Dare to Know
by James Kennedy
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Pub Date 14 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 07 Jan 2022
“A razor-smart sci-fi corporate noir nightmare. Dare to Know is what happens when Willy Loman sees through the Matrix.”—Daniel Kraus, co-author of The Shape of Water
This mind-bending and emotional speculative thriller is set in a world where the exact moment of your death can be predicted—for a price.
Our narrator is the most talented salesperson at Dare to Know, an enigmatic company that has developed the technology to predict anyone’s death down to the second. Divorced, estranged from his sons, and broke, he's driven to violate the cardinal rule of the business by forecasting his own death day. The problem: his prediction says he died twenty-three minutes ago.
The only person who can confirm its accuracy is Julia, the woman he loved and lost during his rise up the ranks of Dare to Know. As he travels across the country to see her, he’s forced to confront his past, the choices he's made, and the terrifying truth about the company he works for.
Wildly ambitious and highly immersive, this thought-provoking thriller explores the destructive power of knowledge and collapses the boundaries between reality, myth, and conspiracy as it races toward its shocking conclusion.
A Note From the Publisher
Adult (18 and up) readers of near-future dystopian speculative fiction, pop science, and mysteries/thrillers, especially with a dystopian element;
Readers who gravitate towards movies by Charlie Kaufman, Alex Garland, and Darron Aronofsky
Advance Praise for Dare to Know:
“[An] enjoyable slipstream thriller....Readers with a taste for the synchronicity of the cosmic with the commonplace are sure to be entertained.”—Publishers Weekly
"Time shifting from present to past, and possibly the future, Kennedy seamlessly integrates philosophy, first love, Beatles music, jaw-dropping science fiction and the four stages of civilization, and turns it all into a fast-paced, existential, mind-expanding thriller—a thoroughly enjoyable read." —Paul Dinh-McCrillis for Shelf Awareness
"A razor-smart sci-fi corporate noir nightmare. Dare to Know is what happens when Willy Loman sees through the Matrix. A heartbreaking, time-bending, galactic mindbender delivered in the mordantly funny clip of a doomed antihero." —Daniel Kraus, co-author of The Shape of Water
“Philip K. Dick energy infusing Death of a Salesman emotional timbre....I loved it."—Kieron Gillen, author of The Wicked + The Divine and Once & Future
“Dare to Know is something of a mind-twister reminiscent of Philip K. Dick.”—SF2 Concatenation
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 74 members
A company can tell you, with 100% accuracy, when you are going to die. But what happens when you live beyond your expiration date? We meet our narrator as his life and grasp of reality our crumbling around him. As you read along, your sense of reality will melt away too. I dare you to read, Dare to Know.
I really liked the oddness of this novel. I finished it a week ago and still can't stop thinking about it. It was unique and interesting and I look forward to reading more Kennedy titles in the future. I'll definitely be buying this for the library.
This book is weird and strange and somehow compelling. I found the pacing picked up a whole bunch the last third of the book, and I couldn’t put it down.
A bit darker than I’m normally comfortable with and more philosophical than I prefer—but the premise is clever.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed this book.
I would recommend this for fans of Blake Crouch (especially Dark Matter) and for those who like Rabbits by Terry Miles.
Dare to Know is a thrilling, ground-breaking, genre-defying and expanding page-turner that I have been eagerly anticipating - and the future is now! You know you're going to experience something unexpected, delightfully weird, and mind-bending when you open Dare To Know. As expected from a James Kennedy project, it is thought-provoking, wry and sardonic in the best way, hilarious and cutting, and impossible to put down. The unique voice of our protagonist facing his past and future reveals more of himself than he likely plans - a testament to Kennedy's craft and finesse with words. Can I just sing the praises of the plotting? Kennedy weaves the narrator's past friendship with Renard at junior-high physics camp, his romance with his college girlfriend, Julia, and the present dilemma of knowing too much about his own mortality that always propels the reader forward. He balances the big questions about philosophy/physics/morality/history while centering the struggles of the characters... who are also us, right? I cannot stop thinking about Dare to Know - and recognize I've only skimmed the surface of its depths after my first read. (P.S. When Dare to Know actually becomes a start-up, please don't tell me - I don't want to know ... Would you?) Highly recommended for all collections. It also makes a fantastic crossover book for teen/adult collections. I also cannot wait to booktalk it to high schoolers who are avid horror/scifi fans who want a book unlike anything they've read before.