3.74 (4,518 ratings by Goodreads)
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PopCo tells the story of Alice Butler-a subversively smart girl in our commercial-soaked world who grows from recluse orphan to burgeoning vigilante, buttressed by mystery, codes, math, and the sense her grandparents gave her that she could change the world. Alice-slight introvert, crossword compositor- works at PopCo, a globally successful and slightly sinister toy company. Lured by their CEO to a Thought Camp out on the moors, PopCo's creatives must invent the ultimate product for teenage girls. Meanwhile, Alice receives bizarre, encrypted messages she suspects relate to her grandfather's decoding of a centuries-old manuscript that many-including her long-disappeared father-believe leads to buried treasure. Its key, she's sure, is engraved on the necklace she's been wearing since she was ten. Using the skills she learned from her grandparents and teaching us aspects of cryptanalysis, Alice discovers the source of these creepy codes. Will this lead her to the mysterious treasure or another, even more carefully guarded secret?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 505 pages
  • 134.6 x 203.2 x 25.4mm | 544.32g
  • United States
  • English
  • Us
  • 015603137X
  • 9780156031370
  • 621,862

Back cover copy

"This book might just change your life." -- "Independent on Sunday"

Alice Butler has been receiving some very odd messages all anonymous, all written in code.

Are they from someone at PopCo, the profit-hungry toy company that employs her? From her long-lost father? Or does someone else know her family secret?

Through codes, math, and the sense her grandparents gave her that she could change the world, Alice grows from recluse orphan to burgeoning vigilante, and may even uncover the meaning of the key inscribed on the necklace she has worn since she was ten.

Scarlett Thomas is the author of "Bright Young Things, Going Out, PopCo, "and "Our Tragic Universe."

Praise for "PopCo
"Enough code-breaking tips, puzzles and graphs, charts, postscripts and appendixes to satisfy that other mathematician storyteller, Lewis Carroll." The New York Times Book Review

"A sort of Harriet-the-Spy-meets-Douglas-Coupland with a Treasure Island twist." --Daily Candy

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Review quote

"How many novels can you think of that leave the reader with an intriguing puzzle to solve, plus a cake recipe, plus a crossword and a list of the first thousand prime numbers? Clever, likeable, frothy, zeitgeist-chasing."--Time Out London
"No heroine this year was more beguiling than Alice in Scarlett Thomas's PopCo. A mix of maths, cryptography and vegan politics, this book might just change your life."--Independent on Sunday Novels of the Year.
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Rating details

4,518 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1,142)
4 38% (1,700)
3 26% (1,179)
2 8% (378)
1 3% (119)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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