This is the first audio book I?ve read that I think would?ve been better in print. I don?t fault the reader. The language was convoluted and ?stream of consciousness? in places, and I?d have preferred to have been able to read at my own pace and puzzle over some sections.
And, for me the book also got off to a slow start. I started reading it several times. Each time I?d listen for a maximum of a half hour (usually less), and then I was ready to go to sleep. Finally, a bit over an hour into the book I got hooked, and read the rest almost straight through. I enjoyed the look into the world of advertising. A friend of mine works in the field, and she talks about ?branding?, and somehow the intrinsic worth of the product gets lost in the shuffle. This attitude comes across in the book.
It also seemed to me that the author had done his homework about the Internet culture. He seemed to know about domain names and other stuff I find interesting. A non-geek might not be as thrilled about that part, but it wasn?t central to the plot.
My biggest disappointment was the ending. It seemed like the author had created a very imaginative plot, but then he didn?t know what to do with it. I had exactly the same reaction to ?Snow Crash?. The ending was anticlimactic, and I didn?t feel that the author tied up all the loose ends. However, I will read other stuff by this author as it becomes available.
I agree with the other reviewer about the ridiculous and uninformed assumptions the characters make about biblical texts. I would say the same for Stephenson's take on glossalalia too, but it's still a very cool and very funny book. If you like it at all, I recommend that you read Zodiac, also by Neal Stephenson. It's absolutely hilarious, yet very intelligent. A shame that it will probably never make it to audio
What happened at the end of this book? Up until the last 10 or 15 minutes there was lots of great story, but at the end it just died a sudden death! Still, it was entertaining and worth a listen, just expect to be left hanging at the end.
I've never read a modern sci-fi type of book until this one. I must say that reading this book will change that, I will at least get the other books by this author. His technical knowledge is genuine and his vision of the future is thought provoking. I would recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 12 and 50 with an IQ of at least 50. If you don't like this book, you are probably too old or just too dimm to understand it.
I have been reading sf since I was 7. I can truthfully say this was the most enjoyable I haver ever read. I hope there will be a sequel......................
I'll readily admit that there is a generation gap that must be bridged in order to even begin to comprehend what this story is all about. It's not that I'm technically illiterate. I owned the first Apple computer and the first IBM PC. I've even done a bit of programming. This novel leaves me stumped. I have no idea what the author is talking about. He mixes programming jargon with religious mumbo-jumbo. He jumps from one incongruous bloody scene to another. His concept of a new world order run by franchises (be it food, hotels, or religious institutions) is interesting but he never fully explores it or brings it to a conclusion. I'm an obvious dissenter in this review and I'm willing to admit that it may be that I'm no longer a teenager. However, I've always believed that a well written book should appeal to every age group.
The fun part about this book was that the author took great pains to develop a vivid picture of the characters and the futuristic world. Unfortunately, he never did anything with them. It was like watching one of the reality TV programs where you just follow the characters around during their day. With no plot and no point, this is a must miss.
This was one of those books that hooks you in from the first word to the last. There's too much to tell in such a small summary. The only downside (if you want to call it a downside) is that the book comes to an abrupt halt. It basically ends at the last "page", but can basically be attributed to Stephenson's brute-force, no-nonsense writing style.
Everytime I picked it back up I had a hard time remebering what had happened before. There is a tremendous amout of words devoted to the gadgets and there workings and descriptions of the metaverse all very interestin and original. If you like that sort of thing this may be the book for you. There were some action packed moments and plenty of fight scenes, but a lot of exposition as well. A fair amount of the dialoge seems very contrived to give voice to the authors ideas and plot history to the point that it was sometimes hard to get a picture of what was going on. Maybe I missed something not having read the first book? This one was a near miss with potential for me.