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 listen to books on a long commute to and from work. If a book holds my interest, I look forward to the drive and do not even want to shut it off when I reach my driveway. I had no problem this time. This book was incredibly boring but I forced myself to keep listening to it because I thought it would eventually catch my interest. The parts where Hero was discussing religion with the librarian were sleep inducing, which is not good while driving! The ending was a big dud with no real resolution for most of the characters. I will not be listening to any more books by this author.
The generation gap is obvious with this book. It was only after listening to the 2nd part that I understood the 1st part. I had to listen to it several times to completely understand it. The book is filled with detail. In some cases, the details have details. In many cases the details have nothing to do with the story line. They are simply there as details. The first part of the book had the effect of trying to put me to sleep.
The book has a negative view of just about everything.
As has already been pointed out, the book is filled with inaccurate information from the Bible, which the author is using as a historical document. While I grew up knowing the Bible extremely well, I have not been religious in any sense of the word in my adult life. It doesn't matter if you are religious or not religious, this part of the book will offend you.
I felt the concepts of this book were weak, and I would not recommend this book. However, in listening to the things that my 23 old daughter likes, as well as my 22 year nephew, I am sure that people in their early 20s will love this book...
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.
I felt that the story which rests very heavily on what it calls the Metaverse, but what we would today consider to be an instance of 'Second Life', is now rather badly dated. Problems with rendering, spatial interactions etc in this realm now seem ludicrous. I also took exception to the author's heavily descriptive style which robbed the narrative of any tension or pace. It was as if a postmodern rush of strangely juxtapositioned descriptive terms were thought more important than what later emerged as a really good story.
This book is incredible. It is incredibly well produced and read, but it is incredibly boring. I thought it would never end. It is a series of disjointed vignettes that are impossible to visualize as they streak across the pages, flashing through one comic strip character after another. The humor passed me by. Reality merges with the world of the computer avatars. If I were a virtual reality game player, a young skateboard aficionado, or a follower of contemporary fantasy fiction, maybe this would have some appeal. There is NO character development, there is no plot to speak of until the last few chapters, and the most appealing character (YT) is as flakey and impulsive as a 15 year old on meth. If you love flashy, weird, fantasy stuff, that goes on and on, get this book; you'll love it.
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.
One of the worst sci-fi books I have ever read. The writing alternates between purple prose and deadening exposition interspersed with some all-too-few descriptions of place. The plot reveals the author's superficial understanding of biological and linguistic evolution, ancient civilizations, and religion. The main character is African-American/Chinese, yet this comes off as a shallow attempt at PC, especially considering the utter lack of a discussion of Eastern religions in the excruciatingly long passages on religion-as-virus. The characters are almost all, with the exception of YT perhaps, little more than expositors. Reads like a tech manuel: a souless and brain-numbing execution of some interesting ideas. Consequently, this book represents 16 hours of wasted time and left me with the question: Do book editors actually edit the books they publish? This would have been much better if someone had imposed a little discipline on the author.
This book was scattered and incoherent. I'll admit the premise of the plot was interesting. The writing however was awful. The events of the book were as if someone made a list of events that might be cool to write about, threw them in the air, and then decided to make a book about them. There was no realistic tie from one event to another. You were often left wondering why something was happening and how a character made a colossal leap to some obscure reaction or action. The ending was complete nonsense and a total letdown. There are too many places that exude poor story telling to mention.
Bottom line: Don’t bother.