I had read this title, loved it, and looked forward to the listen. The narration is fantastic, the musical chapter breaks add a nice flavor and the story (and the ideas it contains) were as wonderful as I remembered.
The only marring of the experience was several dropouts in the audio, one near the end of part one and a cluster of 7 or 8 after the middle of part 2. The audio would suddenly turn staticy and unintelligible for several seconds.
This was really very annoying in what was otherwise a stellar read.
Interesting, complex story line. Call me a prude but I still wonder about the effectiveness of the orgies -- which were a unique idea, but like I said, perhaps I'm a prude. Don't worry tho: no graphic descriptions of them.
As other reviewers said, author does a thorough job creating the world (but I could have done with less description. I know others will find it adds to the book. For me it detracted.) I would recommend this book as a true science fiction novel.
The more audiobooks I've listened to, the more I've come to appreciate good production quality in the sound and narration. (Books done by Audio Renaissance I've found are quite good.)
I'm still in the middle of this book, and am quite enjoying it so far, but I needed to stop just now to say how impressed I am with the different voices and accents that the narrator, Jennifer Wiltsie, pulls off. I just took for granted that she was doing the accent of the character Judge Fang as a Chinese man from New York, but it wasn't until the book pointed out that aspect to the character that I realized what an impossible task it is for Ms. Wiltsie to pull off such a weird combination of an accent while still having it sound not only natural and undistracting, but even sounding like you might imagine it would.
The story skips around without a lot and it is hard to follow how all the parts work together until the end. The author obviously thinks a lot about the future and possibilities of nanotechnology and incorporates these ideas into the story, which lends interesting elements to the plot, such as the primer itself. However, the descriptions of the technology go on and on and on to the point where it is difficult to pay attention. Not a good book for the gym, it is not engaging enough.
OK, I'll go along w/ the brilliant writing of what could have been a wonderful story. But about 3/4 of the way through I went what??? Did I miss something? Is the author doing acid? The whole chain/lever counting thing is where I lost it. The story virtually evaporated into psychedelic ramblings from one set of characters to another, w/ confusing connections. Or vignettes of wonderful imaginations, which if I had the patience to go back and dissect I'm sure would reveal themselves to me, but quite frankly I just don't care at this point.
The first 30 minutes were a little slow, but interesting, but after that I hated putting it down. There was just so much and it all was new. I was actually sad when it ended. This was my first book by Stephenson, I will be readking more.
Jennifer Wiltze pulls all the stops out in reading this science fiction masterpiece. Great voice charecterization puts this at the top of audible books.
Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Former Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.
The Boer said, "Good, you have Zulus" That quote was worth all the awards the Sci-Fi Gods can give.
I loved this book so much I won't even try and review it. A must read.