I enjoyed the book, when I finally finished it.
There was a great deal of earnest ethical debating, much of which I found to be tedious. It's like there was 85% prologue debate and 15% story and action.
As I said I did end up appreciating the book and its redemption.
This is a tight, multi-layered thriller with a neocyberpunk feel. If William Gibson and Tom Clancy had a love child, it would write this novel.
The book spends some time describing the technology, such as network protocols, and whaddya know, it got it right, allowing for some poetic license.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Caveat: It does have some fairly graphic violence.
This is wonderful. I am biased. I love neurotic, intelligent, sarcastic women. Oh baby. It's a good thing I encountered this in audio format because my eyes kept rolling back in my head at the sheer wonderfullness of it.
She isn't intimidated by history, and she brings history alive in a quirky and relevant way. She enhances the narrative with just the right amount of historical context, and then shows how politicians today are influenced by these characters even today.
I think if you like "The Daily Show" you will like this. Oh, and if you like "This American Life." You don't have to like both, just one will do.
On the quibble front, the interspersing of quotes didn't work as well as it could have. It left Ms. Vowell sounding like she was at the end of her sentence when it was the middle. I suggest she read the full sentence and the audio engineer insert the actors' voices, so it sounds like she is a really good mimic rather than she stopped and someone else started.
I very much enjoyed this book.
This novel plays with words and worlds. It is speculative fiction at its best in many ways.
I found myself wanting to join the residents of the Concent of Saunt Edhar in dialogue. I never knew exactly which way the story would turn, which is refreshing.
Don't let the history at the opening throw you, the rest of the book moves along well.
I am deeply wary of a particular aspect of this book which I will call a science fiction plot device (sorry to be cryptic; I do not want to spoil it) but by the end I genuinely bought in to it, which surprised me.
I enjoy surprise and learning new things. A novel novel is the cure for literary listlessness.
This novel does also have a few of the weaknesses of speculative fiction, such as characterizations weaker than usual (and weaker from what I have seen from Mr. Stephenson previously), and an inconsistent narrative voice. These are quibbles however.
I unhesitatingly recommend this work as an engaging venture.
This is a modern faux-historical novel in the tradition of the 19th century.
The writing is lush and well-developed. The characters inhabit their universe fully. So fully, that I get the sense that the author had very little say in how they went about their business.
It brings magic, personal romance, and a sense of epic history together in a way which I haven't seen since The Lord of the Rings.
Very, very good.
This is a modern space opera with the conflicted anti-hero, evil megalomaniacal overlords, and plenty of shoot-em-ups interspersed with philosophical musings.
It's really pretty good!
I enjoyed this book very much.
PK captures the ethos and ecology of the '70's drug culture very well.
The conversations between the mind-altered denizens are the best part of the book.
This book also asks questions of personal identity and values.
This is all enclosed in a Dickian envelope of paranoia and deception.
Paul Giamatti does an awesome job reading this book. He is a very good Actor! Who knew? It gave me a new-found appreciation of him.
I've always enjoyed Harry Shearer's performances: Derek Smalls in "This is Spinal Tap", about a third of the Simpson's characters (only a slight exaggeration), and many many others.
I didn't realize he did a radio show and what a brilliant fellow he is. He has a very sharp mind. The content is very well done.
He reads the news and makes comments on it. He is very good at bringing disparate things into focus. The show also has some interesting music and brilliant sketches. I think only some of the music is Harry, but
This is like some of the old time radio broadcasts from the '40s. Very folksy and conversational.
He is extemporizing and it shows. He does have long pauses, and stumbles. It is only a little distracting to me, and after I thought about it, I wouldn't have it any other way. It sounds like nothing else.
He's been doing his show for 21 years. I won't miss it from now on!
This book was very good.
This is an interesting story, told with wit and humor. This book also has many times when one is forced to learn deep lessons from one's soul.
The narration and sound quality were excellent. The audio narrator has an Indian accent as the narator in the story would. It added to the story.
I was hoping for more from this book.
I've read Tom Clancy, pulp westerns and sci-fi, so when I read a review that criticized the writing, I chuckled at the undoubtedly elitist English major. But, boy!
(Oh, I should mention, I've never read Grisham, it seems this book may be in the same vein.)
The action, the characters, the plot all seem really cardboard. The best thing about the book was the whole conspiracy theory, but when you check on the facts outside the book it becomes obvious that the patchwork of fiction and real-life doesn't hang together.
I was disappointed in the book.
The narration and audio quality were excellent.
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