The first bit of this book is solid likely-near-future dystopian sci-fi, and this aspect of the book is thankfully revisited intermittently throughout. Most of this book, however, is the author pretty much reading aloud from a encyclopedia entry on 80's pop culture. If you are between 35 and 45 years old, and you are (for some reason) endlessly entertained by being reminded of long-forgotten consumer goods and video games, this book is for you. If you want something transient and/or compelling, look elsewhere.
I wonder if savants and geniuses have fever dreams that feel like this. Compelling, principled and absolutely enrapturing. Chapeau, Mieville, chapeau. I would read a whole novel about The Torque, fyi... if you feel like it... please.
Amazing. I can't believe it's not a movie already, not that I want it to be.
Near-future horror and hope. Refreshingly un-Eurocentric and absolutely plausible.
I expected more from a Hugo award winner. The story was okay, not terrifically imaginative, and maybe a bit too rich in computer hardware fetishism for my taste.
It's not that I hated it, I just feel like I wasted my time listening to this when there are still some Paolo Bacigalupi and China Mieville books that I haven't "read" yet.
Emotive and touching. Author realizes that making something tragic includes developing characters to whom tragic things happening is indeed a tragedy. The reading is wonderful also.
Serendipitous and playful. Unimpressive and trivial. This is a kid's book; only it's chock full of trite adult content that would render it impermissible for a young audience. If it is indeed intended for an adult audience, it's aimed at the half-witted and inattentive, who delight in predicable plot "twists" and the eased joy of getting exactly what you expected. If you are taking a break from your "Everyone Loves Raymond" marathon to try this "reading" thing, this may be the book for you. If you've ever read a decent book in your life, and continue reading to hopefully find once again the bliss that it brought you, it is likely that you'll spend your time with this book marveling, not at its genius, but at the miracle that it's STILL GOING.
Bad news, but don't shoot the messenger. Well argued and hopefully completely wrong :)
Finkelstein: Crucial, important and revealing book.
Crandall: Countless hair-raising, knuckle-whitening, palm-to-forehead mispronunciations.
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