I listened to this book right after reading Tim Wu's "The Master Switch". Both books are wonderful on their own, but together they are a rare treat. "The Information" covered a lot of familiar ground for me as I read quite a bit of science history. Even then, it was very enjoyable. After that review however it digs into the philosophy of information science and becomes absolutely delightful. I'd recommend this highly, especially if you have time to read Wu's book too.
Like most of Gibson's stories this requires the reader to hang in there through the first few chapters and trust it will all start to make sense eventually. And it does of course. Very interesting ideas and very entertaining after the usual utterly confusing, why am I bothering with this, start. Would Gibson have many more fans if he didn't make us work so hard to follow him as he sets up his story premises?
The story might be okay, many have said it is, but this narrator is dreadful.
I didn't get very far into the book before giving up on it so I can't fairly judge the story itself.
The narrator attempts to whisper when it says the character whispers, groan or screech or cackle when it says the character did so. The result is a wheezing, groaning , inaudible mess which would require sitting with your hand on the replay button to decipher. I got half way through and abandoned the attempt to finish this book, something I've rarely ever done. It's quite simply the worst narration I've ever come across.
I was expecting a good review of the state of the art in biotech. Instead this is a thinly disguised Catholic manifesto on the evils of abortion and the need to regard a few cells as a "nascent human life". The author comes out against in-vitro fertilization because of the excess fertilized eggs produced, demonizes researchers as motivated by money and the desire to "destroy nascent human life", and praises George Bush's stand against stem cell research. It's pretty much out of date anyway since the current research tends to emphasise induced pluripotent stem cells anyway and the embryonic argument is moot. I suppose the "Brave New World" in the title should have tipped me off to the author's bias... I wouldn't recommend this to anyone interested in a scientific overview. Might appeal to church groups but that's about the only ones I can see getting anything out of it.
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