From his triumphant debut with Snow Crash to the stunning success of his latest novel, Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson has quickly become the voice of a generation.
In this now-classic thriller, he and fellow author J. Frederick George tell a shocking tale with an all-too plausible premise. There's no way William A. Cozzano can lose the upcoming presidential election. He's a likable midwestern governor with one insidious advantage - an advantage provided by a shadowy group of backers. A biochip implanted in his head hardwires him to a computerized polling system. The mood of the electorate is channeled directly into his brain. Forget issues. Forget policy. Cozzano is more than the perfect candidate. He's a special effect.
©2005 Neal Stephenson & J. Frederick George (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
I listened to first 3h and didn't find a reason to continue. Just very few first pages, describing perhaps pictures or photos, makes this book absolutely impossible to listen to.
Can't agree with the rhapsodic reviews of this book. A slackly written "thriller" with no narrative pulse, its characters disappear for hundreds of pages or drop out of the book altogether without explanation. The set up to the main plot is so leisurely and discursive that it buries all tension and anticipation. When the climatic events are finally presented they are given in such a cursory fashion that I wondered why I had spent the previous 15 hours listening to their preliminaries.
There are also some real whoppers that make it difficult to suspend belief but those are minor compared to the larger, fatal failure to create a world believable on its own terms. Never for a minute did I believe that this world could exist. The characters were two dimensional puppets moved around for the convenience of the plot or else were so "colorful" that they never became real. Lack of character depth or of a convincing, organic world true to itself can be forgiven in a thriller if the plot is propulsive but all are missing here.
Some humor, a few interesting ideas, the workmanlike competence of the writing and a talented reader save the book from one star.
I don't think so.
I don't think so.
Oliver Wyman's narration is superb. I'll search for other books narrated by him.
Boredom - it's just too long. I couldn't finish it.
You don't need high-tech to create a puppet president.
The story was great, kept my attention and was an interesting topic. One thing drove me crazy. I grew up in central Illinois and Tuscola is pronounced Tus-co’-la, with a short u and a long o. I know this is a small thing, but so are fingernails on blackboards. If you are going to read a book with so many references to a town, please call the city hall and find out how people pronounce the city's name! It really hurt my enjoyment in the book. If you never heard of the town, I am sure you couldn't care less and the book was great.
I really, really wanted to like this book, but it was so disappointing. So many things were telegraphed or just plain wrong and made the book hard to listen to. Motives of the secondary characters were just not realistic (they all appear to be stupid.) The last few hours of the book just made me roll my eyes and I had to really push my self to finish.
Retired Neurologist. Age 67. Prefer longer unabridged works. Hobbies include flyfishing, gardening, birding, photography. Enjoy a mix.
The authors accuracy with regard to the neurological details, clinical manifestations and Neuroanatomy were excellent.
Worst Stephenson bock I've read/listened too. Bad outdated story and terrible voice acting, especially for the female characters. sye ogle was the only character done well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had quite a number of characters and agendas. The author did a great job of reminding me of each character when I hadn't heard about him/her in awhile. The story became more compelling as it progressed. I would even use the word "amazing"to describe my feeling about how Stephenson managed to funnel all these players into one big story.
i have liked everything i have ever read by Neal Stephenson so i thought I would try some of his earlier works. I was not disappointed. While this isn't his best it is still really good.
Initially this book appeared to go into an inordinate level of detail over what appeared, at first blush, to be the merely trivial and unimportant. Thus the movement of the storyline appeared almost frustratingly slow. Then, as I adjusted to its pace I began to realise that the author was providing this detail for very clever reasons as he slowly unfurled what was to become and immensely complex, rich and rewarding tale. In the end, it was an exquisitely well-crafted and absorbing book and I could not speak highly enough of the narrator. He narrated the background story line beautifully and, almost as importantly, delivered magnificent characterisations, moving effortlessly between the voices of the very different characters as be bought them all to life. A very enjoyable work from masters of their crafts.
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