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The Diamond Age | [Neal Stephenson]

The Diamond Age

Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.
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Publisher's Summary

In Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson took science fiction to dazzling new levels. Now, in The Diamond Age, he delivers another stunning tale. Set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens when a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

©1995 Neal Stephenson; (P)2001 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 1996

  • Locus Award Winner, Best Novel, 1996

"The Quentin Tarantino of postcyberpunk science fiction." (The Village Voice)
"[He] is the hottest science fiction writer in America." (Details)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3601 )
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4.3 (1597 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert Cabot, AR, USA 01-08-08
    Robert Cabot, AR, USA 01-08-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Fantastic book - Wonderful Narration"

    Based on the reviews, it looks like people either love this book, or hate it. It is long, but I would not recommend trying the abridged version. Take the time to listen to the unabridged version. It's worth it. The author's imagined ideas about the possible structures and capabilities of nano-tech are incredible. His vision of the future makes me wish I was born later, but at the same time makes me happy I don't live in that place/time.

    I'd also like to say Jennifer Wiltsie does one of the best narrator job as I have heard after listening to 30 books. She is a true professional.

    Spectacular book. Enjoyable listen. A must have.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 11-25-07
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 11-25-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delicious."

    Sometimes it takes a while to get into the grove of a story but by the second paragraph of “Diamond Age”, I was hooked. Neal Stephenson is an extraordinary writer, but more than that; a poet, philosopher and futurist. This labyrinthine tale could be described as a “fairy-tale”, painted with luscious prose, sensitive characterization and deep insight; it is a story of rare beauty. The narration is exceptional, the experience delicious.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell LondonUnited Kingdom 01-11-08
    Russell LondonUnited Kingdom 01-11-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    Overall
    "A fine example of a recurring SF theme"

    Let me be clear at the outset: this is a good book, from a really good author.

    Some of the reviews of this book make the mistake of viewing it as a children's book mixed with an adult's.

    It is in fact another attempt to address the common Science Fiction theme of how to educate future generations as touched on in other classic works such as Ender's Game or Dune.

    The essential question is:
    "Adversity made our generation great.
    How do we make our children's generation great without having to suffer similar adversity?"

    In order to cover the author's idea of the answer to this question there is a lot of coverage of the education of one child in particular. This is essential to the plot and is interesting in how it shapes the adult the child becomes.

    This is not hard Science Fiction, although there is very advanced technologly. It is soft Science Fiction as it is much more concerned with how a technology perilously close to magic in its application could affect humanity.

    In the main the narrator does a superb job, her voice is pleasant to listen to and she does a convincing, if limited, range of accents.

    My only niggle is that she pronounces the word 'primer' to rhyme with 'trimmer' rather than with 'timer'. It sounds ridiculous, but I found it so distracting that I almost gave the work 4 stars instead of 5.

    However I did not as that would have been petty pedantry as the rest of the production is very well done.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-04-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-04-14 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "SKULL GUN"

    VOMITING PROFANITY
    COLONIZE THE SOFA
    This book is filled with great language. It has advanced Science Fiction gadgets and cultures. It has Dragons and Fables It tries to be all things to all people, which like usual means the plot struggles to be clear. This is probably one of the most well written books Jim, the Impatient had to give up on.

    Essentially the plot becomes a psychology play with lots of symbolism, etc. I am old fashioned and need a story I can sink my teeth into. Taken separately, parts of the book are great. I also like peanut butter and I like pickles, but I don't want them together. NS had a character in the beginning who was very engaging and interesting, but that character took a long walk off a short pier and was never heard from again. A lot of people love this and you may be one of them, I got almost half way through, but could not keep my mind from wondering to other things.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ERICH E HEISE Dallas, Texas United States 08-06-12
    ERICH E HEISE Dallas, Texas United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, solid performance, poor audio quality"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better audio quality


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was a great book, but poor sampling or compression artifacts made it difficult to listen too with ambient white noise. Tinny, narrow range audio. Re-downloaded to ensure highest quality rate, but all qualities were poor.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirk Hansen Salt Lake City 07-05-09
    Kirk Hansen Salt Lake City 07-05-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun and interesting"

    I gave this book 5 stars even though the plot was somewhat predictable. The audio production is well done (as I have come to expect from Audio Renaissance).

    I am an admitted technophile and I was very amused by the alternate technologies in this book. They have mastered nanotechnology but they travel by dirigible! I loved it!

    This was a fun listen that I recommended to friends and family.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Waco, TX, USA 02-16-06
    Shirley Waco, TX, USA 02-16-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stephenson's best effort so far"

    I have read Quicksilver and Snow Crash and enjoyed both for their new and edgy take on science fiction. The Diamond Age is fascinating from the science fiction view, but is much better than the previous books from a technical standpoint. The characters are well developed and the story is compelling. This book shows that Stephenson can use allegory and satire to show us the strengths and weakness of our current time by giving us a glimpse into his version of the future. There are many current day social and economic issues reflected in this work. It's a very stimulating read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Toledo, OH, USA 07-16-05
    Mike Toledo, OH, USA 07-16-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I didn't want it to end."

    This was my first download from audible. I had read the novel many years ago, but was very impressed with the narration, which brought the book to life and actually added something to the experience. Her voice of the confuician judge from NY was especially fun to listen to. There was also something pleasingly self-referential about using my Ipod to listen to a book about a girl who is listening to a magic book that tells her stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jody R. Nathan Tulsa, OK USA 11-27-04
    Jody R. Nathan Tulsa, OK USA 11-27-04 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very good"

    I had started this some time ago, and hadn't gotten into it; so I put it down, just picking it up over the holiday weekend -- and I couldn't put it down. Really good story, unusal, lots of puzzles, and the narration was excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Rocklin, CA, USA 02-23-04
    Jackie Rocklin, CA, USA 02-23-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Needs a more of an ending..."

    This book was a good listen, however, just like "Snow Crash," Mr. Stephenson ends his otherwise in-depth, detailed novel as if he ran out of paper (or disk space). All the hours of the story and it ends in about 15 seconds. Still, it's a good book. Just be prepared to be dropped off at the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 184 results PREVIOUS12319NEXT
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  • A. E. Wright
    Liverpool UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "In two minds..."

    I chose this recording because I had enjoyed 'Cryptonomicon' by the same author and Neal Stephenson is certainly very inventive and imaginative, creating an entire alternative future world. Some parts of the story jogged along quickly and we made good progress together but at other times the pace slowed to a tedious crawl. Although I laughed out loud once or twice at this book I also found myself looking forward to the end - not so I could find out what happens, just so I could stop listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-11 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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