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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 (3167 )
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4.3 (1218 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Andrew Colorado Springs, CO, United States 03-11-13
    Andrew Colorado Springs, CO, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2004

    Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    175
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    "Confusing"

    I looked forward to this book since I loved Snow Crash. Boy was I disappointed. Not sure if the author was on LSD, or if LSD is required to listen to this book, but it's weird, disjointed and confusing. There are so many strange sub-plots that weave in and out of reality and bizarre fantasy. Don't assume that if you liked Snow Crash you'll like this - I didn't.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steph United States 06-13-13
    Steph United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    66
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    "Not predictable - its wonderful!"

    I read this book probably about eight to nine years ago after I read Snowcrash. I remember not liking it as much as Snowcrash, maybe because I wanted more of the tower of babel stuff. After listening to it, I have no idea why I didn't like it as much. This book is wonderful.

    The beginning is a bit slow and the end is abrupt. At the end I did listen to a portion a couple of times to make sure I hadn't missed anything, but this book is delicious! It is full of future potential sociatal problems, science, what makes culture, how to raise children, and how to develop creativity, initiative, and fearlessness in a new generation. I thought it was fantastic.

    If you are not familiar with Stephenson he does give you a lot of detail and is very descriptive in his world building. Some are bored by this and want more action. There is action, but I like that I come away feeling I learned something. He does explain processes and science in a way that if you are not a tech or science major you will understand him and not feel condescended to - no easy chore for an author.

    The narrator was superb. Jennifer Wiltsie did a brilliant job, it was not over dramatized. Her accents were good, maybe not perfect all the time, but for the scope of accents she had to do and number of characters she did very well. Her characters were distinguishable and I believe I enjoyed listening to it more than when I read it. There were a few audio issues but Ms. Wiltsie made up for them.

    Another thing I liked about this book is it deals with raising and growing strong women from girlhood. It is not a childrens book, but not all fantasy and science fiction has strong female characters, and this book not only has them but its a main focus. If you are not usually a science fiction buff, but want a good coming of age tale, this is still worth it. Get past the first five chapters before you throw it down and call me a liar.

    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 Listener Since 2004
    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
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-27-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    47
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    "Love this book..."

    Awesome technology and extremely well written, as one would expect. Narrator is excellent. This book gets pretty crazy...and you'll need to pay attention - but the story is insanely good. It is not as action packed as Snow Crash - but I would say this is still better.

    There are 1000's of reviews and descriptions of all the important parts of this book, so I'll keep this short, but wanted to just mention - I just fell in love with little Nell - just so drawn into the story - concerned for her well being, happy when things go well for her... This is one of the books I have listened to numerous times (and will continue to).

    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
  •  
    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.

    2 of 2 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 2002
    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 162 results PREVIOUS12317NEXT
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  • Anne
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    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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