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The Windup Girl | [Paolo Bacigalupi]

The Windup Girl

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.
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Publisher's Summary

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories.

There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

What happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism's genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of The Calorie Man (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and Yellow Card Man (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these poignant questions.

BONUS AUDIO: In an exclusive introduction, author Paolo Bacigalupi explains how a horrible trip to Thailand led to the idea for The Windup Girl.

©2009 Paolo Bacigalupi; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2010
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 2009
  • Best Books of 2009, Publishers Weekly
  • 10 Best Fiction Books of 2009, Time magazine
  • Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy 2009, Library Journal

"This complex, literate and intensely felt tale, which recalls both William Gibson and Ian McDonald at their very best, will garner Bacigalupi significant critical attention and is clearly one of the finest science fiction novels of the year." (Publishers Weekly)

"The Windup Girl will almost certainly be the most important SF novel of the year for its willingness to confront the most cherished notions of the genre, namely that our future is bright and we will overcome our selfish, cruel nature." (Book Page)

"A classic dystopian novel likely to be short listed for the Nebula and Hugo Awards" (SF Signal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (3837 )
5 star
 (1046)
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Overall
3.7 (2200 )
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Story
4.0 (2187 )
5 star
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4 star
 (773)
3 star
 (364)
2 star
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1 star
 (99)
Performance
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  •  
    Belinda Lisarow, Australia 12-14-10
    Belinda Lisarow, Australia 12-14-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    218
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "eek!"

    This took SO long to say not much. It's confusing because he doesn't explain the terms used so you're never exactly sure what they're doing. Also tended towards soft porn many times. If that much detail was given to other aspects it would have been much better.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siena Morris 09-11-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    286
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "I wish I never got it cause I sure never got it"

    I don't get it. Why has this book received such praise. It went on and on about things of such little interest. By the end of the book I just didn't care. I must have missed something, because I sure don't get it.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin West Bloomfield, MI, United States 08-21-10
    Robin West Bloomfield, MI, United States 08-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "laborious"

    I just couldn't listen any more. It was just too exhausting. Interesting for awhile but it just took too long to unfold.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith Ithaca, NY, United States 08-20-10
    Meredith Ithaca, NY, United States 08-20-10 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    498
    3
    Overall
    "Boring"

    He did not succeed in writing a book with real characters. They are all stereotypes with no interesting attributes.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodolphe valdor, Quebec, Canada 07-16-10
    Rodolphe valdor, Quebec, Canada 07-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    244
    55
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    5
    Overall
    "nice(ish)"

    nice ideas..nice theme..some good parts...with lots of boring parts. I wanted to get hooked...but i just didnt.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Honesdale, Panama 05-19-10
    James Honesdale, Panama 05-19-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    147
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Figures The Critics Love it."

    For this listener the story was so-so (at it's best). The narration was low & slow. It was a tedious listen for me. Seems almost every book that the critics rave about disappointment me. It did help me get a full nights sleep however.

    2 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rob colorado springs, CO, United States 10-06-09
    rob colorado springs, CO, United States 10-06-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    26
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    1
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    Overall
    "Awards?!?"

    it was really bad I could not finish,it has stupid characters bad content and a plot that is not good enough to even try to follow

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Kansas City, MO, USA 10-02-09
    Monica Kansas City, MO, USA 10-02-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    317
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    "Boring"

    I was shocked at the number of good reviews. It was just so slow and boring and I was left with a feeling of who cares. To give you an idea of how slow the book is, I listned to the entire first piece of the three pieces I downloaded and I learned as much in that first third as I did in the 5 seconds it took me to read the pop up description. Save your credits for something interesting.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RJS Minnesota 06-17-13
    RJS Minnesota 06-17-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpected Disappointment"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I knew going into this book that the first half of the story was going to be slow paced and overly detailed, but the second half of the book was supposed to make up for it. By the time I got 2/3 of the way though, I had had enough. I was so angry at this book because of the sheer boredom of it, that I did not care about a single character or story line. When the action started to "pick up", it almost seemed like an after thought. It was as if the author realized he was losing his audience, and started throwing in meaningless violence and death to make things up to us. This was the first book I have ever wanted to ask for my money back. I do not ever intend to read the rest of it. I just don't care.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm going to re-read Ready Play One to help wash the bad taste of this book out of my mouth.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I have never been so disappointed in a book, as I am here. I stopped listening to it about 2/3 of the way through, and just don't care enough about the characters or story to continue.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this book. I really did. But the damage caused by the boring and meandering first half was too significant to overlook. This is by far my most disappointing experience on Audible.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Palmetto, FL, United States 05-07-12
    Andrew Palmetto, FL, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Yawn"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No idea


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm probably going to be listening to Stephen King's new book for the Gunslinger series.


    What didn’t you like about Jonathan Davis’s performance?

    Very monotone reader


    Any additional comments?

    After dealing with all but the the last 2 hours of it I finally gave up. I realized that even with the vast amount of characters in this book there wasn't a single one that the provided me with a reason to care about them. There's one guy who thinks he's going to get rich from a piece of fruit but since it was made clear that you good find them all over the place I never understood why. There's a fallen rich guy trying to regain his riches through theft. There's corrupt government people everywhere but one famous non-corrupt person somehow loses everything when he takes the same bribe everyone else is doing. and of course the poor windup girl who we repeatedly get to hear how miserable her life is. I have no clue how this book won an award & I never quit a book once I've started but I just couldn't get through to the end.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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