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The Diamond Age Audiobook

The Diamond Age

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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

4.2 (4799 )
5 star
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Overall
4.2 (2729 )
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Story
4.4 (2709 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (39)
Performance
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  •  
    Theresa 11-03-13
    Theresa 11-03-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    26
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    "I couldn't wait for it to be over"

    I do not understand how the author of Cryptonomicon could have authored this book. While it shares a few stylistic similarities with the excellent storytelling of Cryptonomicon, this book was so bad I could not wait for it to be over. I listened all the way to the end just hoping it would somehow magically make sense, but alas by the time it ended I was just happy it was over.

    It's wasn't the futuristic storyline that made the difference, It was just so disjointed that I found it impossible to follow the story or even to care about the characters.

    The performance of the book was fine but the story was just too bizarre to keep my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    backcountry enthusiast 09-15-13
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    1
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    "Fantastic narration!"
    Would you listen to The Diamond Age again? Why?

    I probably wouldn't listen again because it's quite long and I remember it well, but the narrator is so great that if I were to listen again, it would be a pleasure.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent narrator makes all the difference. I surely wish this narrator had done Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Givataym, Israel 08-29-13
    Dan Givataym, Israel 08-29-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "bad performance, boring book"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Maybe for cyberpunk SF fans, I see this book got good reviews.


    Has The Diamond Age turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No more cyberpunk for me


    How could the performance have been better?

    better narrator


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AzDayton 08-15-13
    AzDayton 08-15-13 Member Since 2002

    Computer geek and avid reader of SF and Fantasy, with additional interests in Comedy, Self-Help, Science & Tech. Highly opinionated! :-)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Complicated, Convoluted, Engaging, & Entertaining"

    The author is a genius, which means it's sometimes a little difficult for me to follow the twists and turns of his stories - which doesn't make them any less entertaining! This one is no exception, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The ending could have been a bit more polished, but it was okay, and is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 (endings are important to me). The narrator did a wonderful job and allowed me to immerse myself into the story without being snapped out by bad narration. The only actual criticism is a technical one... There are a number of audio glitches in it which, in my opinion, should have been cleaned up before publishing, as they really DO detract from the immersive experience. Fortunately, though there are several, they're all brief, so I was able to get back into the story pretty quick. Maybe there should be a rating score for "Audio Quality" or some such.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    katie United States 07-14-13
    katie United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2011

    I like fiction, sci-fi, fantasy and magic-realism.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    50
    16
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    "Kept me intrigued the whole time."

    An interesting story set in the future yet rooted in the past. Nice mix of Victorian societal details and historical Chinese references with super futuristic sci-fi inventions. Good balance. EXCELLENT narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RJ 07-12-13
    RJ 07-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my absoute favorites"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book starts off like all NS books a bit difficult to digest the story and vernacular. Before long you're attached to Nel while championing her causes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Watching the primer bring Nel from the lowest of thete society to the princess of the planet. She is easy to like at every stage of the book. I also love the antagonists, Dr X as he starts out wholistically against the good of society and makes an abrupt change to the highest of motives.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Nell at the end of the book is battling through the theater to find Miranda while not getting killed.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hacworth leaving his wife and daughter


    Any additional comments?

    Love the technology and Victorian society overlayed upon urban plight, decay and social disorder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tex Alvin, TX, United States 06-07-13
    Tex Alvin, TX, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "worth it"

    Many times during this book I paused to wonder about the author and what sort of mind has the capacity to make up something this creative, on so many levels. The envisioned technology, the cultural aspects, the interwoven storylines are all complexly imaginative. I found myself thinking of this book and it’s characters long after it was over.

    The first two hours or so are a bit tough though. There is a lot of background to understand before the plot takes off. Keep going, it's worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PBF Jupiter, FL United States 05-30-13
    PBF Jupiter, FL United States 05-30-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love sci-fi but this isn't my cup of tea"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I loved Kryptonomicon but just could not get into this book at all.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    American Gods maybe.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hmmm... tough question since I thought the book was incredibly boring.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Diamond Age?

    Maybe an abridged version would be better???


    Any additional comments?

    I may try to listen to the 2nd half again on my next plane ride so that I can concentrate on it. Don't listen before bed... it put me to sleep in seconds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Bennett San Something, CA 05-17-13
    Brian Bennett San Something, CA 05-17-13 Member Since 2014

    The Dude

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I didn't get this at all"

    I like science fiction but this didn't make any since to me. I felt the second half of the book improved but still not very good. The story was too complicated and really tried to be deep but missed the mark.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Haidari, Greece 03-20-13
    Eric Haidari, Greece 03-20-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent post-cyberpunk tale."

    Diamond Age is an exceptional book. In many ways it has the tropes of steampunk but set in a post cyber locale. As usual, Stephenson does an excellent job in weaving a rich, realistic tapestry of story-arcs that come together in a wonderful manner. I found myself looking to want to explore more and more of this wonderful world's hidden recesses: A sure sign that the world-building exercise has succeeded. The character of the Judge -set to the literary tone of the legendary Judge Dee and his tales of Confucian China - particularly caught me. I also found myself looking to learn more about the Neo-Victorians and their philosophy. As I said, world-building and odd elements come together in a wonderful manner. The overall story is entertaining while keeping an intellectual underpining that keeps it from going off on a purely cyber-opera manner. Good stuff. My only critique, one that I'd lay on Stephenson in general, is that the end game pacing and conclusion doesn't rank as highly as the beginning and pace of the book. His writing seems a bit winded towards the end. As if he's run out of steam (Ha!). Still, I lay this as a criticism only relatively to the rest of the novel: If you enjoy a good, fast-paced cyber tale full of ideas and richness of characters you can't go wrong with the Diamond age. Finally, a great big book: I like my audiobooks large so this will keep you company for a few car-rides at least. A great read/listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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