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Publisher's Summary

The Difference Engine is an alternate history novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.A prime example of the steampunk sub-genre, it posits a Victorian Britain in which great technological and social change has occurred after entrepreneurial inventor Charles Babbage succeeded in his ambition to build a mechanical computer called Engines.

The fierce summer heat and pollution have driven the ruling class out of London and the resulting anarchy allows technology-hating Luddites to challenge the intellectual elite. A set of perforated punch cards come into the hands of the daughter of an executed Luddite leader who sets out to keep them safe and discover what secrets they contain.

©1991 William Gibson and Bruce Sterling (P)2012 Audible Ltd

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Comrade
  • 01-25-15

A great story that feels interrupted.

Narration: the narrator throughout was charming and engaging. His ability to make other accents seem his natural born accent was a credit to him... Most of the time.

Unfortunately there were uncomfortable moments in narration. His voicing of women and Japanese men was very awkward and felt off with the descriptions of the characters. I don't see this a a blemish upon the actor himself, but it would have been reasonable to give him a supporting cast rather than rely too heavily on him.

Story: I enjoyed the story, but that in itself made some of the downsides more notable. The story of Sybil Gerard was admittedly boring compared to Oliphant and Mallory, and the story of Oliphant feels like it has been cut short long before it's time. Still, it provided me with hours of enjoyment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • Old and grey
  • 11-09-17

The Diffetence Engine

Not up to the standard of William Gibson's more recent novels: I had difficulty following the plot with this one. It might be better on the page than listening to it

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  • critical friend
  • 09-19-17

Original steampunk and raunchier than expected

Where does The Difference Engine rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 50, difficult to be precise as different genres and styles.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main female character (who went by different names). She was integral to the plot and able to be a chameleon in her actions and interactions with others.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favourite?

All were good and sympathies changed as this is a mystery with possibly unreliable narrators.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Victorian version of the Matrix

Any additional comments?

Had read this years ago and was struck in this version by how sexy the characters were in supposedly repressed times.

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  • Snuffles
  • 12-30-16

Brilliantly read.

It's a brilliantly read but the story is a bit disjointed and hard to follow.

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  • Kentoski
  • 06-13-16

great performance of a really fun book

Vance gives a super performance of the book which kicked off the steam punk genre.

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  • elly gausden
  • 12-27-16

Gibson builds a world, but has lost the plot

A work of unutterable dullness. Nothing happens while a group of only mildly likeable characters solve a slight intrusion of plot into an otherwise desicated landscape of an imagined history. Clearly produced under the 'because I can' school of writing.

Mind you, the reader is damn near perfect.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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  • Alexander I. W. Haslam
  • 02-18-15

Not what I hoped for

Would you try another book written by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling or narrated by Simon Vance?

Probably not, Simon's voice just doesn't do anything to excite my mind. The book was ok, so might try another.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The details about the computers.

What three words best describe Simon Vance’s performance?

uninspiring

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

Nothing, It did not make me feel anything.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful