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The Windup Girl Audiobook

The Windup Girl

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Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

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

"Paolo Bacigalupi's debut sci-fi novel is a stunner, especially as interpreted under the careful ministrations of narrator Jonathan Davis. The novel postulates a corrupt near-future society in Southeast Asia, where powerful corporations vie for control over rice yields by wielding bioengineered viruses as tools for profit." (AudioFile)

"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

3.7 (5015 )
5 star
 (1504)
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3 star
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Overall
3.7 (3285 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (3262 )
5 star
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4 star
 (1101)
3 star
 (470)
2 star
 (143)
1 star
 (122)
Performance
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  •  
    John bakersfield, CA, United States 11-21-11
    John bakersfield, CA, United States 11-21-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    1374
    28
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    0
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    Story
    "Save your credit"

    Poor story, use your credit for a better title. I could not get into this book.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Varble Los Angeles, CA 07-22-17
    S. Varble Los Angeles, CA 07-22-17

    Sunshine76

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    25
    2
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    0
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    Story
    "Enough with the dramatic pause..."

    It's hard to say how much I truly liked this story because the narrator was sooooo slow. He took a dramatic pause between each word. When I sped it up to 1.25x it sounded a bit more normal. I still have him a 3 because he have a different voice to each character. All in all though, I thought the book was boring. The only reason i finished it was because it was what my book club chose to read. Can't think of anyone I would recommend it to

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alain Samson 11-18-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Missed Opportunity!!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The writing was not very interesting and the person reading was very very boring and their accents made me feel uncomfortable because they were poorly done.


    Has The Windup Girl turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Definitely will be skeptical about other books in this genre, because while I have read and liked other books in this genre, this book gives me the impression that it could be hit or MISS (this one was a miss).


    How could the performance have been better?

    If you can't do a believable accent, don't do one! and the person should try and inject more emotion/energy into the reading. I almost got in an accident falling asleep at the wheel because of this reader (not really but I could have!)


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

    The premise was interesting, but beyond that this book was a waste of a credit. I guess the redeeming quality was that I got 2 books for a single credit as part of a sale on audible and the other book is good (so I guess no wasted credit after all... just wasted time)


    Any additional comments?

    Garbage book please don't waste your time reading this. I am someone who likes to finish what I start but I could not make it through this book. I can't believe I lasted halfway through, considering how bad it is. Learn from me.... run!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Hill 05-12-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    12
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    "Awful Book"
    Would you try another book from Paolo Bacigalupi and/or Jonathan Davis?

    I would not try another book by Paolo Bacigalupi and/or Jonathan Davis


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    No Idea


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

    Pain staking slow pace


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

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I would not recommend this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AmberM. 03-03-16
    AmberM. 03-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    11
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    "Hoped for more"

    Really loved the premise and felt let down. seemed very slow and not enough meat in the relationships, characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    @the real Tom byrne 11-23-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but a little bit racist"

    In terms of the performance I don't imagine when one Chinese person is speaking to another in Chinese they have such a heavy accent.

    Also Many plot points hung on the fact that Hock Seng or Emiko could pass as Thai if they didn't say anything.

    Good though

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monchos Moca, PR United States 05-01-15
    Monchos Moca, PR United States 05-01-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    43
    7
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    0
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    "Could not finish it"

    Bad narrative bad storyline and boring could not connect to any of the characters. Will be forgotten soon. Wasted time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    VARV 11-19-14
    VARV 11-19-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    28
    4
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    "Boring.Slow. Could not finish this book."

    This book is one of the worst book I have ever listened to. Please don't waste your time or money.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hx 10-09-14
    hx 10-09-14 Member Since 2010

    I'm an astronomer. Scifi is all I ever read/watch/listen to. (with the occasional epic fantasy here and there, for diversity :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    287
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    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Frustrating"
    What do you think your next listen will be?

    the Empress of Mars. I hope it's much better.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    the narrator reads Very Slowly. Perhaps for dramatic effect, perhaps he was very tired, I don't know. I set the playback speed to 1.5x normal because I just couldn't take it. At 1.5x normal it sounded almost like a normal speed narration. Unbelievably, it was still occasionally too slow.


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

    Meh. The prose is ok, the book is well-written, the author obviously has talent. Otherwise frustrating.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't understand the point of the rape scenes. At least two separate rapes, hours apart in the book. There may be more, I still have 4 hours to the end. Maybe it all ends in one big final bang, just in case we forgot the first two. Anyway, unless you're a sexual sadist the highly detailed rape scenes add nothing to your enjoyment of the book, or to your deeper understanding of the plot. This serves no purpose. What's the point, is it for shock value? That's some feeble imagination if this is the only way you can think to make an impression to an audience.

    And also, if you're raping, rape a male character, why don't you. Mix it up a little, be "brave". That would also be shocking but at least it would be new. And it would add just as much to the plot (in reality just as little) as the public gang rapes of this girl.

    So basically my impression is that this book lost its way with some pointlessly detailed rape scenes and acts of sexual abuse, described in a way which didn't provide a natural concrete target for the reader to channel their outrage. When there's no target provided for your righteous indignation and outrage, that implies that the author doesn't think such a target would be necessary. Perhaps because outrage is not what the reader should/would be feeling at these scenes. However, I have no idea what he expected me to feel instead. Perhaps the idea was simply to frustrate the reader.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RegularGuy 08-03-14
    RegularGuy 08-03-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meandering, unconvicted, sophomoric, 3x too long."
    What would have made The Windup Girl better?

    I'm not sure and editor ever took time to cut this book down to make it the short story it should have been.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    More Frank Herbert


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

    He chooses random times to inflect, slow down his speech patterns, sound off, and create emphasis where it is unnecessary. At one point he actually lapses into an English accent for a villain that displayed that at no point in the book ever before.


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

    I was driving across the United States and I skipped almost 30 chapters of this book without missing a beat. I wish I was exaggerating. So maybe 30 chapters?


    Any additional comments?

    I think the author's intention was to show the interconnectedness of politics, dogma, history, nationalism, entrepreneurship and capitalism. I think he is out of his depth and what he sought to achieve in only one book Frank Herbert achieved in five books of Dune. I very much want to like this book but it lacks originality and is in fact more suited for the teen dystopic book section. Not the fantasy or sci-fi world at all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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