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Zeitgeist  By  cover art

Zeitgeist

By: Bruce Sterling
Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
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Publisher's summary

Bruce Sterling is "perhaps the sharpest observer of our media-choked culture working today" (Time), offering haunting visions of a future shaped by a madness of our own making. His latest novel is a startling tragicomic spectacle that takes a breathtaking look at a world where the future is being chased down by the past....

ZeitgeistIt's 1999 in Cyprus, an ancient island bejeweled with blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers and littered with rusting land mines, corroding barbed wire, and illegal sewage dumps. Here, in the Turkish half of the island, the ever-enterprising Leggy Starlitz has alighted, pausing on his mission to storm the Third World with the "G-7" girls, the cheapest, phoniest all-girl band ever to wear Wonderbras and spandex. And his market is staring him in the face: millions of teenagers trapped in a world of mullahs and mosques, all ready to blow their pocket change on G-7's massive merchandising campaign—and to wildly anticipate music the group will never release.

Leggy's brilliant plan means doing business with some of the world's most dangerous people. His business partner is the rich and connected Mehmet Ozbey, a man with many identities and a Turkish girlfriend whose beauty and singing voice could blow G-7 right out of the water. His security chief is Pulat Romanevich Khoklov, who learned to fly MiG combat jets in Afghanistan and now pilots Milosevic's personal airplane. Among these thieves, schemers, and killers, Leggy must act quickly and decisively. Bombs are dropping in Yugoslavia. Y2K is just around the corner. And the only rule to live by is that the whole scheme stops before the year 2000.

But Leggy gets a surprise when the daughter he's never met arrives on his doorstep. A major fan of G-7, she is looking for a father—and her search forces Leggy to examine his life before making a madcap journey in search of a father of his own. It's a detour that puts his G-7 Zeitgeist in some real jeopardy. For in Istanbul, Leggy's former partners are getting restless, and the G-7 girls are beginning to die....

Zeitgeist is a world-beat tale of smugglers, paparazzi, greed, war, and a new era of cultural crusades. Here Bruce Sterling proves once again that in the fiction of imagination, he is one of the most insightful writers of our time.

©2000 Bruce Sterling
(P)2000 Random House, Inc.

Critic reviews

“Brilliant!” — The Washington Post

“A gem.”— Chicago Sun-Times

“Turn-of-the-millennium spectacular ... Y2K’s Catch 22!”— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

What listeners say about Zeitgeist

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

interesting near future history

This book is another good one by Bruce Sterling. He takes a more moderated tack to the practice of cyber-punk fiction, which he famously pioneered in co-authored books with William Gibson. Sterling here provides a pretty fun and interesting sort of international intrigue with a great protagonist and lots of good sociological speculation. All of his books are provocative and thoughtful science fiction on the cutting edge.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, very well narrated post-cyberpunk piece

This, like Gibson's Pattern recognition is really a post-cyberpunk work and I think that might have turned some people off _ I personally was not turned off.

Styling :
I find this a natural extension of the earlier styling (where they may have explored the "near-future flawed or maybe corrupt", the post movement has shades of the "present inane")
"Edgy" has gone maybe a little "sardonic"
The buzzwords were, I feel, appropriately (over)used as THAT itself was part of the ccultural commentary
I found the atmosphere witty, dryly humorous and entertaining

Story :
Like Much of sci-fi (esp in the longform) the concept/theme of the stoy and the construction of the world can be less-than-perfectly integrated (hey, I find this even among the old gaurd masters of the genre)
It does seem to read like 2 different stories and takes a left turn maybe 70% through...and the reader has to shift gears with it
Admittedly, that transition is a little rough and maybe a little muddled (though maybe that was something we were supposed to feel...uprooted) -- not entirely smooth, but didn't trash the work by any means and certainly isn't the worst example of that by any means

Narration :
Extremely impressive, the narrator gives a different voice to the characters making it easy to follow and more of a performance, WITHOUT putting the characterizations on heavily enough to become tedious or overly apparent (I just heard it as different voices and it helped immersion into the story making the narration yet smoother).
I honestly feel one of the better readers I've heard just about anywhere

It's actually one I can go back and enjoy again

So my opinion differs from some of the other listeners

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Zeitgeist

In a nutshell, The "Emperor's New Book." Dark and unappealing. No real plot. One of the few books from Audible that I thought was a waste of time.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Buzzwords galore

This book does its own literary criticsm, which would be interesting if the work actually rated literary criticism. Instead, _Zeitgeist_ stumbles under the weight poor storytelling and dozens upon dozens of buzzwords from modern philosophy and Internet-bubble technology.

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2 people found this helpful