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Zeitgeist

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,064 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
It's 1999, and in the Turkish half of Cyprus, 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 rock group ever to wear Wonderbras and spandex. His market is staring him in the face: millions of teenagers trapped in a world of mullahs and mosques, all ready to blow their p ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published July 31st 2001 by Spectra (first published November 2000)
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Penny
Aug 26, 2012 Penny rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Boy, is this weird book aptly named ... ideas and philosophy and sideways-stuff explode out of every page. The Balkans, Hawaii, Turkey, and pop music are all exposed. I guess you could call it magical reality, except he shows that, "there may be a reality somewhere, but it isn't here". At the end, my head felt like a can whose top was being pryed up.

Sterling is one-of-a-kind; either you like going on sideways trips, or you don't. I sure do.
Evan
Jun 04, 2007 Evan rated it really liked it
"Starlitz stared in silent hunger at the satellite telephone. The device stank of futurity. They would probably go broke, being so far ahead of the curve and all, but the gizmo was an utter harbinger of things to come, like discovering a fossil in reverse. Starlitz felt a powerful urge to grip the phone, caress it, perhaps bite it, but he restrained himself. Vanna was sure to take that gesture all wrong."
Daniel
Feb 14, 2008 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Bruce Sterling is easily one of the most original writers out there today. So many works in the sci-fi/fantasy field are simply remixes of Lord of the Rings, or Conan, or a Heinlein/Asimov/Clarke/Niven novel. But when you open a Bruce Sterling novel you know you will be getting something that isn't like anything you've ever read before.

And for this alone, bonus points.

But I'll be honest...I'm not sure what I read. I liked the style, I got caught up in the characters, but I'm just not sure I'm cl
...more
Alex
Aug 26, 2015 Alex rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Bruce Sterling has a sawed-off idea shotgun and you're about to get it in the face with this messy book. He has a new idea for every page, and some of them are interesting but none of them are focused; it feels indulgent, like he thinks he's too smart to need rigor.

Pretty smart he is: this is one of the foremost authors in the cyberpunk subgenre, and the guy who invented the clever though self-defeating term "slipstream", for books that meld genres. Here he's using what we might as well call mag
...more
Jon
Aug 23, 2012 Jon rated it it was amazing
Whenever I read anything by Bruce Stirling it takes a little longer than normal to complete than another novel of approximate page/word length. Not because it is difficult to read, yet his stories make me stop and reconsider my personal beliefs in a manner that fine tunes the perceptions I may have long held. His characters challenge each other and in turn may challenge the reader, and as you sift through the pages you may find by the end of the story your conscious has passed through a sieve ma ...more
David Hall
Oct 10, 2014 David Hall rated it it was amazing
All in all another great read from Bruce Sterling. I picked it up and was hooked pretty quickly, and ended up reading 80% of the book in one sitting (staying up way too late); fortunately I had enough left to make a good reading session while wrapping it up the next night,

This is another fascinating work by Sterling, who specializes in near-future speculative fiction. This one isn't far in the future at all - in fact it's really in the present, since the book takes place in 1999 and it was publi
...more
Mad Russian the Traveller
I just had to share this almost 'noir' flavored description of Istanbul, Turkey:

[Quote:]

Worn out from repeated jet flights, Starlitz stared murkily out his curtained window.

So it was back to Istanbul, finally. He'd never meant to spend so much time here. The place had a fatal attraction for him. It had been so much stronger than he was, so far beyond his ability to help. The city was neck deep, chin deep, nose deep, in the darkest sumps of history. Istanbul was the unspoken capital of many subme
...more
Johnny
Jun 21, 2016 Johnny rated it it was amazing
Bruce Sterling is an astute of observer of pop culture, but this book goes far beyond that. Written in 1999 and published in 2000 it predicts the post Eric Snowden world, the rise of Islam on the global stage and centers on Turkey as the eye of the Mid-East storm. Slobodan Milosevic plays a minor role, but the Yugoslavia Wars are an underlying motif, especially the NATO bombing of Christians who were implicated in war crimes against Muslims. What a complicated world we have inherited! The book s ...more
Judy
Jan 05, 2009 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
"Really bizarre romp through the Third World with Leggy Starlitz and an all-girl rock group. Leggy does business with some very dangerous and strange folks. It's a futuristic pop thriller, a funky and fun read."
Alan
Mar 12, 2010 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People getting an early start on the next millennium's pre-millennial jitters
Recommended to Alan by: The brightly-colored butterfly on its cover
Zeitgeist is exceptional, particularly in this sense: it's one of the very few near-future thrillers that has tumbled into the recent past almost unscathed, without becoming stale and irrelevant. Yet, anyway.

Sterling's novel came out during The Year 2000, and it captures the jittery sense that many felt in the pre-Y2K West, that the end of the 20th Century would bring with it irreversible changes, and that most of them would be unpleasant. He hasn't exactly been proven wrong. Sterling was undoub
...more
Sebastien
Jan 06, 2015 Sebastien rated it it was ok
Following the research of notable philosopher in literature like Derrida, Sterling tries too hard to create something new, with a broken narrative speaking about itself... but without ever doing nothing else than to annoy the reader to death. If you want to get a better "let's break the fourth wall", tries any Deadpool comics, most of the Discword books, or books about comics from Scott McCloud.

Oh well.

Next book ?
Jerico
Sep 07, 2012 Jerico rated it really liked it
All the Leggy stories are great, but this one is like a 90s iteration of the old Moorcock Jerry Cornelius character, except instead of a spy he's managing a knock off Spice Girls act called the G-7. There were several times I audibly laughed reading this book. It's a pretty great book, paced expertly, with great dialog and Sterling's ear for authenticity in locations.
Ken Bateman
Dec 15, 2011 Ken Bateman rated it it was amazing
My favorite things in this book I don't want to spoil in this review, but that doesn't really matter because I don't really understand them very well and I'm also perfectly fine with that. The book doesn't quite break through the barrier to modern fantasy, but it certainly pokes a hole in it now and then.
Devero
Jul 28, 2013 Devero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sterling riprende alcuni dei suoi personaggi e scrive un romanzo ambientato alla fine del millennio, quindi tre lustri fa, oramai. C'è una scommessa, creare una banda musicale femminile, le G7, e portarla ad un successo a tempo determinato, dopodiché la banda si scioglierà con la fine del 1999. Ma qualcosa andrà storto!
Alan Michaels
Jul 03, 2016 Alan Michaels rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really not sure how to classify this book. Its certainly not cyberpunk, its not really science fiction. It is a however an interesting journey, sometimes technical, sometimes fanciful, sometimes firmly grounded in reality, that takes you through the changing of the millennium in a style i have only really seen with Haruki Murakami. I really liked it!
Eric
Sep 04, 2009 Eric rated it it was ok
This book was all over the place, with characters that all sounded like they were making speeches and a plot that made no sense. It had some interesting social commentary. Perhaps it would have worked better as an essay than a novel.
Shoryl
Sep 06, 2007 Shoryl rated it liked it
Shelves: cyberpunk
Like most of Sterling's main characters, I hated this one at the beginning. But, also like most of Sterling's work, by the end I sympathized with the character enough to appreciate the changes he'd gone through.
Toby
Mar 10, 2011 Toby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Zeitgeist is a little all over the place. Weird. A world where 1/1/2000 was a funhouse mirror held up to the world. It probably made more sense a decade ago, which puts the joke on me. Not unpleasant to read, but ultimately not that rewarding.
Aneel
Feb 09, 2010 Aneel rated it liked it
Recommended to Aneel by: Eric Nehrli
Weird. I thought it was one kind of book and it turned out to be another. I'm not sure I got it.
Bria
Sep 20, 2011 Bria rated it it was ok
I get all the self-aware "narrative" bullshit - it is called Zeitgeist, after all - and it's really quite clever, and I appreciate it, but god is it ever irritating.
Fussnik
May 19, 2015 Fussnik rated it really liked it
I don't think his other novels are going to work for me. I looked at them quickly and they seemed to be rocket ships etc. this one was more of hustling funny book.
Dustin
Jun 12, 2007 Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Meta-fiction and lampooning pop culture is my bag, baby.
Ted Compton
Aug 20, 2008 Ted Compton rated it liked it
Post-cyperpunk Sterling: A good story with an unfortunate tendency to wander. If you've never read Sterling, start someplace else.
Florin Pitea
Mar 09, 2010 Florin Pitea rated it liked it
Read it in 2001. Enjoyed it for its inventivity and for its humour. For a detailed review, please visit my blog: http://tesatorul.blogspot.ro/2013/05/....
Aaron
Jan 02, 2013 Aaron rated it really liked it
Fascinating ideas, excellent prose style, but no plot to speak of. More like a book of aphorisms than a novel.
Chris
May 08, 2008 Chris rated it did not like it
Another one for the Sterling completist, but not one I'd recommend in general. It's a little to disconnected, and in the end I didn't care much about anything that had happened.
Jason
Jun 20, 2007 Jason rated it liked it
Spice World for sci-fi nerds.
Friedrich
Jun 07, 2012 Friedrich rated it it was ok
Tbh I think that I didn't get the story.
The plot is a bit weird. As are the characters.
I'm even not sure, if reading this was rewarding.
So yeah... it was ok.
Denton McCabe
Jan 04, 2016 Denton McCabe rated it liked it
Pretty humorous and witty. Y2K like only Bruce Sterling could do Y2K. This book made me damn nostalgic for high school and all the fun I had back then. mmm. . .mm. . .mmm. . .
Erik
Apr 22, 2016 Erik rated it really liked it
A very bizarre and fairly profound novel.
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Michael Bruce Sterling is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which helped define the cyberpunk genre.
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