When a foreign exchange student is found mur ...more
Fortunately for me, Stephenson spends most of his time in the Science-Fiction / Fantasy genre, but this book, written in his early days, is a classic thriller in the mode of John Le Carré and Robert Ludlum. Since that's not ...more
The writing is so seamlessly forged, it's impossible to tell where one author stops and the other begins. Fast paced, flowing, genuinely funny at times, witty and sarcastic in its entirety, it's one of those books easy on the eye, but engaging enough to let the reader finish it in one go.
Lots of main characters, ...more
... the melting pot, where:
cultures change, society adopts, people transform, foreign to local...more
From his triumphant debut with Snow Crash to the stunning success of his latest novel, Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson has quickly become the voice of a generation. In this now-classic political thriller, he and fellow author J. Frederick George tell a savagely witty, chillingly topical tale set in the tense moments of the Gulf War.
**When a foreign exchange student is found murdered at an Iowa University, Deputy Sheriff Clyde Banks finds that his investigation extends far beyond the small college...more
The two novels that he wrote with his uncle, and published under the name Stephen Bury, are The Cobweb and Interface. I really enjoyed both these books when I originally r ...more
Sadly, I have to admit, it wasn't that good.
Being dated was part of it - it's a political thriller, and well, we know know more about Saddam and his alleged WMDs than Stephenson did when he wrote it.
Stephenson's main point here is: Foreign grad students in the sciences could actually be plants working for enemy governments, using our labs and resources to create ...more
This was written (and is set) shortly after the first Gulf War, and the plot is all about terrorists on American soil, subterfuge and double-dealings, etc. While this isn't necessaril ...more
The book centers around several situations in the time just before the first Gulf War, detailing a few different plot lines: DC intel analysts and insiders, a smarter-than-expected deputy sheriff in a big small town in Iowa, and a ...more
Cobweb is set in the time of the first Gulf War, when Iraq have invaded Kuwait. In small town America a body of an Arab student turns up following a boating accident; but this student has been consuming alcohol. The local deputy sheriff suspects something fishy and starts to dig around the local university where the student was from. ...more
As someone said below, a mediocre Stephenson novel is better than no Stephenson novel at all, and I'm not even sure I would call this a mediocre Stephenson novel. It's definitely an early one, and it's pure political thriller, not science fiction at all.
You can feel him bursting to get all his clever ...more
I enjoyed the book for it's portrayal of folks in the midwest as intelligent, practical human beings. It was an interesting juxtaposition to have the country lifest ...more
Worthy of note- there is nothing very science fictional about this story.
Just before the Gulf War starts a brave Deputy County sheriff discovers clues of a conspiracy in the East Iowa University. The suspects are a group of Arab students. A CIA analyst in Washington finds similar clues. Senior management is, of course, not happy wit ...more
This book is also quite good - and at one point became a page turner. (the kind you wake up at 3AM to read a few more chapters)
This book had less science fiction in it than I prefer but was a great thriller nonetheless. 4.35/5
Early Stephenson could have used more character development of characters other than the main few who had adequate development, but the side stories which develop the less important characters that a ...more
Also, I haven't found another author who writes female characters better. Or maybe it's that they're always viewed through the eyes of men "madly in love with them" and completely at their mercy which makes it amusing and adorable.
Betsy was great, too.
Topic-wise, Cobweb wasn't what I would ...more