Scathing, self-aware, hilarious and occasionally desperately shocking. An adult Lemony Snicket for the kids who were smart in high school and didn't kScathing, self-aware, hilarious and occasionally desperately shocking. An adult Lemony Snicket for the kids who were smart in high school and didn't know how to control their raging hormones. Slightly confusing drift towards the ending - I feel the sense of open-ended narrative was purposeful, but still feels drifting in a sea of sharp humor and characters. Flan is a particularly entertaining heroine that collapses into her own delusional view of what her life is, and the supporting cast is perfect in their cliches. The final party of the novel reminds me of more than one similar party, minus the murderous mayhem....more
Interesting collection of sources, but the flow between "eras" is scattered and the coverage of European and other overseas markets (outside of Japan)Interesting collection of sources, but the flow between "eras" is scattered and the coverage of European and other overseas markets (outside of Japan) generally begins and ends with single sentence throwaways vaguely related to the topic at hand. Sales numbers and demographics were fascinating and were used well to make solid conclusions about the various ups and downs of the industry. Interestingly little on the actual successful game designs, though that would understandably be the first casualty of a guide on "history" rather than "mechanics" or "legacy." Nothing shockingly new - blame the internet for that - and quickly showing age during the epilogue notes, shortly before the release of Microsoft's XBox. Still, a comprehensive and factually lush resource....more
Near perfect in form, presentation and emotional drain. A handful of similarly quirky but unqiue characters handle similarly quirky but unique situatiNear perfect in form, presentation and emotional drain. A handful of similarly quirky but unqiue characters handle similarly quirky but unique situations through a variety of historical, current and futuristic technologies, all while building a LEGO simulator that will put their new gaming company on the map. Great portrayl of Bill Gates and the Microsoft culture, as well as the campuses and lifestyles of a variety of other tech companies of the time. Fairly unique in presentation, often incorporating a literal reprinting of computer-related topics presented in each chapter, including the main character's computer's "sub-conscious" files acting as barriers between chapters. Taught me many a random factoid - the amounts of chemicals in the human body and the various uses for them, the body as a form of memory, flatland foods - and many a life lesson - why talking to someone through "license plate" speak can be the most heartbreaking and hopeful communication in the world. Touching, honest, hilarious and surprisingly warm look at the computer industry, nerds, and the Silicon Valley....more
Loved A Place So Foreign; Home Again, Home Again; To Market, To Market; and 0wnz0red.
Was bored by everything else. The good was great, the rest was juLoved A Place So Foreign; Home Again, Home Again; To Market, To Market; and 0wnz0red.
Was bored by everything else. The good was great, the rest was just forgettable. Doctorow's strength - for me - lies in novels. The short story format has been hit or miss. Still looking forward to plowing through FTW tonight, though....more
Briefly: felt less like a Coupland novel than I would have preferred. The characters - other than Harj - took a while to get accustomed to and connectBriefly: felt less like a Coupland novel than I would have preferred. The characters - other than Harj - took a while to get accustomed to and connect with. I am a little confused as to interpreting the spoken-word stories in the novel. Having read the book, I was presented written word, and I feel like some of the ambiance and intrigue of the novel was lost in the translation from the "original" form - each character's spoken story.
The final twist with Sarge was hilarious, unexpected and grotesque. Loved it.
My major gripe is the lack of a general heart I find in every Coupland novel, which I thought was going to come from the five Solon kids growing closer, but that whole storyline felt pretty abruptly ended.
Also, the jacket's description:
"Generation A mirrors 1991’s Generation X. It explores new ways of looking at the act of reading and storytelling in a digital world."
I may be dense, but I didn't get that from this book at all. Secluded kids being semi-coerced, mostly-intrigued into telling stories? Other than (admittedly well-placed) spec-fic references to constant vidlinks and liveblogging and junk, there didn't seem like much "new" storytelling explorations......more
I hover between giving Rainbows End four stars, or two stars. I guess that means three. The characters were largely well written andBriefly, for now:
I hover between giving Rainbows End four stars, or two stars. I guess that means three. The characters were largely well written and presented, and the universe complimented them nicely, with a few weird issues along the way.
Four stars for: characters, especially Miri, Juan and Robert's motley crew; my very real hatred for Robert's God-awful attitude; the augmented reality spec-fic, both for excellent concept and excellent representation of a largely visceral concept; shining, though occasional, hilarity; shining, though rare, current technology jokes and references; some of the physical pain presented in the climax of the underground tunnels during the library riot.
Two stars for: characters, in that some characters - Alice and Lena, mostly - feel like they are from previous novels that are required reading to see how they fit into the plot; the plot as a whole was basically forgettable, overshadowed by dialogue, technology and character interaction, which is hugely affected by...; confusing and intrusive pacing; a climax that felt like a dribbled leftover instead of a full-on money shot; a dry, uninteresting ending that somewhat dissolves much of the aforementioned character building, especially in Robert, who almost changes, but basically doesn't, despite his character arc towards "neutral" (versus blatantly antagonistic) feeling like one of the only natural arcs present; the shining gems of occasional hilarity not being quite shining enough; same for the clever technology references.
Overall, I just had a hard time getting absorbed in the universe, despite a huge lust for the technology - and the prose presenting the technology. It just felt too jarring and unevenly paced....more