I enjoyed the prose, but all the author does is complain and complain about his inability to connect and find a meaningful relationship, with no growtI enjoyed the prose, but all the author does is complain and complain about his inability to connect and find a meaningful relationship, with no growth whatsoever at the end. Like I said, I enjoyed the prose, but did not really feel like learned anything or gained any insights that I didn't know before. ...more
Started out somewhat OK. Sometimes the "humor" reached Neal Stephenson lows, but it wasn't nearly as annoying. Then the Singularity happened, and thinStarted out somewhat OK. Sometimes the "humor" reached Neal Stephenson lows, but it wasn't nearly as annoying. Then the Singularity happened, and things just went downhill.
I don't think I'm the right target for these "idea" novels. Some of the ideas can be interesting, but I'd rather read them in non-fiction, rather than have to endure bad, "witty", "hip" writing from people who don't seem to care about writing as an actual craft.
For all the flack that nerds give William Gibson, at least the man can put a sentence together artfully and evocatively; something that these authors that get compared to him in the sales blurbs can't seem to do . ...more
The first story that comes to mind when thinking about this book is "Four Hundred Boyz". I imagined the characters looking a bit like the movie "The WThe first story that comes to mind when thinking about this book is "Four Hundred Boyz". I imagined the characters looking a bit like the movie "The Warriors", even though the plot is completely different and surreal. This story and a few of the others make this book a keeper for me. Loved it. ...more
Did not get interesting until the middle, where there were some concrete suggestions on how to play around with limits, the interplay between creativiDid not get interesting until the middle, where there were some concrete suggestions on how to play around with limits, the interplay between creativity and judgement.
The beginning and the end of the book are weakest, in my opinion. They are filled with too much pseudo-spiritual riffs, or get off track with rants against mainstream society, neither of which did much for me.
All that said, I still think it was a worthwhile read for what was there regarding improvisation. ...more
Not terribly different from other Fantasy books I've read from these authors (i.e Dragonlance), but still enjoyable. I would definitely pick up the suNot terribly different from other Fantasy books I've read from these authors (i.e Dragonlance), but still enjoyable. I would definitely pick up the subsequent books given the chance, but would not likely keep or re-read. ...more
I'm a big fanboy of the cyberpunk genre. I should have liked this book. Instead, I can honestly say that hateJuvenile nerd power fantasy in a nutshell
I'm a big fanboy of the cyberpunk genre. I should have liked this book. Instead, I can honestly say that hate this book-- and I also feel bad saying that about someone's work, because it's almost like saying you hate someone's baby.
Maybe it was all the hype I was exposed to before reading it,but I just could not shake a deep feeling of annoyance throughout 90% of this book. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot. And when I wasn't doing that, I was asking myself things like: "Do people really think this is the Cyberpunk cream of the crop? How many pages to go?"
The first obvious problem was the prose. Apparently some people's funny bones get tickled by similes comparing military bases to boils on someone's ass, metaphors about valleys and geological cunnilingus, and clever wordplay like calling refugees "Refus" (Refuse, har har har, get it?). To an elitist douchebag like me it just sounds juvenile and unimaginative. Combine all that with clunky, corny writing, and it's just downright lame. I could have also done without the "Unix In A Nutshell"-like explanations of EVERYTHING that drag down the flow of the book even more.
The other big problem was that I did not care about any of the characters. Hiro was annoying as hell because it's obvious that he's just a nerd's fantasy of what he wishes he could do. Y.T. also got on my nerves. She could have disappeared in the middle of the book and I would not have missed her. There was nothing likeable or interesting about either of them. Ironically, among all the cartoony, shallow characters, the only ones that had some sense of deeper humanity were Ng and Raven.
Another letdown was that the book's ideas were not that great, which did not help the plot. I just did not buy the whole "neurolinguistic hacking" angle as it was used. People becoming brainless zombies from watching some binary code on a screen, or listening to some Sumerian "namshub"? That is so far removed from the fields of NeuroLinguistic Programming and memetics, that this might as well have been a Dungeons & Dragons novel. I get it. Brains are just like computers, so they can get viruses, binary code, 0's and 1's, blah blah blah. Seriously, I can suspend disbelief, but you can only take a metaphor so far before it starts to look stupid.
Finally, for a book that's supposed to be a belly busting satire, the humor in this book is rather lame and nerdy. I read people talking about how this book made them howl with laughter, but almost everything fell pretty flat for me. The only section that got a half-assed 'heh' from me was the government policy on the use of toilet paper, but by the second page the joke had already become stale.
All in all, I doubt that I will buy another book from this author. Judging from what little I've read in Cryptonomicon and Diamond Age, there is little that has changed for me to warrant another look....more