An unlikely choice for me, discovered after a business colleague quoted something philosophical that Gibson had said. Something about the earth or theAn unlikely choice for me, discovered after a business colleague quoted something philosophical that Gibson had said. Something about the earth or the sun. I can't remember. But, as we walked between meetings, it was so out of place for this man to ask me if I read science fiction that all I recalled was the author. I am glad I did. This is possibly the best hard science fiction that I have ever read. I'm more into quasi-spec-fiction, and haven't enjoyed a lot of science fiction over the years. I don't know if I'm turned away because of the bad science, or the bad writing; but either way, I've always found it difficult to get 'sucked in'. Gibson changed that. This was brilliant. He created a brilliant visual picture of the characters and the matrix. He loses a star for an attempt at world building that fell short, and because I couldn't predict what the characters would do next - I didn't know what they wanted. I'm still not a convert to the genre as a whole, but I will definitely be reading more of William Gibson....more
Easy to read, hard to follow. While I really enjoyed the book, I confess that I spent most of the time wondering whether I truly understood what was haEasy to read, hard to follow. While I really enjoyed the book, I confess that I spent most of the time wondering whether I truly understood what was happening, and whether or not any of it was real. An astrophysicist trying to finish work on his theory is repeatedly thwarted by: unexplained alcohol, a random woman in a short skirt, strange men, and the potential visitation of (for want of a better word) aliens.
"I can't say that I didn't understand his theory, but I can't say that I fully grasped it either. I can't say that this theory convinced me fully, but on the other hand everything that had happened to us fit into it nicely. More than that, everything that ever happened, was happening, and will ever happen in the entire universe fit into it - that was the theory's weakness. It smacked of the statement that rope was simply rope."
Question nothing, question everything. The cat is real....more
Meh. I am not attached enough to this book to bother with a proper review. It was easy to read, but the 'plot' is all over the place. The ending is atrMeh. I am not attached enough to this book to bother with a proper review. It was easy to read, but the 'plot' is all over the place. The ending is atrocious.
The dialogue was written well enough for me to give it two stars - but it probably only deserves one....more
I was really looking forward to reading this, and perhaps I expected too much; merely setting myself up for disappointment. I expected more of DoctoroI was really looking forward to reading this, and perhaps I expected too much; merely setting myself up for disappointment. I expected more of Doctorow as a writer, I don't know why. I expected better content, better quality of writing, better .. something. I didn't expect romance and a "Disney" happy ending. The book has a great premise, and it's fun. Doctorow could benefit from a good editor, potentially turning this into a great book. Around halfway through I started to think the reviewer comments on the cover were for a different book. It quickly becomes predictable and clichéd. There were a number of things that irked. The central female character hugs four or five people in part 1, and each time - they "resist at first", then melt into her embrace. Every time the characters eat they "ravenously throw food down their throats" or eat "like hungry dogs". The worst part is the five page sex scene one of the characters has with a stranger. The core of the story is about how two geeks use some Elmo doll tech to make a ride, and Doctorow spends a paragraph explaining how that actually works. But there's five pages of unnecessary and awkwardly graphic sex. Someone please buy Doctorow a thesaurus, because he needs to find a word to use other than "hilt". Overall, I was disappointed. The characters are well developed, but you'd be forgiven for mixing up the two central geeks halfway through. The story twists, but sort of goes nowhere in the end. I feel like the ending with Suzanne and Freddy was written because Doctorow realised he had nothing better to finish with. But it makes for a weak core. If you do read the book, don't read the epilogue. The irony of Doctorow tidying up everything with a "Disney" ending is not lost, but is unnecessary....more
The first story wasn't particularly engaging, so it has taken me a long time to finish the book. Glad I stuck with it though, as there are several staThe first story wasn't particularly engaging, so it has taken me a long time to finish the book. Glad I stuck with it though, as there are several stand-out stories and the final story, a tribute to Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman, was probably the best. A chunky book though, while you want to take the stories to read with you everywhere the hefty tome demands you stay in bed or on the couch to dedicate time to reading this collection. Looking forward to more. ...more
There is nothing I can say about this book that hasn't already been said. Of course it is brilliant and you can truly understand how it consumed BradbThere is nothing I can say about this book that hasn't already been said. Of course it is brilliant and you can truly understand how it consumed Bradbury for nine days as he wrote it in that library basement on his rented typewriter. As he says in the afterword "I had no way to stop. I did not write Fahrenheit 451, it wrote me." I can't imagine why I hadn't read it sooner. ...more
Bacigalupi has done an amazing job of building this fictional world. While some of them are unlikely partners, all of the characters belong in the booBacigalupi has done an amazing job of building this fictional world. While some of them are unlikely partners, all of the characters belong in the book and do their part to keep the story together. While I didn't "absolutely love it", the story is impressive in its scope and delivery. I got a sense of the 'world', and felt like I could be comfortable escaping from the factory. I do feel that the author could develop his foreign language skills a little, and perhaps get some more exposure to how people learn new words. The scenario where someone says "lychee" and all the other characters mispronounce it is truly painful. Not to mention that this fruit is probably a rambutan.. (also mispronounced).
Still, the book as a whole is enjoyable and there are some good sci-fi ideas developed.
This book has been reviewed so many times I don't think I have anything else new to add. ...more
I just inhaled this book. I can't remember the last time I read a book from start to finish without engaging any other book during that time. While theI just inhaled this book. I can't remember the last time I read a book from start to finish without engaging any other book during that time. While the Big Brother concept and the theme of Power in the book are obvious and well known, I got more out of the personal journey of Winston. His doubt over false memories, his certain uncertainty; everything is well constructed. The characters and scenes are complete. Nothing is overlooked. I haven't read Orwell before, and I was amazed how I loved him as a writer, rather than a storyteller. The story is fine, and surely quite revolutionary in it's day, though frankly I was expecting more. But the writing captured me wholly. He weaves a complete picture for the reader, where you can see the streets, the offices, know the look and feel of a room, know the voices of the characters. I knew what Winston was feeling at every moment. While I didn't know what was coming in the story, I was never surprised. But I truly felt as if I was part of the book, as if I was there as it progressed. It has been a while since I read magnificent literature, and Nineteen Eighty Four has reaffirmed my belief that literary genius is indeed a rarity....more