Jason's Reviews > The Windup Girl

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
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Jul 10, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, travel
Read in September, 2010

PS NEARLY ONE YEAR LATER: I've thought a lot about this book since I read it. For some reason it has stayed with me. I feel the need to raise my rating from a 2 to a 3. I think my initial rating was a knee-jerk reaction to only certain elements of the book without taking in to account the greater whole. I truly do appreciate this unique twist on a futuristic, dystopic society. The writing style was engaging and intelligent. I look forward to reading more of Paolo's work!

I had a hard time getting in to this story for some reason. I found the backdrop fascinating; a post-apocalyptic story set in an alternate Thailand.

The characters were only moderately appealing and the plot left me without much desire for resolution. Don't get me wrong; there were some parts of the book that were engaging and kept my interest. I was just hoping for more.

I was disappointed with a few very graphic scenes that would be extremely inappropriate for minors. The story would've held up just fine without them. Aside from that I find that I do enjoy books set in Thailand. I just wish this one would've been a bit more poignant.
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Matt Too bad you didn't like it--I thought it was one of the better dystopian SF stories of the past year. As for the graphic scenes, it's important to note that the book is not being marketed as a YA novel, so most minors probably won't run into it unless they're particularly adventurous (in which case they're going to run into inappropriate content at some point anyway). Now, if you just thought those scenes were just plain *inappropriate* at any age -- that's another thing entirely.

SF novels set in developing nations (as opposed to US/UK/Europe) are a trend these days. If you liked the foreignness of this book, might I suggest you check out recent works by Ian McDonald. His novels of future India ("River of Gods"), Turkey ("The Dervish House") and Brazil (Brasyl) make for good reading (some include glossaries to help with the terminology you'll encounter).


Jason Yeah, I was bummed that I didn't get more into it. For the record, one thing that may have contributed is the fact that I listened to the audiobook. I usually have a couple print books going and 1 audiobook (for the commute) all at the same time. I'm sure the local traffic didn't help my attention span!

Thanks for the recommendations. I do LOVE dystopian novels for some reason, especially if they also involve zombies. The best of both worlds. I'm a slow reader but I just placed some holds through my local library for some Ian McDonald. I'll let ya know how it goes.
PS: I was sorry we missed all the fun with ya in Utah!


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