Kevin Hearne's Reviews > The Quantum Thief

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
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Aug 02, 12

Read from July 03 to August 02, 2012

This is the strangest book I have ever read. Here is why: I did't know what the hell was going on...but I loved it. Normally when I don't understand something—physics and calculus textbooks, for example—I stop reading and go have a beer instead. But somehow this book grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

That's not to say I never put it down. I had to put it down once in a while to let my brain heal. And my brain couldn't wait to get better and dive back in for some more words that made it hurt so good. I cannot explain my own behavior.

Maybe I don't read enough science fiction these days, but I think he's really pushing the envelope here. He doesn't explain jack. You're just thrown in this bizarre future solar system and you have to figure it out. You might not succeed and it's okay if you don't, because what you feel is that this world you don't get is really insufferably cool. It's a mystery you appreciate. Like that lake beside the walls of Moria with the kraken thingie in it: Once you know that kraken thingie is in there, it's not just a lake, is it? It's a surface beneath which something awesome lives.

The closest experience I've had to this was when I read William Gibson's Neuromancer the first time. It had a bunch of new words in it and none was in the dictionary but *damn* it was rad. (Yes, rad. I read it in the 80s.) And now William Gibson is looked at as a dude who started something new. Maybe we're seeing something new here?

I can't unequivocally recommend the book to everyone. This isn't a light read and it might not be your cup of tea. But if you feel like taking a risk and trying something new in science fiction, I think this qualifies, and you might find a great reward awaits you. Quite the adventure.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Joedetroit (new)

Joedetroit I really liked this book and cannot wait for the 2nd!

Yes it's odd and heavy on science, but it's well worth it!


message 2: by Joedetroit (new)

Joedetroit Oh, and you should read 'Picoverse' by Robert A. Metzger. VERY good!


Ankush You basically wrote the review I was going to write, even the bit about Neuromancer


message 4: by Ali (new) - added it

Ali Sounds like what the Wind Up Bird Chronicles did to me, but after a while i couldn't go back and it still has a take put marking the place i lost the will to go on!


Karina I know what you mean. Weird and brilliant book, but puzzling. The audio book is beautiful - Best I've ever heard. Replaying it now to understand and fawn a bit more over the narrator.


Christina I know what you mean...I just finished chapter one and am so lost but compelled to carry on


brandon king Probably my favorite book of all time, and I just found out its a series. I'm so happy because I wanted more.


Janet Martin On the other hand, there are those of us who weren't quite left in the dust but I, for one, have to wonder why I bothered to struggle through it. I read for work--lots of professional reading--and for fun. This didn't satisfy either of my reading goals--too much work to qualify as fun, and no fun whatsoever.


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