**spoiler alert** For such a thick and encyclopedic story, so much is left wanting. Stephenson and Galland keep writing themselves into logistical cor**spoiler alert** For such a thick and encyclopedic story, so much is left wanting. Stephenson and Galland keep writing themselves into logistical corners, they have no choice but shrug their metaphorical shoulders (just look at the title). The characters are no where as clear cut interesting as others I have read in other Stephenson books (sadly I am unaware of Galland, and I am not all that impressed with whatever she contributed here). Don't come into this looking for verisimilitude; the multiple journal entries/memos/emails by multiple characters don't read very true, they read like narrative exposition. It's also frustrating that the story starts from Melisande Stokes' POV, then goes left turn with its multiple POVs--and the major male protagonist, Tristan Lyons, barely gets any voice at all. Major plot events are all described in after the fact fashion, really removing readers from emotional investment. All in all, there are lots of ideas but not enough glue holding them together to make one really care. And for all of the work involved, reader is left hanging because there is no firm resolution...guess they will have a sequel. If this story could be expanded into a present-tense serio-comic action potboiler with a big budget (think Mr. Robot crossed with Game Of Thrones) it could be a great Hbo or Netflix series. As presented here, though, it's barely a novel. Just enjoy the fun that is available....more
I cannot give a n official review. I wanted to read this novel for the reported presicient themes of media coverage. None of that prepared me for theI cannot give a n official review. I wanted to read this novel for the reported presicient themes of media coverage. None of that prepared me for the Pynchonian digressions that seemed to have been lifted from other novels, nor the tasteless characterizations of sexual harassment. I Reading this in between almost daily newscasts in recent months of predatory behavior in all levels of American life was a bad time I guess. I couldn't for the life of me separate Elkins' themes and the timeframe of history from the reality of the 21at century. Maybe that's my fault, but I gave up on this novel midway in. ...more
I read the book, not the app. What primarily got me interested was the prospect of the silent children. With the prevalence of autism and other develoI read the book, not the app. What primarily got me interested was the prospect of the silent children. With the prevalence of autism and other developmental disabilities in today's society--and as the father of a child with ASD--I latched on to this compelling story. One of the narrators of the tale does point out quickly that the "epidemic" is not autism, but man, it might well be symbolic as such. You can also see the scenario as a symbol of our next generation who electronically text and email and chat before they learn to write ...is this a story of what we are coming to, a world of nonspeech?
I didn't see this book as much of a dystopia, sci-fi world as others do. I saw it more of a plea to include our children (regardless of ability) into the world of oral communication before we let technology take over.
Towards novel's end, it loses some of that thoughtful drive--the thread about the dude and his wallaby I found kind of ridiculous-- but overall it packed an emotional wallop. If you are personally involved with children that have special needs, this will hit you HARD. If you are looking for a World War Z kind of action thing as had been mentioned elsewhere, you may be in for disappointment....more
At the age of 43, I found the omnnibus edition of the books (the cover cross-promoted with the filmed trilogy) cheap, used, I figured what the hell, lAt the age of 43, I found the omnnibus edition of the books (the cover cross-promoted with the filmed trilogy) cheap, used, I figured what the hell, let's tackle this monster. Glad to say I hve finally read it, after so many years. That being said, it is something I will never read again. I will be pilloried and cursed and flamed to death here, but suffice it to say, Tolkien had a brilliant creative mind, but was a lousy writer. The man had no sense of pace, no dramatic tension, overwriting and overwriting where it matters least. I bless Peter Jackson and his team for making the movies approachable and engaging (of which I totally can understand where a Tolkien fan may grumble and grouse about the the liberties taken from novel to screen). I could not wait to end the novel; by the time the ring has been dropped, I was dismayed by 3,,,no 4! chapters. And people thought Return of the King on the screen was long and drawn out?!
Any fan of fantasy lit should tackle it. You will be either blown away and taken to another world, or completely bogged down by expansive paragraphs describing all the trees and mountains and valleys and greenery everyone passed by until they stop for lunch....more
I could not finish this. When I saw that IT REALLY DID NOT MATTER WHAT CHAPTER YOU STARTED FROM, I realized this was going to be chore. So it would noI could not finish this. When I saw that IT REALLY DID NOT MATTER WHAT CHAPTER YOU STARTED FROM, I realized this was going to be chore. So it would not be fair of me to rate some stars here. Good luck with it, yourself....more