Adam's Reviews > The Windup Girl

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
Mar 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011

I put down three stars and first, and changed it to four.

The story is pretty good. Power and politics and outsiders, etc.

More than anything, the world Bacigalupi has created is totally complete and real, maybe not the most likely version of where we're headed, but certainly among the worst-case scenarios. And while most wouldn't see it as hopeful, he does envision that as bad as things get, people will find a way to survive. Some will even thrive. And humanity will continually try to reach out to reclaim the globe (though not always the best people doing it).

Of course, people will always be petty and cause destruction for their own gain, too.

And many different ideas to consider, from politics to ethics and science. Isolationism, purges, etc. etc. I think one of the larger questions is this: Is the book anti-technology? (I don't have the answer.)

Another interesting ethical question to consider: We obviously don't consider mechanical creatures (robots, etc.) to be alive and discard them, even if we sometimes have attachments to them. But should/will that change if we're dealing with engineered but strictly biological creatures? (If we ever do; though one could argue that some cloned animals alive right now pretty much count.)

Great line: "Her soul emerging from within the strangling strands of her engineered DNA." An interesting starting point to think about nature/nurture.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Jennifer Johnson Interesting comments, especially the anti-technology question. I believe it is a cautionary tale. You pointed out that it's a realistic portrayal of a possible future worst case scenario. As such, I see the exploration of the many ways technology can go wrong as a warning. I don't think the book is saying technology is bad, but that humanity needs to be careful. In actuality I think the entire book is an ethical question manifest in literature with some nifty, gritty characters and a realized setting. Worth reading just for the questions it raises, especially regarding genetic engineering. From food to people, messing with the natural order has untold, unconsidered consequences.

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