Janine Southard's Reviews > The Windup Girl

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
Apr 09, 2011

bookshelves: post-apocalyptica, science-fiction, gave-up

I'm not giving this book a rating because even though I've given up on it--usually an automatic one-star--I wouldn't have tried it in the first place (if it hadn't been for a book club). So my lack of interest might not be the novel's fault. I mean, this thing won a Nebula! People other than I adore it.

The Windup Girl takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth where food is scarce due to plagues and blights. The action happens in Thailand, which has somehow managed to keep from flooding and also from losing all of its seed banks.

Other than that, I can't tell you much, though I got halfway through. There didn't seem to be much of a plot going and the zillion characters all seemed very unsympathetic.

The novel's title refers to a Japanese clockwork girl, genetically engineered to be utterly awesome...but she's not doing so well in Thailand where she overheats, is used as a sex toy, and generally finds herself hated and debased at every turn. While she makes the most sympathetic character in the narrative, she'd only had two chapters devoted to her by the halfway mark, so I wasn't holding out much hope.

If you're really into character-driven confusion with no discernible plot until its all coming together, this book is for you. (Hey, I know some people like that kind of thing.)

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