Evelina | AvalinahsBooks's Reviews > The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
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really liked it
bookshelves: books-of-2017, fiction, human-relationships, other-cultures, society

Full review on AvalinahsBooks. 3 reasons why you should read this:

Reason #1. It's A Utopia For Once

How many times have you actually read a Utopia? Huh?
(I can hear you silently disappearing into the night, one by one.)
Cause you probably have not. It's all about dystopia! The last utopia I've heard of? I think it must have been the one written by Thomas More. Because after that, it's been one dystopia after another, and frankly? Sick. And. Tired. Which is why I'm so glad to actually read a contemporary Utopia! Okay, so those societies might still be struggling here and there, but it's a world that actually works. So there. Bite it, dystopia.

Reason #2. Neo-Victorians!!

Neal Stephenson has crafted an incredible world here. It wouldn't be possible for me to delve into the details here because (that's why the book is 500 pages long, really!) There are so many cultural groups in this book aside from the Neo-Victorians, but they are focused upon the most (and let's face it. They need to be there for the cyberpunk to actually happen.) Imagine a society that's more technologically advanced than us, but take their tea seriously and transport themselves on mechanical horses. Never forget Victorian costume. I am not sure I would like to live in a society like that, but reading about one? Hell yes please!!

Reason #3. The Big Picture

You might have noticed that I have lots of love for big picture scifi. I love it when an author makes you concentrate on the little things, on particular characters, and then twists and turns the events in a way which suddenly enables them to zoom out quickly and blow your mind with the amazing effect it had on society, the environment, the planet, the universe... I am in awe of books that do that. Neal Stephenson? He's a master at it. And The Diamond Age is no exception. This particular story focuses on how small events make big changes come up in societies. And once again, I loved how Stephenson presented this. *claps*

However....
I liked this book and all, but... There's just something it lacks. Maybe that's just good cut-editing. Because at times I felt like maybe it didn't need to be 500 pages long or present so much detail to keep the story going. At times I didn't know quite where it was headed. The language also reinforced that, because it was really genuine with all of the invented or old-world terminology, but some of that sometimes jarred me. And considering the book is already 500 pages long, I don't want to be reading it slower than I have to. Despite this, I still believe it's worth a read! I don't regret reading it and I certainly feel like it expanded my horizons. So I will definitely be reading more of Neal Stephenson's books.

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Reading Progress

March 29, 2017 – Shelved
March 29, 2017 – Shelved as: owned-ebooks-unread
October 8, 2017 – Started Reading
October 8, 2017 –
4.0% "Neo-Victorians! How very interesting. I must say, Stephenson has their talking style down very well."
October 11, 2017 –
24.0% "It's interesting in a typical Neal Stephenson way, but... He does bog you down with details. I can't say it's boring, but at times? Yes, it's a little bit like a chore. I feel like it could have been edited to be shorter."
October 12, 2017 –
34.0% "Okay. It just got REALLY GOOD."
October 12, 2017 –
39.0% "And it just keeps getting better and better. large organisations, spies, a utopia, Victorians IN CHINA and the fate of many little girls."
October 13, 2017 –
50.0% "Despite staying up due to this book last night, tonight I must conclude that there is only so much of this you can read in one go."
October 19, 2017 –
58.0% "Trudging on. It's still good, but is could have used some cuts. All of that politics in the other parts of the world - I could have done without that, I swear."
October 21, 2017 –
70.0% "Finishing this today for Dewey's 24h readathon. Anyone else taking part? I've already been reading for nearly 3 hours."
October 21, 2017 –
73.0% "Oh no. Did not expect for this to happen."
October 21, 2017 –
97.0% "I kind of can't wait to be done with this now. This book wasn't bad, but much, much too long. And it's making me super fidgety."
October 21, 2017 –
100.0% "Took 5 hours today to finish this book, and I had only a half left. All I can say is that it was too much. Review coming up in November."
October 21, 2017 – Finished Reading
November 7, 2017 – Shelved as: read-review-to-come
November 15, 2017 – Shelved as: books-of-2017
November 15, 2017 – Shelved as: fiction
November 15, 2017 – Shelved as: human-relationships
November 15, 2017 – Shelved as: other-cultures
November 15, 2017 – Shelved as: society

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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Derek On the bright side it's Neal Stephenson, and it's only 500 pages!


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks Tru dat :D he tends to have a lot to say!


Derek I love Stephenson, and this is one of my favourites of his, but many of them could use more tough love from the editors.


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks Absolutely true!
I think I liked Seveneves better. Have you read that?


Derek Too many pages, not enough meat... It's the only Stephenson book I haven't finished. I still _mean_ to, but I think it's 18 months since I put it down :-(


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks I couldn't put it down for some reason :) what part did you get stuck in?


Derek Don't really remember. About a hundred pages in.


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks That's too bad... Stephenson does wind up about the same thing a little. But it was a great book.


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