Graham Clements's Reviews > The Windup Girl

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
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it was amazing

Amazing world building, peopled with very flawed characters who are mostly looking out for just themselves. The novel is set in a future Thailand in a world that is near apocalyptic as it deals with climate change and rising sea levels, running out of fossil fuels, and famines caused by diseases attacking genetically engineered crops. Thailand is a holdout from food conglomerates who want to introduce their genetically engineered crops into the kingdom and get access to the Thai seedbank which the Thai's have used to create crops that are disease resistant. Add to this mix are windup people or clones, servants that have been create with jerky movements, hence the term wind-up. The plot has four main strings, a battle between the trade ministry, who want to open up Thailand to the overseas food conglomerates, and the environmental ministry who don't. The second plot revolves around a conglomerate agent's attempts to access the seedbank. A third plot is the plight of a windup girl who has been abandoned to degrading work in a brothel and her attempts to escape her predicament. And the final plot is that of a Chinese Malay who escaped slaughter in his own country and is attempting, through dubious means, to survive as a despised foreigner in Thailand. All the stories intertwine and the novel comes to a satisfying conclusion.
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Reading Progress

May 16, 2019 – Started Reading
May 16, 2019 – Shelved
July 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Ninja Mmm, definitely a great and memorable book.

message 2: by Kam Yung (new) - added it

Kam Yung Soh Just a comment: in the part about "a Chinese Malay who escaped slaughter in his own country and is attempting, through dubious means, to survive as a despised foreigner in Thailand", I think you mean a Chinese from (Peninsula) Malaysia.

That part sounds like the short story, "Yellow Card Man", by Paolo Bacigalupi which I have read which does feature a Chinese from Malaysia escaping to Thailand to escape slaughter.

I mention this because I am a Chinese, originally from Malaysia, and the word "Chinese Malay" just doesn't sound correct to me. :-)

Graham Clements HI Kam,

By Chinese Malay I meant that he was a of Chinese heritage living in Malaysia. My understanding of Malaysia is that its population is split up into those of Chinese heritage, those of Indian heritage and Malays, so I probably could have be more exact and not called him Chinese Malay.


message 4: by Kam Yung (new) - added it

Kam Yung Soh Thanks for the response. :-)

And no problems about the 'Chinese Malay'; language can be imprecise and as long as we understand is meant to be said, it's okay.

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