Res's Reviews > Rainbows End

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
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's review
Jul 28, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: sff, didnt-finish, locus_poll
Read in August, 2007

The one where a Rip van Winkle figure is cured of Alzheimer's and has to figure out how to live in the future, and apparently gets involved in some sort of plot involving mind control technology.

I gave it fifty pages, and every single one was an effort.

This book has tons of ideas, large and small. As a portrait of the niftiness and danger of the future, I suppose it's reasonably good, though it's rather slow and didactic compared with the pleasant breathless hurtle of cyberpunk (my usual dangerous-nifty-future source).

As fiction, it doesn't work for me because the characterization is so perfunctory. The dialog is stilted and implausible, and all the voices sound the same. And there's a weird disconnect from the emotions, which are described and analyzed from a distance. Maybe I would have warmed to Gu if I'd given him more time, but it's hard to know how to get involved with a character who thinks things like, "It was hard to dominate someone if you didn't understand most of what she said" -- surely even people who want to dominate other people don't think that's what they're doing?

(Locus poll: #1 SF novel of year.)
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03/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Luca Fenu I kind of agree. I went all the way to three quarters but it was such a struggle that I felt lost and stopped pushing myself to finish it. The plots seemed meandering without any clear aim. Pity as it has tons of ideas...

message 2: by Res (new) - rated it 1 star

Res You stuck with it for a lot longer than I did!

Luca Fenu Res wrote: "You stuck with it for a lot longer than I did!"
I have to say that, after reading Luke Burrage's enthusiastic take on it,. I am tempted to pick it up again... May be I just read it in the wrong moment???

David No way. This book is awful. I despised every moment. It's too farfetched to visualize and he uses way too many made up phrases that only lose you even further. No interesting characters or real development. The mind control plot introduced in the beginning of the book is completely abandoned for the rest. Skip this.

David I see what you mean, Res. I'm currently at page 158 and it's really been a struggle. I took one break; I might take another.

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