Matt De's Reviews > Set This House in Order

Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff
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it was amazing

I liked this book a lot. If you read it in close proximity to some of his other works it will be obvious that either the author did too, and took extra special care in crafting it, or his editor did and kept on sending it back until it they thought it really was the best the author could do. The quality of the prose is significantly smoother and more refined than his other works, in my opinion.

His previous two books suffer from a "cast of thousands" problem. Lots of characters that are hard to keep track of and can only be developed so much if you are going to fit them all in. This one sort of reigns that in without really actually getting rid of the very large cast.

That being said, the backdrop for a chunk of the story is a late 80s/early 90s VR tech startup. I'm of the right age that I can fill that in with a pretty detailed imagining informed by being on both the consumer side and producer side of such things when they were going on. I can picture that coming off as some poorly imagined and thought out approximation of a tech start up to someone significantly younger. If it breaks that way for you, I can see that being a distracting annoyance. If you were born in the 90s or later, be prepared to ignore the set dressing and focus more on the interpersonal dynamic for that portion of the book.

It has it's happy bits and sad bits and charming bits, and generally gets you attached to a handful of characters enough that knowing it can't end up well for everyone seems like a tragedy, even if a bit of a prosaic one.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 5, 2013 – Shelved

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