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The Windup Girl
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2010 Reads > TWG: Who's finished? (Warning Spoilers!!!)

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Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments I finished the book this morning. I was looking for a thread that was ready to talk about the book as a whole, and could not find one. So I figured I would start it.

This was the first book that I read with the S&L group. I really liked it. The book took a few pages to get me really engrossed, but after I met Emiko, and the geo political landscape sunk in, I was hooked. I love a story that creates a world where nothing is quite black or white. When characters have to figure out whats driving them, and what direction they are headed. This one did that for me.

I loved the part when the white shirts start cracking down because of how Jaidee was handled. That felt so real to me. With every character in the story having to make a choice at that one single point. For good or bad but having to make it none the less.

So who else is done? And what did you think was interesting about The Windup Girl?


Aaron Harvey | 6 comments I finished last week, I think. I didn't do a point-by-point review, but I did put down my feelings in the "TWG - Slow going?" thread. It was interesting to learn the author was a short story writer, because the entire time I was reading I kept feeling like it was a short story that had been stretched out into a full-length novel.

I seem to have had the reverse problem of most of the S&L group. To me the book started out at a good clip, I was really getting into the world and the atmosphere of the book, but then I started noticing problems with the science, repetition of descriptions, 'throw away' lines that telegraphed the ending of the book.

Every time I try to find something positive about TWG I end up liking it less. I haven't had a book rub the wrong way like this in quite a while! Maybe I'm the odd one out.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Aaron wrote:
Every time I try to find something positive about TWG I end up liking it less. I haven't had a book rub the wrong way like this in quite a while! Maybe I'm the odd one out. "


Nah I can see some of what you are saying. But I can usually forgive some bad science in a book if the story keeps me interested. kind of like most made for T.V. Sci-fi. I can take a good story with bad graphics but not the other way around. I guess this story just hooked me in somehow.


Kevin Ashby | 119 comments I'm not sure I understand those of you who have gotten so caught up in the murky technology of the kink spring. The item is not particularly vital to the story - it's a trope, a device to move the story along. It could have been anything. I loved this story Bacigalupi is a terrific writer who explores so many big ideas in this story my head is still spinning. He masterfully combines ideas about what it means to be human, mans impact on the environment, authority and its abuses, and so much more! I can't wait to hear more from this author!


Rick Pasley (hikr3) | 71 comments I have said this in other threads but it bears repeating, this is not a science fiction story, it is fantasy. The world is a fantasy world with all the suspensions of disbelief any fantasy world requires. Given that, I loved this world. It is vibrant and alive. I could feel the sweltering heat of it as I read. I would love to read more about this world.

However, I do not want to read more about any of the characters in this story. Each one was so flawed I found it impossible to like any of them. That includes Emiko. I did feel satisfied that she was able to find a place, a niche, for herself in the end. I felt the book very well written for a first novel, and it took some interesting chances in its setting and character choices. But seldom have I read a book with more unlikeable characters. I have seen many people say they liked Jaidee, but his extreme attitude eventually costs him and his family everything and I cannot feel good about that. All in all, I was glad to finish the book so I could go read about characters I liked in some other book!


Louis (osiramon) | 60 comments I finished this last week, while the characterization was good and the world view as written was interesting, I never really warmed up to this book. It was slow to start and stayed somewhat slow.

There were too many people vying for your interest, and most repeated the same mantras. While I have no problem with characters that are flawed, the repetition was the problem.

It only started to stop doing this after the battles between the two factions started, and that was somewhat mixed.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Kevin wrote:I'm not sure I understand those of you who have gotten so caught up in the murky technology of the kink spring The item is not particularly vital to the story - it's a trope, a device to move the story along. It could have been anything."

I Totally agree. Some people just cant get past what they see as bad science. It ruins the whole story for them. Personally i can usually brush aside small things like this with little effort. Unless it is a major plot hole or a huge motivating factor in the story I dont question it to much. My mind can brush these details aside and get right to the story.

If an author makes a set of laws for his world, then I accept them. As long as the characters stay true to these laws, I should have no problem with the story. But when the laws are broken or just plain thrown out (i.e. Terminator 3...YOU CANT SEND BACK A TERMINATOR WITH FRACKING ARM GUNS!!!!!!) I cannot enjoy the story at all.


message 8: by Ben (last edited Mar 30, 2010 01:15PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ben | 116 comments Overall, I liked the book. I thought it was pretty well written and moved at a good pace. However, the way the energy crisis played out wasn't believable to me, and I regard the fears of a genetic engineering apocalypse as luddism. I couldn't muster much sympathy for many of the characters. (I am not sure I am supposed to feel any.) The White Shirts were just Brown Shirts at the end of the day. I thought the handling of Emiko was well done; the idea of someone being engineered (genetically and psychologically) to be a rape-slave was pretty nightmarish.


message 9: by Alexenko (new) - added it

Alexenko | 3 comments First read for me with S&L. Overall I liked the book. I hated how it ended. Anderson was my favorite character and that was a POS ending for him...

The science part was kind of BS, but it was enough pseudo-science for me to get through the book. I agree that the kink springs really didn't matter much and that they could have been anything. What bothers me is that Bacigalupi still chose the kink springs. But they came up so rarely it was easy to ignore.

I didn't find the book slow in the beginning. The middle was a bit zzzzz for me though. Then after the white shirts cracked down on the city following Jaidee's treatment, the book sucked me in hard. Ended up finishing that same day because I just couldn't put it down.


message 10: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new) - rated it 4 stars

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1707 comments Mod
Finally finished reading it as well (last week, actually...).

I'm still pretty up in the air about the book. I'll obviously talk more about it on the podcast, but I never really felt a connection with any of the characters... they just weren't that likable to me. Even Emiko.

Anderson was probably my favorite, and (like Alexenko above) I expected a little more from him in the end, and I was bummed out by his kind of pathetic end.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Alexenko wrote: I didn't find the book slow in the beginning. The middle was a bit zzzzz for me though. Then after the white shirts cracked down on the city following Jaidee's treatment, the book sucked me in hard. Ended up finishing that same day because I just couldn't put it down. "

Me too! I didn't finish in 1 day after that scene (2 toddlers in the house) but that part was where it grabbed me. Every chance I got to read it after that I was in.

Veronica: The only character that I really "liked" in this book was Jaidee. I felt the same way as you about everybody else. I did like Kanya's ending, though not how long it took her to make that choice. Just that she made it. I wished that Anderson had gone out a little more spectacularly, but I thought it was a little poetic that he caught the disease from his own factory...


message 12: by aldenoneil (last edited May 11, 2010 03:27PM) (new) - added it

aldenoneil | 1000 comments I'm intrigued that few people seemed to like any characters in the book. To me, they were all despicably human; in other words, they seemed very realistic.

I wouldn't say I would want to have lunch with any of them, but I enjoyed almost all of them as characters. They each had their own selfish motivations and worked to get what they wanted through any means they knew how. I'd say Kanya and Emiko were the most noble, but even they had some troubling traits.

Also strange to hear that Anderson was a well-liked character - I thought he came out to be one of the most self-serving, despite his eagerness to help Emiko out in the end.


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