Friday, July 2, 2010

read: The Windup Girl

The Windup GirlThe Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think the only reason it took me over a month to read this book is that it kept putting me to sleep. That doesn't mean it's not good (although I waffled about that toward the beginning). I think it's just because I read it at bedtime and it's not exactly action-packed. In fact, it's quite sedate. So after three or four pages, my eyelids kept slamming shut, even though I wanted to continue reading.

It's a haunting story of a city, Bangkok, in a future suffering from the sins of the present. Rising oceans threaten to flood it. Genetically engineered food and animals haven't worked out quite exactly as they were intended. Fossil fuels are no longer plentiful and cheap. All of these are presented in ways that require little suspension of disbelief. Only a sense of wonder.

The characters and setting kept me turning pages. They are compelling and vivid, with genuine goals and obstacles. Driving the plot are true mysteries, believable villains, and unexpected twists. This is by no means a happy story, on any level. But it is one worth reading.

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