Wednesday, June 1, 2011

read: The Diamond Age

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated PrimerThe Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Diamond Age is an ambitious book full of rich descriptions of life in an imaginary future based on the perfection of nanotechnology. That dense world-building is the joy of the novel. Stephenson does an admirable job of creating a future that extrapolates from our present and imagines the changes that certain technologies might have on society and relationships. There's also a story in there somewhere, but I had a hard time picking it out of the dense language, sparse dialog, and long exposition.

There were many sections of this book that really clicked for me. They drew me in and had me turning pages. But there were also long sections, where I no longer cared at all what was happening to the characters. I'm fascinated by the fact that so many people, including several awards committees, think so highly of this book. Stephenson is quite a writer. But quantity and quality of words aren't enough for me if I can't identify with the characters and their story. [More]

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