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206 out of 215 people (95%) think this is worth consuming…


The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book)
by Neal Stephenson
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14 entries have been written about this.

A story about this — 6 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

I wasn’t sure about this when I started reading, but as soon as the story started to follow Nell, it picked up. It’s an interesting look at a not-hard-to-imagine future, and I like the way it explores and subverts its world, introducing a number of issues very relevant to our current way of life and never solves any of them.

Review Of The Diamond Age — 6 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

On the surface, there are quite a few similarities between The Diamond Age and Stephenson’s earlier work Snow Crash. Both are set in a moderately near future and ignore the typical science fiction topic of space travel. Both focus on the societal changes that technology might cause, notably the idea that people will organize themselves into separate but cooperating cultural and ethnic groups with small sovereign enclaves around the world. Both open by describing a character or life situation that will be quickly abandoned as a device for introducing the reader to the peculiarities of his world.

The only difference I noticed early was that the caustic wit with which Snow Crash was written seemed largely gone. Eventually I realized that The Diamond Age has a much looser plot and many more protagonists than its predecessor as well. Like Snow Crash, it ends rather abruptly, leaving quite a few frustratingly loose ends to the reader’s imagination.

Based on these observations, I expected to label The Diamond Age as a spectacular novel, but the lesser of the two. After finishing the section explaining Princess Nell’s journey through the seven lands of King Coyote, I am not so sure. An average reader might find this section boring, but to a computer scientist, they are sheer brilliance. I suspect that this may be how a literary expert feels when finding an allusion in some work to a long-lost poem or myth. If so, it would certainly explain why the literary elite love the works of Joyce and his ilk. Now that I have read about it, I desperately desire to undertake Princess Nell’s virtual adventures myself. In fact, I am shocked that the revealed contents of the Primer have not been adapted into an adventure game.

I am still not sure that I would call The Diamond Age my favorite Stephenson work, but it is a masterpiece nonetheless.

A story about this — 6 years ago

NOT WORTH CONSUMING

Uncharacteristically, I had to slog a bit through this — the premise, setting and writer should have been a fantastic combination for me, but alas… not.

Why I recommend this — 7 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

Brilliant! As good as “Snow Crash,” easily. The concept is intensely extropian, and the execution is phenomenal.

I wish I liked it more — 7 years ago

I really really enjoyed the first half. I love the idea of the primer, I love their society structure, and I love the flaws the character themselves can detect in it.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the second half, and the whole drummer story line.

CG

Why I recommend this — 8 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

This is the most enjoyable and accessible of Stephenson’s novels. I think it’s also my favorite.

A story about this — 8 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

My favorite book by Stephenson thus far. Though I haven’t read Zodiac, and I’m in the middle of Quicksilver, which I’m enjoying very much.

A story about this — 9 years ago

(listening to the audible.com version on mp3)

First read this 4 years ago… fantastic book!

(started mp3 on 2005/01/02 – completed 2005/01/14 – one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever heard!)

A story about this — 9 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

Bookblog’s selection for October 2003.

A story about this — 9 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

I loved it. Sure, it’s no Snow Crash, lacking the humour, but it’s still a great read.

A story about this — 9 years ago

WORTH CONSUMING!

Literate steampunk set in a nano-sculpted and affinity-based collectivized future. A unique possible vision of where we could be heading, and a good analysis of the possibilities and limitations inherent in the ever-changing interplay of the social, the economic, and the technological.

A story about this — 10 years ago

This book is a computer science 101 wrapped up in a fantastic story of a girl and her book.

A story about this — 10 years ago

Completed July, 2000

A story about this — 10 years ago

Wonderful read. Turing machines explained to boot. A real vision of what nanobots and computers in general will be like in the future.


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