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Circuits of the Wind: A Legend of the Net Age (Complete and Unabridged) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Stutz
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description


The Internet is everywhere now, but Ray Valentine saw it first explode.

CIRCUITS OF THE WIND is the story of Ray's quest to find himself as he grows up wandering the computer underground—the wild, global outback that existed before the net went mainstream. How else does an end-of-century slacker reach out to the world from Sohola, that northern state that's a little more Midwest than it is New England? The net holds the key to what he's after—but even as he pioneers this virtual world, the veneer of his real life begins to crack.

VOLUME ONE of the CIRCUITS OF THE WIND trilogy follows a young Raymond from his his '70s childhood—and first gropings with the telephone—to the home computers and bulletin boards of the '80s, where he leads a double life as a wanderer of the wires. But when even his virtual best friend unplugs, Raymond might have to leave it, too—because isn't real life supposed to be offline?

In VOLUME TWO of the CIRCUITS OF THE WIND trilogy, the net arrives all glimmering when Ray is starting college: it's brighter, quicker, better than he ever knew. It's the early 1990s—a time of golden youth and of joyriding on the growing Internet, where he rises as a leader of the global generation, the ones who saw it as the gilded portal to a fabulous new age everyone was about to enter. But he's coasting aimlessly—and when his college friends move on and fashions change he sees how real life actually might not be working out.

n VOLUME THREE of the CIRCUITS OF THE WIND trilogy, Ray gets a data entry job with an outbound line just so he can live constantly, and secretly, on the net—and after he succeeds in business without really trying, he finds even more excitement and success as an online correspondent in the booming Web of the dot-com Nineties. He's living on the net, feeding off the very pulse of it, but it's still not what he's after—his entire life of wandering online seems to be a total waste. Or is it?

Editorial Reviews


"Stutz writes with a grandness that exceeds the deadpan expectations that are associated with his generation of writers ... with all the grandeur of the influential [F. Scott] Fitzgerald himself." -- Kilimanjaro magazine

"[A]n education into the net-dominated world we live in and likely to be a classic" -- author Debbie A. Heaton

"In bringing Ray Valentine to life, Michael Stutz has created the Everyman of our wired age. Lyrical and moving, Circuits of the Wind ranges from the nightmarishly detached to the passionately connected. Stutz understands that no matter how many hours we spend alone before our computer screens, we're still what we've always been: desperate human beings longing for acclaim, achievement, friendship, and ultimately, love." -- Tony D'Souza, author of Whiteman, The Konkans, and Mule, which has been optioned for film by Warner Bros.

"Circuits of the Wind is a very entertaining and thoughtful book on the impact of a new communication and thinking on a generation. Academics may be studying this book in the future. It's ours now to read and enjoy!" -- David Bischoff, author of WarGames

A coming of age tale of the early internet and the impact on an unsuspecting world, Circuits of the Wind provides a very human story set on a backdrop of technology few truly understand, very much recommended. -- Midwest Book Review

"The descriptive passages in the book are funny, true to life and quite lyrical. Michael Stutz has an amazing ability with words ... [r]ead this book to learn the story of the beginning of the "net" generation." -- Library of Clean Reads

From the Back Cover


A Look Back at the Internet Revolution That Defined a Generation

"Stutz, a master of atmosphere throughout every moment of his 2,000 page epic, builds a mood of darkness and discovery, of tension and atmosphere, and of historical sweep ..." —Independent Publisher

Product Details

  • File Size: 1137 KB
  • Print Length: 578 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Confiteor Media (August 31, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094K34O6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
According to his bio page `Michael Stutz coined the phrase "net generation" while working as a reporter for Wired News--and in the early 1990s kicked off the Wikipedia era by being the first to take open source beyond software. He lives in Space Age Central, the former home of the NASA rocket scientist who planned the Apollo Project.' Now if that isn't enough to seduce a reader in this novel of his then the reader isn't glued to the computer very often (or the iPad or iPod or all the variations thereof). This man knows the territory he incorporates into this book CIRCUITS OF THE WIND and that alone makes it entertaining reading.

This is a novel, but it is also sort of a memoir or biography or biopic of sorts in that the book details the beginnings of the `far out' ideas of computers entering daily living in the 1970s (remember when the first microwave ovens were brought around for us to see the house trailer size facility that accompanied the first wave of microwaves?). Ray Valentine is the character we follow and as one reported stated the outline `In some respects the book is a retrospective of technology as seen through the eyes of a young boy. It's the kind of life that one imagines Bill Gates or Steve Jobs living. Ray becomes increasingly addicted to hacking and to contact with unseen people, always with the idea of reaching for something "out there" that is beyond him, so convinced that everywhere else is better than where he is, everyone else's life is better than his. Meanwhile, a widening gulf exists between him and his real-life friends.'

Stutz writes with a somewhat stilted style that may be purposeful: his words and sentences at time feel like a quickly entered non-spell checked pouring out of thoughts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By keys
Format:Kindle Edition
“Very good! Well written and very descriptive. It took me back to the days when technology really began to make a big deal in our lives. We didn't really have a color TV until I was eight and I remember countless times going to the drugstore to test the tubes to see which one you needed to buy. I remember my mom and dad always goofing with the antenna to try to get rid of those very lines mentioned in the book. I remember it being very frustrating to try to get a good picture. I love the author's mention of the colors of the different items during that time, i.e., Olive, Golden. A travel back in time. A definite coming of age story in the “Net Generation” that produced a smile as I read each page remembering my own life with sweet nostalgia. A must read for anyone who wants to feel the comfort of memories past."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm combining the reviews I wrote separately for the three volumes, but I wanted it all in one place since this is really one book. I just wanted to warn that my thoughts go from volume to volume linearly:

Anyone who shares my nostalgia for the phone and computer world of the late seventies and eighties, volume 1 of this book would be a compelling enough read for it's backdrop alone. I got into BBS systems, made pay phones ring themselves, read text files an all that...usually far enough behind everyone else that it wasn't relevant anymore, but still. Gratifyingly, though, this isn't all the book is. I got into the main character's early need for the wonder of the world, sought in the early hacker world, and felt for him as his sense of wonder changed more into a striving for human connection. It fails again and again for him, in a way that connected him to me as a reader. Once I finished the first volume, I definitely needed to know where he goes from there. The volume is complete on it's own, but I definitely felt that the story wasn't finished yet. I eagerly turned to the second volume.

The second volume of this succeeded in holding the interest I had after the first. The main character's seeking of wonder in the world and his need for connection continued, but this volume deepened both his emotional problems and the stakes involved. I'm turned right away to the third volume, eager to see how this wrapped up.

The third volume really wrapped the book up nicely. Over the course of the three volumes we both relive the birth and growth of the connected age and experience Raymond/Ray Valentine's growth along with it. His sense of wonder in exploring the new world, and his need for connection, grows and changes as the volumes progress, increasingly haunting him with a pressing destiny that he still must figure out. I don't think it's the sort of book I expected when I read the description, but it is one I'm glad that I found.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sort of interesting June 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story of the beginnings of the internet is interesting, but after a while we (my husband and I) became a little tired of it. But it is worth the read, just for the history of it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Endlessly long March 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was well-written but it lasted way too long. One volume woulld have been plenty. If you like descriptions of the weather, you will love this book.
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More About the Author

MICHAEL STUTZ coined the phrase "net generation" while working as a reporter for Wired News--and in the early 1990s kicked off the Wikipedia era by being the first to take open source beyond software. He lives in Space Age Central, the former home of the NASA rocket scientist who planned the Apollo Project.

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