Customer Review

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant escapist fare, January 3, 2000
This review is from: Distraction (Mass Market Paperback)
Bruce Sterling eats Neal Stephenson's lunch with Distraction, a near-future techno-political thriller that's strongly reminiscent of Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and Interface (which Stephenson and his uncle wrote under the pen name Stephen Bury). I don't mind this because I loved those other books, though it's strange to see Sterling borrowing rather than being borrowed from.
Sterling's technological and political speculations are interesting and plausible, and his plot moves right along, propelled by informal but evocative language and a lot of humor. The best part of the book, though, is its protagonist, Oscar Valparasio, who combines the genius and audacity of Lois Bujold's character Miles Vorkosigan with a personal reserve and opacity that makes us even more interested in finding out what he's really like. Sterling actually manages to keep Oscar mysterious even though we're seeing through his eyes throughout the book.
Distraction is mostly about the ride -- like another of my favorite Sterling books, Heavy Weather, it has little pretension to epic scope or deep literary meaning -- but it has enough depth to make it a worthwhile read. My chief complaint is that it drowns in cynicism towards the end, leaving us with a downbeat and overlong ending and nothing much in the way of climax. A classic character like Oscar deserved a better sendoff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 3, 2014 10:58:24 PM PST
Han Jie says:
How anyone could review this novel and not discuss the politics and then say it's "mostly about the ride" is beyond me. In this case the book and the reviewer appear to be mismatched.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.4 out of 5 stars (66 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (15)
2 star:
 (11)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
$7.99 $6.47
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Cathlamet, WA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 38,560