Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book) Paperback – May 2, 2000
|New from||Used from|
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"[Stephenson] has gotten even better. The Diamond Age Envisions the next century as brilliantly as snow crash did the day after tomorrow."—Newsweek
"[Stephenson is] the hottest science fiction writer in America...Snow Crash is without question the biggest SF novel of the 1990s. Neal's SF novel, The Diamond Age, promises more of the same. Together, they represent a new era in science fiction. People who plow through these mind-bogglers will walk around slack-jawed for days and reemerge with a radically redefined sense of reality."—Details
"Neal Stephenson is the Quentin Tarantino of postcyberpunk science fiction....Having figured out how to entertain the hell out of a mass audience, Stephenson has likewise upped the form's ante with rambunctious glee."—Village Voice
"Snow Crash drew its manic energy from the cyberpunkish conceit that anything is possible in virtual reality; in The Diamond Age the wonders of cyberspace pale before the even more dazzling powers of nanotechnology."
—New York Times Book Review
"Diamond Age establishes Neal Stephenson as a powerful voice for the cyber age....At once whimsical, satirical, and cautionary."—USA Today
"Stephenson's world-building skills are extraordinary.... The Diamond Age should cement Stephenson's reputation as one of the brightest and wittiest young authors of American science fiction."—San Diego Union-Tribune
From the Inside Flap
In Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson took science fiction to dazzling new levels. Now, in The Diamond Age, he delivers another stunning tale. Set in twenty-first century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens when a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life-and the entire future of humanity-is about to be decoded and reprogrammed....
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I have two quibbles:
1. The story arc, its length and complexity, led me to expect a bigger and more explosive climax. The end seemed slightly abrupt to me.
2. Some character development seemed weakly linked to character importance in the story. Some characters, whose contribution to the story seemed secondary, got quite a bit of space. Other characters, who played a role in the story's climax and resolution, were introduced later and more casually.
Those critiques aside, this is an excellent book. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to my friends.
This book in spite of its futuristic, insightful, science-oriented, and social-fabric reconstructing observations, is not that different from a good Louis L'Amour novel, say The Lonesome Gods. I know highbrow, self-proclaimed sophisticates and sci-fi mavens will turn up their noses at this; L'Amour was merely a writer of shoot 'em up, fast-paced westerns. But Stephenson in his own way is no different, he just does sci-fi.
What is the purpose of a book? For many years I read fiction books on a very surface level. It was hard for me to see symbolism and deeper meanings. However, there are always deeper meanings—especially in the best fiction of any genre. How sad if Hugo's Les Miserables was only the story of an overly punished convict and an overly zealous public official! What is the purpose of an automobile? No matter how many accoutrements we load on it, all of which make the experience of being in a car more enjoyable, still for most of us, the purpose of an automobile is to get us from one place to another, at least at this point. The purpose of a book is the same regardless whether it is loaded with skull guns, tag mites, and a primer (book), or horses, six-shooters, and campfires. Where the book takes us is the real reason we read the book. There is no one-destination-fits-all answer to any book. And, the author of a well-written book has no idea what destinations or answers individual readers will find. A good author creates the terrain we move through; what we get out of it is up to us.
I'm not going to expose the plot lines or describe the primary characters, Stephenson does an excellent job of that—read the book. I want to share some feelings and perspectives I experienced while reading. Books—and by extension, computers, in whatever form they may take going forward—hold the foundations of knowledge. We are foolish if we do not take advantage of and learn from those foundations. As Stephenson says in this book, "...a book is different—it is not just a material possession but the pathway to an enlightened mind." However, having knowledge does not mean we are enlightened or educated. Many people can have great knowledge and still be stupid. Knowledge is not wisdom. Enlightenment—which includes wisdom—is learned through the application of knowledge, but you cannot gain wisdom without doing. And some of that doing, maybe a lot of it, will result in failing, but it isn't failure if you keep going. Enlightenment is vital to a good life, and because it is vital it must be completely personalized, individualized. Education through public school programs is an oxymoron, especially when you get to advanced degrees. Job training through public school programs is doable, but never fully adequate. In The Diamond Age, Nell gains an education and enlightenment; in the Lonesome Gods, Johannes does too. We can learn from both of them.
Human nature is what it is. Society always creates frameworks where some people feel like they are better or more important than others. And those that manage to rise in whatever framework a society has established will go to great effort to keep their status and make sure others cannot rise. That is part of the reason social programs created to fight poverty will never work. If those of lower status rise, the high and mighty that run the programs would not be needed. It is a rare group of individuals that not only recognizes this, but willingly accepts it and acts accordingly. That is at least part of why the American Revolution had such a different outcome from the French Revolution. To use Stephenson's words, "...there is an ineffable quality to some technology, described by its creators as concinnitous, or technically sweet, or a nice hack—signs that it was made with great care by one who was not merely motivated but inspired. It is the difference between an engineer and a hacker." Or a credentialed expert and a creator of freedom and opportunity.