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Zodiac Paperback – August 10, 2007
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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Of course, Neal being a good writer, as well as a good storyteller helps like crazy.
The science is enough to be interesting, but not so much that your eyes glaze over and you start skipping pages.
The people development, relationships, their interactions was fun and well done also.
The story starts off at a leisurely pace, then gradually ramps up the speed and tension to the point one can barely sit still at the end!
The other thing I appreciate about the story is that it really makes you think about things. It's a little depressing on one hand, some of the realities of life, what big Corp and big gov can get away with, and do or don't do.
But on the other hand, there ARE smart people like ST out there passionately trying to make a difference, and succeeding. At least part of the time.
Clearly, even you or I can help, make a difference. Just a little help at the right time can have big impact, in ways we may not fully understand or appreciate.
Anyway, it was a great read whether for pure pleasure or if you want to analyze it for a message.
It's not BAD, though. Just not as good as I expected.
The book is set in (I'm guessing) around the early 90s. There are payphones, answering machines use cassette tape, and hybrid cars don't seem to exist yet. So there's a bit of a mind bender in that it's sort of sci-fi set in the past. The genre is SciFi, but it's of that subset of SciFi that's really mundane-fi with a lot of science added on. In some ways that makes it more "pure" SciFi than the rest, but in another way it's almost not really SciFi at all. So bear that in mind if that's something that matters to you. The science in this case is biology, chemistry, and environmental science. And it's realistic science, or seemed so to me. Dumbed down for civilians, of course. Other reviewers have claimed it was error ridden, but I didn't see it. The writing style reminds me somewhat of a less focused William Gibson.
The book is only 300 pages, but it feels much longer. It's a little preachy, and long-winded at times, but I never felt inclined to skip ahead. So it mostly works. I think it would have been better if it were shorter but I'm not too sure what parts would be the extra so it's hard to say for sure.
The plot is okay, but just okay. It's kind of a plodder, they just keep doing the same thing over and over until they finally get it right. But there's conflict and action, and even (possibly fake) Mafia hitmen and Satan worshipping teenage psychopaths and other random stressors that make it seem new most of the time.
I've never been to Boston, so I can't say how accurate the descriptions are. They certainly weren't detailed enough that I feel I know the city any better now than before. For a SciFi novel it was actually remarkably dry of imagery. (And that's a bad pun considering that half the book takes place on water).
Overall I'd say I can recommend it only with serious reservations. If you're already a Stephenson fan then it is worth getting to round out your collection. But if you're new to this author then read his other stuff first.
Most recent customer reviews
Probably a little too real-world (except for the main character) for industrialists.Read more