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Customer Review

on June 21, 2012
I've read science fiction for over 50 years. I was excited to see this new Robinson book at the bookstore, and thought I'd give it a read.

I was disappointed.

In the first part, "The dialogue looks like this," he said. "You mean a statement with a simple attribution in the tag?" she said. "Yes." he said. "And it goes on like that for quite a while I suppose," she said. "Yes," he said. "So he doesn't even bury the tag in the text, then" she said. "No, just hangs it on the end," he said. Etc.

"Later in the book, the dialogue tags become infested with adverbs," he said, critically. "Really?" she inquired, doubtfully. "Yes," he said, forcefully. "Are there any Tom Swifties?" she asked, quizzically. "Close," he said, knowingly. Etc.

The characters aren't adequately described. Swan, the key POV character, isn't physically described at all until about 20% of the book has been read.

There are beautiful, lyrical descriptions of some settings, but some of the settings thus described have no bearing on the plot.

The author inserts John Dos Passos-like lists here and there in the text. Not quite sure that works, however (These lists are distorted and truncated in the Kindle edition). John Brunner did that sort of thing much better.

I do not recommend the book.
269 helpful votes
270 helpful votes
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