May 11, 2004

thank you sir, may i have another

Just finished Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson. Does this guy have an editor? Don't get me wrong there were lots of things I liked about it - great subject matter (cryptography), complete lack of (bar one) explicit nerd-fantasy sex scenes which usually permeate sci-fi/fanstasy/etc books (e.g., Piers Anthony), and a unique writing style I haven't encountered before.

But holy cow did this story need 900 pages? Describing the inner workings of business (not a great subject matter) for pages upon pages and minor digressions that suddenly became major for no apparent reason and weird sections that had extraneous characters doing inexplicable things had me debating that hardest of things to do - should I put this book down and never touch it again? I saw his new book Confusion on the weekend and that is a tome as well. I enjoyed many things but that's just too much of my life to not spend it on something really tight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

cryptonomicon was a diamond bullet for me. there was a long flat section at the beginning, but then i hit the rollercoaster and didn't look back. one of the best books i've read, but then again i'm a sucker for these stories. i felt like stephenson has a great eye for this forces that shape history, and for the way the smallest events and actions ripple across time and human relationships.

quicksilver, on the other hand...i'm not even at page 100, and i keep asking myself, "where the hell is stephenson's editor? all this stuff should have been slashed. not only is it irrelevant to the story line, but it's (sorry neal) b-o-r-i-n-g." i mean, really, i could care less about isaac newton's purported homosexual predilections.

i read a review of Confusion, and they said it's better, but i don't know if i'm gonna make it...too many dead trees between me and the end of that book.

- rPm

ps: what's up with needing a blogger account to post a non-anonymous comment? i'm not down with that. ;-)