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The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson

The Diamond Age is an interesting post-cyberpunk sort of book following multiple interwoven story arcs. It's set in a future Earth where nanotechnology is cheap and prevalent, leading to the breakdown of nation states and the development of global cultural groups, no longer bound to geography. The story follows two main characters through separate arcs of an interwoven main plot, along with several other subplots.

The book begins by simply dropping you into the setting following a short-lived arc that is loosely connected to the rest of the book. It's a fairly sudden exposure to society and technology that takes a little bit of reading to figure out how things work. There are a few more chapters that seem like dead ends to help expose the setting before you really start to see the development of the story. The rest of the book bounces around through the subplots in an almost chaotic manner that, in the end, makes sense. The story is unfurled through out the world and through the psyches of the main characters; it's more of a personal journey than a temporal one revolving around social upheaval, moral obligation and the like...

The end of the book is a little abrupt and almost anti-climactic (Not so much anti-climactic, but rather, there's noafter-glow after the climax, it just kicks you out of bed). It seems like it's nicely set up for a continuing serial, but it's been a good 13 years since the book was written, and I don't think there's another, despite it receiving a fair amount of success (Apparently it's been announced as a Sci-Fi Channel mini-series in 2007). Despite this, the end is sensible, and leaves you thinking about where the world is going to go, and how the lives of the characters will pan out.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it.
Ah, how odd, I am just about to read that book! Smile
Enjoy it Smile It is a little disconcerting as you approach the last chapter or two of the book and it doesn't seem to be anywhere close to resolving the story, but it does wrap itself up Razz
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