March 23, 2004

Not outstanding, but better

Running through my cranium...books.

Though I cannot say I enjoyed The Diamond Age during the first hundred-or-so pages, I did tolerate the second leg of the reading relay with more interest and ease.

My first impression of this book was more like--"Oh, no. Jerz has gone and given us Star Trek with children." I kept it by my bedside and fell asleep to the nanotechnological descriptions of Stephenson's world. That was what I hated most, I think. The plot, a thing most writers are working at developing--concerned about--did not surface until the book finally reached its new little owner, Nell around page 95. Almost a hundred pages of endless blathering about a world I had difficulty understanding. AND I READ AUSTEN!! Me, as a reader who never witnesses the actual very visually inclined technology, felt lost. Couldn't he have put charts or diagrams somewhere?

Needless to say, I dreaded the second helping. After reading the next few pages, however, I began to notice an underlying humanity amid all of the futuristic world's machinations. Fascinating. The primer's lessons really brought this element of the book alive for me. A kind of irony really: in the middle of all these intrigues and double-agenting, a little girl (portrayed as a princess no less) is being told once-upon-a-time stories of Rabbit, Dinosaur, Duck, and Purple.

The most (excuse the overused term here) interesting elements of the second section of The Diamond Age lies in the indirectt mother-daughter relationship Miranda has with Nell. Turning the pages, I found this to be the incentive to continue. Will she finally meet Miranda? How will Nell react to her if they meet?

Funny how I don't really care about the male characters, except perhaps for Hackworth. His intrigues below the ocean's surface are tangents I have yet to completely understand.

Another outlier is how the story's veins will coalesce. I like to think that the Primer has something to do with the story, that it holds the key. Time to get back to it...another incentive!! Making happy out of bad. Yay!

I would not put this book up on my favorites shelf next to Pride and Prejudice. Never. With time, though, I may label this among my second-stringer literary works. After all, if I like the ending, I could just rip out the first hundred pages. :)

I am so destructive lately.

The Diamond Age has not bored me, however; in fact, I plan on investigating other works in the Science-Fictiony genre. Are all of them crappy the first hundred pages? Do they all have lengthy descriptions and random sexual sacrifices? Hmmm.

"Beam me up, Scottie."

Posted by Amanda Cochran at March 23, 2004 5:26 PM

I promise that you will love the last leg of the book. Especially as we find out more about Nell and Harv....Can't wait to hear what you have to say about it...


Posted by: Tiffany at March 23, 2004 10:03 PM

You're not destructive.

I have loads of questions for the rest of the book, too. I could do without some of the random plot-shattering, though (i.e. the random sexual sacrifices thing you mentioned).

Posted by: Karissa at March 23, 2004 10:41 PM
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