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The Diamond Age by Neal. Stephenson

The Diamond Age (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Neal. Stephenson

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8,424139368 (4.11)201
Title:The Diamond Age
Authors:Neal. Stephenson
Info:BANTAM. (1995), Paperback, 455 pages
Collections:Your library, Sc-Fi
Tags:Sci-Fi, Nanotechnology

Work details

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (1995)

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English (130)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Romanian (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
A more mature novel than the author's previous Snowcrash, yet if anything more incoherent, and infinitely less entertaining. A little editing would not have gone amiss. I found the pacing and continuity poor, and found myself skipping whole chapters, and sometimes having to go back over the parts that impacted the plot. If there was a plot. Somehow even that didn't lead to me understand what the fuck was going on or what were the supposed "themes" of the novel.

Some interesting ideas, poorly presented. The more I read of Stephenson the less I think of him as a writer. ( )
  EnsignRamsey | May 18, 2015 |
I read this a long time ago - and didn't remember much of the plot. I think I didn't quite understand when I first read it. Luckily, I gave it a second shot - and found it a lot more interesting.

This is a story about a book. A book that changed a world. In the future, people align themselves by claves - that is groups that share the same values. One of The most powerful clave is the Victorians, who believe that the best way of thinking came from Queen Victoria's time. The leader of this clave thinks that it becoming stagnant, and creates a book that will teach children how to think independently. Through a series of events, this book falls into the hands of a little ghetto girl, Nell. This is the story of that book and how it changes the world.

In some ways, this was difficult book for me to read. It moved fast, lots of characters, lots of odd ideas. And being written in 1996, some of the technology seems outdated. Also, I think that this story is very much a product of the times - advanced consumerism, humans haven't changed, even though they have advanced technology. On the other hand, I can see elements of this story fore-shadowing the future - Especially with the ability to manipulate atoms and with 3-D printing.

The characters are solid, but standard. Where the book shines is its world building - It feels real and doesn't fall on stereotypes. The writing is tight - although you have to pay attention. Its a book requires a reader to stay focused.

Highly recommended if you want a book that is fast paced, fast characters, has a gritty edge to it, and tells an interesting story. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Apr 26, 2015 |
This book's title is stupid. It should have the subtitle as the title. Because this book IS "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer". It has nothing to do with a Diamond Age. It's just a story about an interactive children's book. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, I signed on to read a Neal Stephenson book, a crazy romp through cyberspace. Not some story about some stupid little girl and the whore who talks to her through this interactive book.

Okay, I admit the whore's story is kind of interesting. But this book isn't about the wore's story. It should have been! But, sadly, it's not. It's just about this stupid little girl's fucked up life, with her abusive family. I don't fucking care, okay? I just don't. There, I said it. ( )
  gecizzle | Mar 5, 2015 |
I went back and forth between greatly liking and disliking this book while I was reading it. In the end, I don't think its interesting and valuable ideas outweigh its incoherent and unpleasant ones. If your interest in the social and political implications of nanotechnology is as enormous as your tolerance for mindless violence and plot holes then this is the book for you. ( )
  wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
This might make the book sound stodgier than it is, but my favorite part was Stephenson's take on how "cultures" might be defined and develop on a post-scarcity earth -- particularly the role of technology, territory, history, and education.
Some quotes!
"The chief of the Ashantis bowed to the constable and graciously spun out another lengthy quotation from the fine print of the Common Economic Protocol. The constable kept making a gesture that was somewhere between a nod and a perfunctory bow. Then the constable turned to Bud and said, very fast: 'Are you a member of any signatory tribe, phyle, registered diaspora, franchise-organized quasi-national entity, sovereign polity, or any other form of dynamic security collective claiming status under the CEP?'"
"Now nanotechnology had made nearly anything possible, and so the cultural role in deciding what should be done with it had become far more important than imagining what could be done with it. One of the insights of the Victorian Revival was that it was not necessarily a good thing for everyone to read a completely different newspaper in the morning; so the higher one rose in the society, the more similar one's Times became to one's peers'." ( )
  behemothing | Oct 25, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Stephensonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltsie, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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By nature, men are nearly alike;
by practice, they get to be wide apart.

- Confucius
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The bells of St. Mark's were ringing changes up on the mountain when Bud skated over to the mod parlor to upgrade his skull gun.
The difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people--and this is true whether or not they are well-educated--is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations--in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.
It is upon moral qualities that a society is ultimately founded. All the prosperity and technological sophistication in the world is of no use without that foundation.
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The story of an engineer who creates a device to raise a girl capable of thinking for herself reveals what happens when a young girl of the poor underclass obtains the device.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014027037X, 0241953197

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