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The Big U by Neal Stephenson

The Big U (1984)

by Neal Stephenson

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1st novel by Neal, way weaker than later works ( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
This is not as good as I remembered it being from when I read it last century. But there are hilarious bits throughout. And it is so true, if a bit hyperbolic. ( )
  themulhern | Dec 27, 2018 |
Stephenson's debut novel (which he hated) has many of the same ingredients of his other novels, but it seems like he hadn't figured out how to mix it all together and cook it yet. The Big U is an absolute mess, a broad satire of higher education that gets more ridiculous (and tedious) as it goes along.

The one redeeming factor: for a 30-year-old novel, The Big U is really forward-thinking with its critique of higher education. Especially regarding the vocational/business-minded mentality and flaws of the multiversity. If only the book could've stuck more to that and less to giant rats. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Perhaps it is to much a product of another time but the jarring shifts of storyline between characters and the frequent jumps in time with no backfilling of the story made this book a chore to read. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
Stephenson's first published work is a bit uneven - the first half is an amusing satire of big campus life, and the second half pulls out all the stops, with an all-out war erupting, complete with mutant rats, nuclear waste, foreign nationals, bizarre cults, lots and lots of weaponry & violence - and of course, some heroic geeks. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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"When I think of the men who were my teachers, I realized that most of them were slightly mad. The men who could be regarded as good teachers were exceptional. It's tragic to think that such people have the power to bar a young man's way." 

-German political figure Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945
(from Hitler's Secret Conversations, 1941-44, translated by Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens)
to John Forssman
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The Go Big Red Fan was John Wesley Fenrick's, and when ventilating his System it throbbed and crept along the floor with a rhythmic chunka-chunka-chunk.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380816032, Paperback)

The New York Times Book Review called Neal Stephenson's most recent novel "electrifying" and "hilarious".  but if you want to know Stephenson was doing twenty years before he wrote the epic Cryptonomicon, it's back-to-school time. Back to The Big U, that is, a hilarious send-up of American college life starring after years our of print, The Big U is required reading for anyone interested in the early work of this singular writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:46 -0400)

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