In Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson took science fiction to dazzling new levels. Now, in The Diamond Age, he delivers another stunning tale. Set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens when a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.
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Another Great One By Stephenson
Personally, I liked this book better than Neal Stephenson's breakout and signature novel, Snow Crash. The Diamond Age is set about 100 years in the future, and the title refers to the era where nanotechnology (the ability to build very small machines molecule by molecule) allows virtually anything to be created very cheaply, thus diamonds, a rare commodity today, would be ridiculously simple to create. Giant sheets of it could be made to replace glass in windows. The story really has two protagonists, one a poor girl named Nell and a brilliant nanotech engineer named Hackworth. Nell ends up in posession of a very special book called, "The Young Ladies Illustrated Primer" designed to teach a privileged girl more than what a structured society would teach her. It wasn't meant for her so the her development over time becomes of much interest to very powerful people. I won't go too much into the plot, but The Diamond Age raises issues about Confucianism, Victorian Age society, wether a machine can ever truly replace a human, and much more. I loved it.
On another note, I must commend Jennifer Wiltsie, the reader on her incredible work for The Diamond Age. I've listened to close to a hundred audiobooks, and her voice acting in TDA is among the best I've heard. Both male and female voices, chinese and victorian voices, scottish, young boys and girls are all done very convincingly with appropriate characteristics.
Love the book, don't like the reading.
I give the book 5+ stars because it awesome! (like all of Stephenson's books)
But the reading gets a big 0 - I do not recommend the audiobook for the poor quality reading.
Go the get the paper book - You'll love it!
Very Good Book
For those intrigued by nanotechnology and science this book will be an excellent selection.