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Search tags: Neal-Stephenson
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text 2020-06-10 20:45
Reading progress update: I've read 135 out of 1139 pages.
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson

I cannot find where I put this book, I've been looking for days. I don't know how I lost a brick this size, but I did.

Though, I will say, info-dumps about encryption are not as fascinating as ancient Sumerian myths, so maybe I could be looking harder.

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review 2020-02-28 12:08
Is fiction the best way to learn complicated abstract concepts?
Anathem - Neal Stephenson

I struggled at first. In my defence it's the first book of its kind that I've sunk my cerebral teeth into. Initially (for the first 100 pages or so) it was like wading through molasses - slow and exhausting, but when I was able to stop for a moment and take a sip, sweet and stimulating.

Once the characters began to come alive in my mind, the concepts - maths and quantum mechanics, geometrodynamics, astrophysics, and more - gripped me and I found myself unable to put the book down and actually gaining at least a surface understanding of some very challenging subjects.

The first 100 pages took longer to read than the last 800. An amazing book that has left me with exciting thoughts and dreams. I will be reading more by this author.

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review 2019-08-06 16:40
The Big U, Neal Stephenson
The Big U - Neal Stephenson

A compelling, largely accurate satire of modern higher education that gets progressively more surreal, crazed and violent as it goes along. This was Stephenson's first published novel and you can tell - every apparently pointless chunk of bizarre exposition is actually important, the book is no longer than it needs to be, characters aren't picked up and dropped like a toddler with a toy and the "Guns make the USA Great, everybody should have one, preferably several" bullshit is at least minimally disguised and not the whole point of the story. (Btw, Stephenson, the refutation of your argument on this is splashed all across the news these last few days...I mean years...I mean decades..I mean the last century. Let's face it, reform has been over-due in your country since the end of the era of the Wild West.)

 

Anyway, the only book by this guy that I've read and thought was better was Zodiac, which manages to remain grounded in reality through-out instead of jumping the shark (or giant rat) like this does.

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text 2019-08-05 12:17
Reading progress update: I've read 188 out of 308 pages.
The Big U - Neal Stephenson

Rapid and drastic improvement into a compelling and bonkers tale of American uni life.

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text 2019-08-05 03:15
Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 308 pages.
The Big U - Neal Stephenson

So far, so irritating.

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