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The Windup Girl Paperback – 2 Dec 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (2 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356500535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356500539
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl was one of the most celebrated SF debuts of all time, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Following a number of award-winning novels for younger readers, The Water Knife marks his return to adult fiction. He is a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist, and lives in Colorado with his wife and son.

Product Description

Review

Bacigalupi is a worthy successor to William Gibson: this is cyberpunk without computers (Time Magazine)

Not since William Gibson's pioneering cyberpunk classic, NEUROMANCER (1984), has a first novel excited science fiction readers as much ... Paolo Bacigalupi is a writer to watch for in the future. Just don't wait that long to enjoy the darkly complex pleasu (The Washington Post)

An exciting story about industrial espionage, civil war, and political struggle, filled with heart-thudding action sequences, sordid sex, and enough technical speculation for two lesser novels (Cory Doctorow)

This complex, literate and intensely felt tale, which recalls both William Gibson and Ian McDonald at their very best, will garner Bacigalupi significant critical attention and is clearly one of the finest science fiction novels of the year (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

Book Description

The winner of five major SF awards, The Windup Girl is both a heart-stopping dystopian thriller and a razor-sharp vision of our near future.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By clyxylc on 24 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I am one of the `Malayan Chinese' as depicted in this novel, and I am simply astonished at how real and accurate Bacigalala's grasp and hold of the socio-political undertones of Thailand and the Malaysian Chinese are in this novel. Many times I find myself flipping to the front to check the author's name to see if he really isn't Asian and then to the tiny write-up of himself to see if he lived in Asia for decades. Iowa born. Hmmm.....
Lot's of great dystopian lit out there, but this one really hit home for me simply because of its Asian setting. Could actually picture dystopian Bangkok all around me as I read this book.
Ok constructive rascist views aside, this book is one of the best pieces of dystopic science fiction I have ever read, my other favorite being Dune (by the original Frank Herbert). I'm usually not one to pounce on new unheard of authors, but I came onto this having just finished Bagicalalala's YA novel Ship Breaker which blew me away (and is not in an Asian setting but in the Gulf of Mexico). I started the book with the presumption that this was no way going to be better than Ship Breaker. But the book proved me wrong 15 minutes in. An exciting, thrilling, dystopic romp to the finish. I am hungry for more Bacgialala now.
Why the hell is it taking till December for paperbacks of Pump Six (his short story collection) to be released?!??!!!! I simply can't afford the hardcover versions going for $400 over at the moment!!!!
Congratulations for being my new number one author farang Paolo. Hurry up and show us what else is in your imagination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 2theD on 11 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
As a long-term resident of Thailand and as an avid science fiction reader, I knew I HAD to read this book not because of its odd premise but to proofread for cultural, geographic or linguistic errors... so my initial interest in Windup Girl was one of cynicism.

If you're interested in the more intricate details of what Bacigalupi was talking about when he mentions Thai places, language and customs then read further below. If you want to know if I liked to the book or not, then read this: Yes, though I don't think it's good enough for a Hugo award. And yes, I do hope he writes a sequel, albeit with my humble assistance.

The first half of the book immerses the reader in Bangkok geography with prominent locations such as Rama 9 Road, Ploen Chit, Yaowarat and the Chao Phraya River. Bacigalupi places the future windup spring factory on Rama 9 Road, when currently the area serves as a residential/commercial area, unsuitable for industrial use. Given that the Bangkok in Windup Girl is of the future, this can be looked past. Yaowarat is described as a slum suitable for the `yellow card' immigrants who are of Chinese-Malay origin. Modern day Yaowarat has some of the highest land values in Thailand so it seems unlikely for it to become a home to poor immigrants but at the same time, Yaowarat is also known as Chinatown where most of the shopkeepers are of Thai-Chinese origin. Having the Chinese-Malay immigrants housed on the same land of the Thai-Chinese paints a picture of sympathetic existence in a new country. So, the locations in Bangkok aren't glaringly incorrect, just a little skewed in favor of the future plot of Bacigalupi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Trickett on 16 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit worried in the past I've found highly rated books very disappointing. However I read this book late into the night and have lost sleep over it working my way through it.

There are two ways to look at this book. One level it's a violent and disturbing near future SciFi book. A second way to look at is the corruption and greed of western capitalism.

In the near future the oil has run out, global warming has run riot and multiple genetic experiments have gone horribly wrong or been used as deliberate weapons of war on a global scale. A corrupt worker from a "Calorie" company has been sent to Thailand to find out what is going on there - they are fiercely independent and not dependent of imported sterile seeds from the big western Calorie companies.

The story follows the lives of a number of interlinked individuals as events take over and change the lives of all the characters beyond their wildest imagination. The narrative flips from character to character's view point which takes a bit of time to get use to but seems to work well.

The book is very dark in places, violent and disturbing. However it really is just a mirror to our own greed and selfish nature. Like many fantastic books being set "elsewhere" allows the author to disuse very real and serious issues that affect us today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I started reading this with a high degree of expectation. The jacket includes a few pieces of praise from non sci-fi publications. I came away a little underwhelmed considering the hype.

The story revolves around Thailand in the future where oil has gone, calorie companies rule the rest of the world's economy through ruthless means and Thailand stands apart. With a weakened puppet leader and various factions pushing against each other. It is an interesting future here and its obvious a lot of thought has gone into it. And it starts off well. Characters are interesting and it really is promising. However, the writing doesn't quite match the concept. The story gets convoluted and its easy to lose interest in some of the sub-plots. It really can be a bit of a trawl to get through in the middle pages with the various strands being deliberately drawn out. It does pick up towards the end - not the most satisfying I have read.
Overall its not bad Sci-Fi. But it probably doesn't deserve the accolades its been given. The author is certainly one to watch on this showing, for his ideas at least. The execution needs a little more finesse.
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