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4.0 out of 5 stars
Slant
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 1999
I'm normally a pretty fast reader, and I like Bear - even his big books rarely take more than a couple of days to get through, despite work commitments. So why did this one take me more than a week?
For the first 200 pages or so, I had to keep putting it down. Bear has evidently thought a lot about his future world, where "therapy" using (I think) a combination of psychological techniques & nanotechnology has managed to cure many ills, making many of the world's citizens happier & more productive. And he wants to show us this. Now, though the characters and their actions are all crucial to the plot, it initially seems as if he is using them to show us how this world works. Unfortunately, he spends too much time doing so. Eventually, the plot does pick up: the people who have benefitted from therapy are falling ill again, often worse than they were before, at an accelerating rate - eventually, there will be so many mentally disordered and emotionally dysfunctional people that society will fall apart. And no one knows why this is happening. Meanwhile, a gang of grave-robbers are preparing to break into a high-tech tomb for people who want to use cryonics to live forever.... These two threads turn out to be intimately connected - and they do lead ultimately to a satisfying conclusion.
I really would like to be able to give this book 4 crowns: But it does go on too long at first. Also, it's written in the present tense, which I'm not a great fan of - though some feel this gives a book a greater sense of immediacy, to me it just seems overly literary.
So, it's not the best Bear, but worth reading if you have nothing else to hand, and does give some food for thought.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2001
This was the first Greg Bear book I've read since Blood Music, and I loved it.
The first few chapters were quite slow, and it took some time to get into the book, but once you do it's well worth it. Bear did very well in his portrayal of a not too distant but heavily changed future and interlaced it wonderfully with a plot that makes it difficult to put down.
That is, of course, if you can get past the constantly shifting perspectives as he jumps from character to character, and the sometimes obscure Futuristic(TM) language.
Reading Queen of Angels first would probably help getting into the book at the start, but it stands up very well on it's own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2000
This is possibly my favourite Greg Bear novel, rivalling Eon, Eternity and The Forge of God. Previous reviewers criticize it for being hard to read - have they read the prequel, Queen of Angels? Bear never ceases to amaze me with his remarkable (and often apocalyptic) visions of the future. Slant is a fine example of this, but also succeeds with its characterization, particularly of the mysterious Jack Giffey and the morally complex Jonathan Bristow.
All in all, great. Looking forward to the next installment in Bear's sprawling future history.
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on 19 September 2012
Wow -

I first read this book just after the turn of the Millenium and I felt that it was so prophetic - you read about modern physics suggesting that there are parallel universes which (could) be just a hairs-breadth away from our own but we can never meet this dual universe. Each universe plays out alternate realities to our own existence. Well Greg bear's book is so plausible in that respect - in fact throw out the alternate reality - some of this stuff could happen to us in the not so distant future.
I won't give this book 5* 'cos I do find the heist somewhat implausible and I found that bit tedious, and seeing what the Porn industry in the book is capable of doing does make this seem even more improbable but hey, this is a work of fiction.

But it is in the little things which ring true and then you feel the shift beneath you as what you consider to be reality is pulled from under you. They do say that the porn industry is at the forefront of all of these internet-type advances - how money is transacted, etc. That the book was published in 1997 and so much of this is now coming to pass (in some form or other) is making this guy out to be some sort of visionary. The notion that practically everyone's psychological disorders are now hidden away and what happens when they all start to resurface is frightening in itself.
I sure hope that all of this doesn't quite turn like this scenario.

Get it and read it - full of suprises.
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on 4 November 2009
I have been a greg bear fan for good 12 years now. I found Slant in a charity shop in London in between cleaning jobs. I didn't read it until few years later. I had been studying Traumatic Insident reduction and very much talking about psychology and reading on the subject and i wanted some break. And then second chapter of Slant... ha ha - it was all about psychology and psychotherapy but in the future - using nano and AI... it made me consider this is probably not just a coincidence.

Amazing read. I proper page turner - but you have to be in the right frame of mind. It might not be suitable for compulsive readers, it's good for readers who approach the content with curiosity and like to check some of the data, who let their imagination go beyond what they read.

So they do a bit of research on the side and think about the eventualities of the future, how much of that would be possible and what could lead to it.

My favourite idea is the bacteria theory - how everything and everyone is separate and united - concerned about the personal and communal survival. It really made me think.

That's why I like greg bears books. I see more to them than simple entertainment. Same as with Eon, Eternity, Darwins radio and darwins children, even quantico.

I would like to have full collection of his writings - and read them all.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2000
In inventing the world of Slant, Bear uses an infuriatingly large array of long made-up words (some easily derived from current words, others seemingly random collections of letters). This makes it very difficult to read at any kind of pace, and difficult to keep track of the many sub-plot twists and turns. Personally, I found it very difficult to get through the first 150 pages.
However, as one gets further and further through the book, the language (and plot) seem to become more and more "normal" - and in my view better for it. That may be because there is less dialogue and more action; or it may be that Bear tired of trying to keep all his new words in consistent use...
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