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The Windup Girl
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on 30 August 2017
The writing and the world-building are incredible - intelligent and so fresh. This book thoroughly deserves the hype it got and it feels almost churlish to only award 4 stars, but I found myself unable to emotionally invest fully in any of the characters. They sometimes felt like necessary parts of the story's (amazing) machinery, rather than people in their own right.
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on 26 September 2017
If you like dystopian novels then this is the book for you! I couldn't put this down! So well written, you fall for each character and build relationships throughout every chapter. Just brilliant!
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on 13 September 2017
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on 10 May 2017
This Is one of the few books that I still have in my library having switched over to kindle.

Having initially read the book 6 years ago I found it to be almost too fantastical to think of as anything more than a futuristic novel. But how fantastical is it really? Technology is developing so fast as are algorithms that we genuinely do not know where we will be in 25 years time. What is for sure is that we will be living in the post human society, and technology so developed that we will be seeing functioning humanoid robotics. Heavens we already have genetically modified and hydroponically grown food that doesn't taste of very much at all and countries already being or being ruled by corporations... I don't even believe organic technology will be that far off either if one is to believe scientific magazines. So, not all that futuristic anymore but nonetheless all the more disconcerting.

This book is a genuinely good read and I thoroughly enjoy(ed) it.
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on 14 July 2017
I was expecting better given the awards.
For me the ideas were just not very good. How can everything be powered by giant elephants if food is so scarce and controlled? Why do springs need to be bathed in algae? How do springs store energy anyway? Ok its a coal powered car - I get it. Yes coal powered tanks too, very good thank you.
Its good that this story considers the consequences of climate change, I wish there was more about what the Expansion was etc.. The genetic engineering ideas were good, definitely.
But some really cheezy parts e.g. when Hock goes to visit Jabba the Hutt aka the Dung Lord. What every happened to him any way? The Kanya group of people were poorly described; I didn't care about Thai boxing and what they got up to. The 'bullet time' when Miko moves fast was cheezy. As was having her her as a pliant sex toy who gets ideas.
The descriptions of Thailand were not particularly evocative; I;ve visited that part of the world. And all the italics for foreign references got tedious.
Also, the tone of the narrative felt slightly chinglishified. You know; like abit of caricature of Asian ways of speaking that also leaked into the narrative language itself.
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on 18 October 2017
Excellent novel. About the author being "the next William Gibson", it's a matter of personal opinion. However, I reckon that this eco-thriller is crafted with love and packed with mystery. In a Bangkok gone almost back to stone age (but very reminiscent of the Sprawl) a secret war is being fought over the food and energy independence. In this novel you'll meet spies, ruthless traders, corrupted police, Chinese fugitives, gangsters. monks, scheming politicians and... the Windup Girl!... Their lives are about to cross in this city on the verge of a catastrophic flood, a military coup and paranoid about viral outbreaks to the point of issuing a special police force to prevent them. The amazing rhythm and intrigue will lead you up to the surprising finale, but if you come from literature such as the one of Gibson or Sterling, you will love this masterpiece for the world, the atmosphere, the taste of this near-future Bangkok...
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on 6 May 2017
Original, dynamic story telling with engaging characters and a dystopia which truly captures the fetid bustle of tropics Thailand.
I read this some years after having lived there and was transported right back to Bangkok such is Bacigalupi's story telling prowess.
My only fault with this masterpiece of dystopian literature is that it quite obviously leaves it wide open for a sequel with stories hanging too much in the open air. Would have liked a few more conclusions to some of the story lines but was nonetheless left very entertained and happy by this worthwhile read.
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on 24 July 2010
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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on 9 November 2017
A wonderfully written book that brings to life the daily hardships of a world that has contracted after the loss of readily available fossil fuel energy. The motivations and choices of it's diverse character's help to create a world where genetics is the key to the future and it's possible destruction. I enjoyed the way that most of the characters constantly battle between morals and survival, the plot keeps you on your toes with it's many twists and turns.
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on 23 October 2017
Hmm. Interesting concept, but an awful lot going on and plenty of gratuitous and violent sexual content which I felt was unnecessary to the story
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