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Thread: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

  1. #1
    GODFATHER Jonny Z's Avatar
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    How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    I like the premise of his new book coming out next month, Anathem.

    I've never read any of his works, although I know little bits about them, I guess mostly Snow Crash.

    Are his works hard to get into? How far out there are his ideas?

    Anyone here a fan of his?

  2. #2
    Brent Yellow Thunder
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    Just pick up the book and read it man.



    I guess I just don't understand the question.

  3. #3
    MECHA SHIVA MECHA SHIVA Adam Witt's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    The ideas aren't super-far-out, typically. Easy to get into. The books are just very, very dense and not always well-paced. The ideas are often introduced early with vague references, and fleshed out a long while later. You get a reward out of it by the end of everything.

    I'd stay away from the Baroque Cycle, and grab Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash to start.
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  4. #4
    Right Guy Ron Salas's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    Snow Crash is the gateway. Awesome book. I also loved the Diamond Age. Both are very accessible but very complex in their details. I had started Cryptonomicon but, for one reason or another, lost interest. I hope to pick it up again some time in the future.

  5. #5
    Trouble Boy Doug O's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam D. Witt View Post
    I'd stay away from the Baroque Cycle, and grab Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash to start.
    Oh dude - Say there's not somebody out there who doesn't love Baroque Cycle?

    I would highly recommend it, but after enjoying Cryptonomicon. I am waiting for Anathema to show up on my library holdshelf, though.

  6. #6
    Consiliere PeterSparker's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    I read Quicksilver (the first volume of The Baroque Cycle) and really liked it, but I started it over a couple of times because I just didn't roll with it the first few. It's dense, a very different era, and there's quite a bit to follow and digest. Fascinating stuff though, he touches on a lot of different moments and movements in European history, and I was very interested in those aspects. I'm a fan of Issac Newton, so I loved his appearance in the book for example, but its essentially a long meditation on God through an understanding of alchemy. There's more to it than that, but it also might not be for everyone because so. It has qualities of an Umberto Ecco book for a point of reference. Real characters and historical events working their way into the narrative, and it doesn't so much as have a "plot" as it does just touch on so many different areas of thought and science and politics.

    I still haven't read the other two books yet, though I will eventually. But you've got to be committed to digging in there. Not worth it otherwise, it's not light reading, but there's a lot to enjoy about it all. I thought so anyway, and I'm curious if that style changes at all for the other two books. As a matter of fact it might be time to hit volume 2 pretty soon.
    Last edited by PeterSparker; 08-20-2008 at 08:55 PM.

  7. #7
    GODFATHER Mylazycat's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    Hmm, now I'm curious about this guy...
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  8. #8
    Hard Boiled copypastepuke's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    i loved zodiac. i thought it was a great read
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  9. #9
    Hard Boiled copypastepuke's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    Quote Originally Posted by jason hissong View Post
    Just pick up the book and read it man.



    I guess I just don't understand the question.
    just looking for a dialogue. although literally the answer would be in his hands
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  10. #10
    Right Guy
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    Re: How hard is it to get into Neal Stephenson's books?

    i've only read CRYPTONOMICON and it was great. his writing in that book was very funny, and seemingly hyper-researched. i plan to read more by him but i haven't yet.

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