The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book)

78%

8 Critic Reviews

Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age is more like his Cryptonomicon than it is like Snow Crash: panoramic and cast-of-thousands, after the manner of War and Peace, rather than character-focused like Tom Jones...I can’t say any more without giving away the plot. Read it, is all.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Decades into our future, a stone's throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken the
rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians.  He's made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young Ladys Illustrated Primer  Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild, stolen for Hackworth's own daughter, the Primer's purpose is to educate and raise a girl capable of thinking for herself.  It performs its function superbly.  Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into the wrong hands.

Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes--members of the poor, tribeless class.  Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell.  When he and his gang waylay a certain neo-Victorian--John Percival Hackworth--  in the seamy streets of their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer.


Following the discovery of his crime, Hackworth begins an odyssey of his own.  Expelled from the neo-Victorian paradise, squeezed by agents of Protocol
Enforcement on one side and a Mandarin underworld crime lord on the other, he searches for an elusive figure known as the Alchemist.  His quest and Nell's
will ultimately lead them to another seeker whose fate is bound up with the Primer-- a woman who holds the key to a vast, subversive information
network that is destined to decode and reprogram the future of humanity.

Vividly imagined, stunningly prophetic, and epic in scope, The Diamond Age is a major novel from one of the most visionary writers of our time


From the Paperback edition.
 

About Neal Stephenson

See more books from this Author
Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde; Anathem; the three-volume historical epic The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World); as well as Cryptonomicon; The Diamond Age; Snow Crash, which was named one of Time magazine's top one hundred all-time best English-language novels; and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
 
Published August 26, 2003 by Spectra. 512 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, History, Religion & Spirituality, Horror. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Diamond Age
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average

All of this is staggeringly inventive and meticulously detailed, but, lacking a coherent plot and set forth in an irritatingly vainglorious style, it's ultimately soulless and uncompelling.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average

Cyber-fiction from Stephenson, in which an engineer living in a neo-Victorian future is commissioned to write a subversive primer for girls.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Good

Building steadily to a wholly earned and intriguing climax, this long novel, which presents its sometimes difficult technical concepts in accessible ways, should appeal to readers other than habitual SF users.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Mark Kleiman on Feb 17 2003

Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age is more like his Cryptonomicon than it is like Snow Crash: panoramic and cast-of-thousands, after the manner of War and Peace, rather than character-focused like Tom Jones...I can’t say any more without giving away the plot. Read it, is all.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Booklist Online

Excellent
on Jan 01 1995

With breathtaking vision and insight, Stephenson establishes himself as not only a major voice in contemporary sf but also a prophet of technology’s future.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ...

Tor

Above average
on Oct 05 2011

For all that it isn’t quite of the genre, The Diamond Age seems to have evolved into one of steampunk’s inspiring foundational texts.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ...

Kepler's

Excellent

Now, in The Diamond Age, he delivers another stunning tale.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ...

Teen Ink

Above average

Although I thought some of Stephenson's ideas where a stretch, as most cyberpunk and prep, stays semi-realistic in its outlook, I did enjoy the book.

Read Full Review of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young ...

Reader Rating for The Diamond Age
81%

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