The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

76%

25 Critic Reviews

And with its sweeping plot, and an ending that proves thought-provoking to even the most cynical of readers, Paolo Bacigalupi’s award-winning offering will intrigue devotees of the genre for years to come.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Recipient of the Sturgeon Award, Paolo Bacigalupi's writing has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and the environmental journal High Country News. His non-fiction essays have appeared in Salon.com and High Country News, and have been syndicated into numerous western newspapers.
 

About Paolo Bacigalupi

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Paolo Bacigalupi is the author of the highly acclaimedThe Drowned Cities, as well as his debut young adult novel, Ship Breaker, which was a Michael L. Printz Award winner, a National Book Award Finalist, and a Locus Award winner. His debut adult novel, The Windup Girl, was named by Time Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009 and won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. His short-story collection, Pump Six and Other Stories, was a 2008 Locus Award winner for Best Collection and was also named one of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly. He lives with his wife and son in western Colorado.
 
Published September 1, 2009 by Night Shade Books. 544 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Windup Girl
All: 25 | Positive: 21 | Negative: 4

Guardian

Above average
on Dec 18 2010

But when it hits its sweet-spot, The Windup Girl embodies what SF does best of all: it remakes reality in compelling, absorbing and thought-provoking ways, and it lives on vividly in the mind.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Lev Grossman on May 09 2014

There have been novels about climate change since the 1960's, but to me the definitive example is a book that's not well known outside the field of science fiction: The Windup Girl, by the American novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in 2010.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
on Apr 20 2010

And with its sweeping plot, and an ending that proves thought-provoking to even the most cynical of readers, Paolo Bacigalupi’s award-winning offering will intrigue devotees of the genre for years to come.

Read Full Review of The Windup Girl | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

The Bookbag

Above average
on Sep 08 2012

It's a good book, and entertaining enough, but it's one of those books that is frustratingly close to being really very good indeed, but it doesn't quite get there.

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Tor

Good
on Jul 18 2010

At novel length his skill doesn’t just flow from the page, it grabs the reader and ties them to the story until they hit the end. If you do manage to put it down for a break, you’ll probably spend that break thinking...what’s going to happen next.

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SF Site

Good
on Apr 24 2013

I loved this book and regret not having shelled out for the hardcover version. Yes, in some ways it is similar to Blade Runner but 90 percent is not.

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SF Site

Above average

However, the development of the individual characters and the through line of the plot are not sufficiently robust to sustain the story's weight. The novel roams and rambles, wallowing among its many components...

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SFFWorld.com

Above average
on Oct 12 2009

The Windup Girl is set in a finely crafted future and shows much promise for Bacigalupi. On its own merits, it didn’t connect with me as much as I’d hoped but left me with an eagerness to see this writer grow with his next novel.

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Good
on May 14 2010

...this novel is visionary, gritty, cautionary and highly intelligent. It definitely ranks in the top echelon of science fiction.

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SF Signal

Above average
on Apr 02 2011

This is a story rich with ideas and setting but lacking the strength of a central character to follow on their journey.

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SF Signal

Excellent
on Sep 08 2009

One of the best first science fiction novels of recent years; a completely realistic and terrifying future populated with characters you’ll love even as they do things you’ll hate.

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The New Zealand Herald

Good
on Feb 07 2011

It's an impressive, complicated and multi-layered book that takes some time to work your way into but which also manages to entertain and keep you gripped once you're there.

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Starburst Magazine

Good
on May 08 2011

However it is categorised, there’s no doubt that The Windup Girl is a superb debut, an impressive combination of character, story and ideas. If this is the way forward for near-future sci-fi, then it’s going to be very exciting indeed.

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Boing Boing

Good
on Feb 17 2010

But The Windup Girl is also 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.

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io9

Good
on Sep 09 2009

One of the strengths of The Windup Girl, other than its intriguing characters, is Bacigalupi's world building. You can practically taste this future Thailand he's built...

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The Ranting Dragon

Good
on Jan 12 2012

The Windup Girl deserves all the praise it has received. It’s an incredible book; from the vivid setting to the fascinating characters, Bacigalupi has created science fiction at its absolute best.

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Strange Horizons

Above average
on Nov 30 2009

But despite the slightly creaky plot, The Windup Girl is irresistibly readable for long stretches. What it does best, I think, is the frantic excitement of uncertainty.

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SFX

Excellent
on Dec 10 2010

It’s a dystopian thriller that combines the best of both those genres, with a plot to keep you reading and ideas that will keep you thinking long after you’re done. Multiple storylines weave in and out...

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Scholars And Rogues

Good
on Jul 18 2010

Bacigalupi has woven a rich tapestry here, and it plays out wonderfully...The important thing in this type of novel is to keep the consistency of the world you have created, and Bacigalupi has done a masterful job of this.

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The Zone

Above average

...I cannot ignore the fact that the book has so many half-formed and unstructured ideas in it that none of them ever develops into anything approaching a coherent argument.

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Daily Camera

Good
on Feb 07 2010

As dark as it is, Bacigalupi makes his future astonishingly believable. His grasp of realpolitik, invention, eye for lively detail and true characters...makes this the best debut novel since Gibson blew a hole in the complacent SF scene in 1984.

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OneMetal

Above average
on Nov 28 2010

...bleak story set in brutal and turbulent times that makes the reader live and breathe a not-too distant future. But an overemphasis on character and world detailing along with a meandering ending makes this book a hard but rewarding slog.

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FlagShip The Sci-Fi/Fantasy arm of Flying Island Press.

Good
on Dec 23 2011

I give the story four out of five stars. I think it’s well worth anyone’s time who is willing to put up with a little swearing, some violent sex, and megadonts squashing the snot out of people when they go on a rampage.

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Best Fantasy Books

Above average
on Apr 24 2013

The Windup Girl is exceedingly well written and has a great cast but it isn’t perfect. It drags in parts, certain scenes far outliving their purpose and resulting in a somewhat bloated book.

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Grasping For The Wind

Good
on Oct 20 2009

Though at times the social commentary slows the story down, Bacigalupi creates interesting characters and does what SF does best. He uses the past and probable future to philosophize about the nature of humanity...

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Reader Rating for The Windup Girl
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 784 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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