Title The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book)
Author: Stephenson, Neal
Tags sf, science fiction, cyberpunk, fiction
"It is the duty of every citizen to be subversive."
Carl Kaufmann, personal conversation, June 1998
When I read in Diamond Age one character's thought that the necessary quality in a successful life is the ability to be subversive, I thought, YES, this is my kind of book! And in many ways it is. It is certainly not an easy book. It starts out quite cyberpunk, which means there is a lot of technical and invented slang to absorb. That lessens, but the level of vocabulary and the rich level of allusions make this a book that rivals Joyce in complexity. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Difficult authors may well be worth the unraveling, and I think Diamond Age is one of those books.
My biggest complaint is that it is quite long, and at times seemed to me to lose its momentum and its force of impact. Overall, however, it is worth the journey...and what a journey it is, though many cultures, real or imagined.
Publication Spectra (2000), Paperback, 512 pages
Publication date 2000
ISBN 0553380966 / 9780553380965