The Diamond Age, part III

February 12, 2009

What about plot, characters, voice, etc.? All brilliant. The plot moves you at the right time; the reader is able to get into the characters’ heads and feel their highs and lows; there are many distinct voices – you’re certainly never confused about who is speaking or thinking.
The author is better than most at presenting a balance of the sexes, particularly at giving the women in his novels room to grow, act, and be. After re-reading Cryptonomicon earlier in the year, which is heavily male-oriented, I had forgotten that this was outside his norm. Thank goodness. The literary exploration of the human condition is simply incomplete when it ignores half of humanity. It is also incomplete when it ignores multiculturalism, abilities, orientations, etc. To his credit, Stephenson is also quite adept at bringing elements of other cultures into the path of his Anglo-Saxon trajectories.

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