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Stephenson ponders a wealth of subjects, from movies and politics to David Foster Wallace and the Midwestern American College Town; video games to classics-based sci-fi; how geekdom has become cool and how science fiction has become mainstream (whether people admit it or not); the future of publishing and the origins of his novels. Playful and provocative, Some Remarks displays Stephenson's opinions and ideas on
The Internet, our dwindling national attention span, and the cultural importance of books and bookishness;
Waco, religion, and the cluelessness of secular society;
Metaphysics and the battle between Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz;
The laying of the longest wire on Earth - and why it matters to you;
Technology, freedom, commerce, and the Chinese;
How Star Wars and 300 mirror who we are today and what that spells for our future; and
Modern Jedi knights, a.k.a. scientists and technologists, and why they are admired and feared by both the left and the right.
By turns amusing and profound, critical and celebratory, yet always entertaining, Some Remarks offers a fascinating look into the prismatic mind of this extraordinary writer.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Duncan on 08-09-12
Worth a revisit
Would you listen to Some Remarks again? Why?
Although I read several of these pieces when they were originally published (FLAG, Slashdot) I've enjoyed revisiting them. Although I loved "Reamde," I don't have time this month to get sucked in for 30 hours, so this collection of shorter pieces is great.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Jeff Cummings?
Maybe. This is perhaps not the best material for an audio treatment, and Cummings does a good job, overall. I wish he knew Stephenson's vocabulary better. ASCII is pronounced with an "aye-aye," or, better, as "as-key," and Stephenson and his readers would reflexively cringe, as I did, at "a-ess-see-two." Neal wrote "In The Beginning Was The Command Line;" he knows from 8-bit character encoding and that's one of the things I like best about him. To mispronounce that sort of vocabulary makes the narrator obvious. Like an offensive lineman, a narrator is rarely noticed for good performance.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Not really, since it's a collection of essays best take in discrete chunks.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Sojournalist on 10-03-12
A mix of entertaining pieces--best for fans
I hadn't read much Stephenson outside of his books, many of which I have read (the ones I haven't read make a much shorter list).
This was a good smattering of pieces (well, I anticipate it will be; I've had it in my library for four days and it's half gone already).
My only complaint is that the narrator #FAILs in geek vocab: ASCII is pronounced as-key, not a-es-see-two, and mojo is pronounced moe-joe, not moe-hoe.
You'd think the producer could pick up the phone and ask someone rather than guessing...
The good news is these miscues are rather rare in this book.
If you're a Stephenson fan and sort of know what he's about, this is a good read. If you're a die-hard Stephenson fan and you've read everything you can get your hands on, this might be worth a shot. I am happy I spent my credit on this one.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful