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Stephenson's attempt at a digital translation of mythological source material has merit, especially at first, as Dodge's creation of his digital world fittingly resembles how gamers in the 90ies explored new worlds in the dark mist on the maps on their screens. He even manages to convincingly sneak in Adam & Eve. But as the story progresses, it starts to suffer, from being both overthought and haphazard. While certain choices Stephenson made in the book's first 650 pages are weaved together nicely (Corvus, the amputee girlfriend, the daisy), all that nifty literary construction doesn't redeem the novel. The inconsistencies I described ultimately kill the intellectual joy we were offered at first.
It strikes me as a sign of the times that some liberal Stephenson readers take issue with his condescension. The truth is out there: climate change is real & man-made, vaccines don't cause autism, the earth isn't flat and we did land on the moon. In the 60ies, Kurt Vonnegut would have written satire on these people too, and it would be applauded. Today, we cry foul. It's one thing for Hillary Clinton to call out a basket of deplorables while running for president, Neal Stephenson has a different job to do: he doesn't write for people in what the novel calls Ameristan.
Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig...