The Diamond Age

Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

Hardcover, 455 pages

English language

Published Nov. 11, 1995 by Bantam Books.

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3 stars (5 reviews)

The story of an engineer who creates a device to raise a girl capable of thinking for herself reveals what happens when a young girl of the poor underclass obtains the device.

6 editions

reviewed The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (A Bantam spectra book)

Simultaneously better and worse than Snow Crash

4 stars

I have to say, this was a fun read. And like the author's book Snow Crash from 3 years prior, it features a young girl protagonist, nation-state world-building, a sometimes awkward treatment of Asia, and sections of excessive violence.

In some ways, the book aged a lot better than Snow Crash. The world has made VR a thing which means a lot of the computer-related predictions from Snow Crash feel laughable, but we're nowhere near the level of nanotechnology in A Diamond Age. Snow Crash is a book of the 90s. The Diamond Age feels good even today.

Where this book let me down, however, was in how the plot was woven together. There are a lot of interesting characters that never get the attention they should. I don't demand that all plot threads get tied up in a nice neat bow (I think Anathem even went a bit too …

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rated it

2 stars
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rated it

5 stars