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The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book) by [Stephenson, Neal]
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The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 706 ratings

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Length: 512 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

John Percival Hackworth is a nanotech engineer on the rise when he steals a copy of "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" for his daughter Fiona. The primer is actually a super computer built with nanotechnology that was designed to educate Lord Finkle-McGraw's daughter and to teach her how to think for herself in the stifling neo-Victorian society. But Hackworth loses the primer before he can give it to Fiona, and now the "book" has fallen into the hands of young Nell, an underprivileged girl whose life is about to change.

From Publishers Weekly

Stephenson's fourth solo novel, set primarily in a far-future Shanghai at a time when nations have been superseded by enclaves of common cultures ("claves"), abundantly justifies the hype that surrounded Snow Crash, his first foray into science fiction. Here, the author avoids the major structural problem of that book-a long lump of philosophical digression-by melding myriad perspectives and cogitations into his tale, which is simultaneously SF, fantasy and a masterful political thriller. Treating nanotechnology as he did virtual reality in Snow Crash-as a jumping-off point-Stephenson presents several engaging characters. John Percival Hackworth is an engineer living in a neo-Victorian clave, who is commissioned by one of the world's most powerful men to create a Primer that might enable the man's granddaughter to be educated in ways superior to the "straight and narrow." When Hackworth is mugged, an illegal copy of the Primer falls into the hands of a working-class girl named Nell, and a most deadly game's afoot. Stephenson weaves several plot threads at once, as the paths of Nell, Hackworth and other significant characters-notably Nell's brother Harv, Hackworth's daughter Fiona and an actress named Miranda-converge and diverge across continents and complications, most brought about by Hackworth's actions and Nell's development. Building steadily to a wholly earned and intriguing climax, this long novel, which presents its sometimes difficult technical concepts in accessible ways, should appeal to readers other than habitual SF users. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 2216 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553380966
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reprint edition (August 26, 2003)
  • Publication Date: August 26, 2003
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBJCKI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,816 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
706 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2015
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27 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2017
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12 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2015
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Top international reviews

H. Ashford
2.0 out of 5 stars very slow
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2017
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tallmanbaby
4.0 out of 5 stars nanotechnology steam punk style
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2014
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Steven Wyatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Primer Motive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2013
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Ms E. Exintaris
5.0 out of 5 stars Princess Nell!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 22, 2010
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A. E. Brett
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-reading this book after almost 10 years it still packs a punch
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2011
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Bill Y
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my style, Mr Stephenson.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2017
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PRM Crawt
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this mans writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 18, 2019
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soliloquies
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating and dsappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 4, 2018
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Max Speed
4.0 out of 5 stars A mix of brilliant ideas and fantasy story-telling
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2014
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Manchester Lad 68
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2012
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Mary P.
4.0 out of 5 stars love..
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2015
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, original, by turns charming, wild, and funny, but a little loose by the end
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2015
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Torquemada
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephensons' take on Steam Punk
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2018
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Prendy
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas, slow paced and a bit scattered.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2016
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Mr. John R. White
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 30, 2014
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