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Darwinia: A Novel of a Very Different Twentieth Century Paperback – Sep 4 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; 1 edition (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765319055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765319050
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sara Mangan on July 4 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What seems, at first glance, like a simple adventure story in Robert Charles Wilson's "Darwinia" is actually anything but simple -- something you will learn as the book leads you deeper and deeper into a complex, rich, and hauntingly beautiful story.
"Darwinia" takes place in a world left reeling after Europe was transformed over night into a foreign and unexplored wilderness. The story follows the journey of Guildord Law who explores this new world and learns about the land and so much more.
The charecters in the book are vivid and you will come away feeling that you know each of them. It is science fiction at its best, full of surprises and powerfully written. One can't quite say enough about this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mac Tonnies on Dec 5 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Darwinia" is an eerie, frequently fascinating tale that takes place after Europe is suddenly and mysteriously transformed into an uncharted no-man's land. Guilford Law, a photographer drawn by the continent's enigma, takes part in an expedition to its interior, facing evolutionary mysteries and paradigm-toppling revelations. Wilson is one of the genre's most appealing and overlooked storytellers, and "Darwinia" is a canvas of cosmic scope. Unfortunately, the ending is something of a letdown after the initial build-up; "Darwinia" reads as a paleantological thriller unsuccessfully fused with a virtual reality shoot-'em-up, complete with interdimensional mutants and bullet-proof avatars. Edgar Rice Burroughs meets "The Matrix."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Duncan on Feb. 8 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Darwinia' is really a tale of two halves. The book as which it begins is charming, mysterious, and deeply entertaining. Somewhere near the novel's midpoint, a plot pivot appears which transforms the novel into something *entirely* different. To say it was 'unsettling' to this unsuspecting reader is an understatement; however, sticking with it proved to be rewarding nonetheless. The reviewer who described 'Darwinia' as Edgar Rice Burroughs meets 'The Matrix' is dead on target, with maybe a sprinkling of Lovecraft's Old Gods thrown in for good measure. 'Darwinia' has a strange disequilibrium to it, and it is definitely difficult to categorize - but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's not a five-star book , in my humble opinion, but it is still a thoroughly enjoyable novel. It's a smart, interesting read unlike anything I've seen before.
'Darwinia' is the first writing by Robert Charles Wilson I've read. He definitely impressed me as an author worth seeking out, and will appear on my reading list again soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth R. Bridges on Jan. 23 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Darwinia" establishes Robert Charles Wilson as one of the outstanding writers in contemporary SF. The Europe of 1912 is replaced by a strange, alien wilderness containing previously unknown forms of plants and animals and no sign of civilization. Religious fundamentalism bubbles to the forefront in the wake of the "Miracle" as most people believe that God sweep the old center of Western civilization out of existence because of its iniquity. Some people see inconsistencies in the theological explanation and seek alternate explanations based on science and logic. Guilford Law, the protagonist of the novel, is drawn into the latter camp and ultimately reaches a stunning explanation of the true nature of the "Miracle".
Wilson's technical writing skills are excellent. He draws a haunting picture of this strange world that was Europe. Wilson creates appealing characters with depth using a mature and well-crafted writing style. The characters behave rationally in this irrational world. Most importantly, Wilson thoroughly understands contemporary history and creates a series of events in the post-"Miracle" world that are both logical and reasonable. For instance, the obliteration of the British home islands leads Lord Kitchener to set up a rump government operating out of Ottawa that seeks to retain the claims of the British Empire. This is precisely what Kitchener, the hero of Khartoum and victor of the Boer War, would have done. A brief naval war erupts between the US and the British rump government that the Americans easily win. This fits with the deployment of the major forces of the Royal Navy in British home waters in 1912 to counter the growing threat of the German navy. With these forces gone, the American navy would have been easily superior.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rex Babiera on Aug. 27 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the continent of Europe is replaced (yes, replaced) by a wild, uninhabited version complete with un-Earthly flora and fauna. This is the jumping off point for a twisting, "What is reality?" story that aspires to be a cross between Philip K. Dick and William Gibson. Unfortunately, it's just a bit too head-scratching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Merivel on July 26 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I felt this book started strong, it had captured my imagination and felt it was leading to exciting discoveries. When more is revealed I was dissappointed but thought after a strong start Mr. Wilson would take it to more interesting heights. He just didn't appear to know where is was going with it and it wandered and floundered, the characters weakened and it fell apart. Very inconsistent in parts...I don't ask for everything to make sense in Sci-fi but you have the responsibility for making it plausible in the plot/setting. DCS
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