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The Windup Girl Hardcover – Sep 1 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (Sept. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597801577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597801577
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #555,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description




“It’s ridiculous how good this book is. . . . Bacigalupi’s vision is almost as rich and shocking as William Gibson’s vision was in 1984 . . . I hope he writes 10 sequels.”
—Lev Grossman, TIME

“Reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s Blade Runner.... densely packed with ideas about genetic manipulation, distribution of resources, the social order, and environmental degradation ... science fiction with an environmental message, but one that does not get in the way of its compelling story.”
Sacramento Book Review

“This complex, literate and intensely felt tale, which recalls both William Gibson and Ian McDonald at their very best ... clearly one of the finest science fiction novels of the year.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A captivating look at a dystopic future that seems all too possible. East meets
West in a clash of cultures brilliantly portrayed in razor-sharp images, tension-building pacing, and sharply etched characters.”
Library Journal (starred review)

"When it hits its sweet-spot, The Windup Girl embodies what SF does best of all: it remakes reality in compelling, absorbing and thought-provoking ways, and it lives on vividly in the mind."
The Guardian

"Bacigalupi never slides into moralism or judgement ... Ultimately that's what makes this debut novel so exciting. It's rare to find a writer who can create such well-shaded characters while also building a weird new future world."

About the Author

Paolo Bacigalupi is the award winning author of adult and young adult fiction. His work has won the Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell, and Locus award among others, and been nominated for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. His short fiction has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and High Country News. Bacigalupi lives in Western Colorado with his wife and son.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bacigalupi creates an immersive alternate future with ambiguous morality and twisted technology that is enjoyable to visit. Would have been 5* but in retrospect, i don't know that I felt a connection with the characters that grew throughout the novel, and (without ruining the twists) they don't all stick around to grow with.

More a compelling world and an interesting plot than a character driven or emotive experience. You can see that he has the potential to do even more, and that will indeed be a treat.
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Format: Paperback
This is an amazing example of dystopian sci-fi! All the prices and accolades were well deserved!

The story takes place in a pretty post-apocalyptic future Thailand, after genetically engineered food led to new strains of lethal diseases that completely changed the world. The story lines of different characters are cleverly interwoven and give a veiled picture of a highly corrupt and hierarchical society that considers "clean" food items and health regulations as top priorities. The common point between the American rep of one of the big calorie companies, his accountant, a Thai police officer and other minor characters is the wind-up girl, a human-like creature that fascinates and/or repulses everyone. Her actions and the importance she takes in some of the characters lives drive the novel.

I do not want to give anything away, but this was a great read, from the first to the last page! The writing is beautiful and solid. The world created by the author is richly detailed, thought-provoking, and sometimes, creepy in an unnervingly familiar way. I love this book and highly recommend to sci-fi fans, or anyone who enjoys a good dystopian novel.
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By NeuroSplicer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Jan. 9 2011
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read in 2011 and I can say that the year started on the right foot.

The book setting is Post-Apocalyptic Bangkok, living on time borrowed from both the raising sea levels and the latest versions of food oligopolies biowarfare vectors. The world is slowly shrinking again, the initial catastrophic expansion caused by the exhaustion of the oil reserves. Nevertheless, the main sources of power still are, once more, beasts of burden and the weather.

Collapse of the economies of entire continents, chronic malnourishment, religious cleansings and an endless string of resistant terminal infections have pushed humanity to the very edge of existence. And yet, human greed and blind ambition still offer the impetus for the endless power-games that care not how many lives get trampled under its threads.

An American investor/spy after Thailand's only remaining bio-treasure; a shrewd and ruthless refugee trying to rebuilt his empire lost to murderous fundamentalism; government factions locked in a power-struggle to the death; and a seductively-designed Japanese Windup Girl that will unwillingly serve as the catalyst for the brewing explosion.

The book losses its 5th star because of its ending - and I will say no more to avoid any spoilers.
Other than that, a potent mix of William Gibson and Pierre Ouellette.

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By Heather Pearson TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 5 2014
Format: Paperback
Set in a future time when the world's plants and animals are subject to an endless cycle of disastrous mutations has put mankind's food supply at risk. Amid all this despair, farmers in Thailand are growing crops lost to the rest of the world. This has brought calorie man Anderson Lake to try and find the scientist responsible. During his quest, he is introduced to Emiko, a Japanese created 'New People'. While the Japanese embrace these creche grown beings, the rest of the world barely tolerate these windups.

Coming from an environmentalist background, I was most intrigued by devastation to the global flora and fauna. A little snip here and little tinker there, and soon we have a cascading genetic crisis. I wish there had been more emphasis on this part of the story rather than on the windup girl and the political crisis that developed in the country. The one thing that most disturbed me was the level of corruption in all branches of the government. Bribes were required in almost every situation. You want a package cleared through customs, you pay a bribe, you want to get the union to do the work they've been hired to do, you pay a bribe, you want to do just about anything, you pay a bribe. As distasteful as this process is to me, it was fundamental to the development of this story.

This story really has me pondering how close we come to this type of disaster. Currently the Emerald Ash Borer is devastating the white ash trees across my area of Ontario. Loss of trees in the affected areas will be 100% (unless treated). This is horrific damage from a pest that was accidentally introduced to the area. Imagine if these pest had targeted a food stock instead of a tree.

I found this book was a bit hard to get into.
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By Rose TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 2 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the first (and hopefully last) book I didn't finish not because I didn't like it, but because it felt like it was written in another language. It was probably good. Lots of other people thought so, but it was another of those books that I spent so much time trying to figure out what was happening that I didn't enjoy the story. There were many made up words but no explanation of what those words meant until farther along in the story. Far enough along that I had to go back and re-read so I could understand what I had already read. This was totally annoying. Maybe someday I'll take another kick at the can. Maybe not.
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