This isn’t Neal’s best work, and I found the second half a little hard to read — I think because it meandered, with several theories for who was responsible being interchanged. They were all reasonable theories, but the jump between each of them was jarring and could have been better done. The version of the book I was reading also had heaps of typographical errors — single character substitutions and stuff like that — which meant you needed to re-read sentences to make them make sense, which was pretty annoying. Overall not the worst book I’ve ever read, but certainly the worst Stephenson I’ve read.
A Hemingway scholar sets out to forge a lost Hemingway manuscript, with unexpected consequences. This is quite a different premise from other Joe Haldeman books I’ve read. In fact the feel of the initial part of the book is quite different, but this very quickly turns into a Haldeman story that people who have enjoyed his others will like. Its a bit more explicit about sex and wounds from combat than Haldeman normally is, but that is all there to further the plot in this case. This was a quick engaging read which I really enjoyed.
This book is well written, and a delight to read. I love meeting the forefathers of characters from Cryptonomicon, and this book is an excellent piece of historical fiction. It does however drag on a little in the middle when Daniel is tied up in London intrigue. I think this section would have worked a bit better with some action, but that is obviously just my personal preference. Overall, a good book.
I must say that I like Boston. It feels a lot like Sydney, and I hope that Boston is the city that Sydney is in another 200 years. Boston has plenty of history (it seems that America happened here, and the rest of the continent came along for the ride), isn’t too built up (not all sky scrapers), has great public transport, and friendly people. Its too cold though — it snowed a little on my walk to the office this morning.
I am forever glad to be away from Dallas, which seemed to have few redeeming features (although perhaps that’s because I was staying in the worst hotel I have stayed in in the US). I’m now in Boston, where the Kimpton is very nice. It has a hilarious leopard skin print theme, but apart from that is very nice. The meat loaf for dinner last night was fantastic.
I have an idle day today, so the plan is to catch the metro to Boston Common, and then walk the freedom trail. I wonder if I’ll be freer at the end. I should try to remember to take a tea bag as well, and ceremonially throw it in the harbour. Then I can honestly say that I’ve tea bagged for America.