The Incomparable

69: Love Conquers All, But So Do Guns


00:00:00   the incomparable podcast number 69 [TS]

00:00:11   December 2011 [TS]

00:00:14   welcome back to the uncomfortable I am [TS]

00:00:17   Jason smell your host we are convening [TS]

00:00:19   another edition of the uncomfortable [TS]

00:00:21   book club and yet again i believe this [TS]

00:00:24   is our fourth thousand-page long book in [TS]

00:00:29   a row [TS]

00:00:31   fortunately our next book is stephen [TS]

00:00:33   king's book about the Kennedy [TS]

00:00:34   assassination in time travel which is [TS]

00:00:36   like 20 pages right also a thousand-page [TS]

00:00:39   oh god help anyway [TS]

00:00:43   today we are going to talk about ream d [TS]

00:00:47   which is how you pronounce it [TS]

00:00:49   by the way we checked Neal Stephenson [TS]

00:00:51   has a video where he calls it [TS]

00:00:53   md it's really be its readme misspelled [TS]

00:00:56   as Reedy by chinese hackers but we'll [TS]

00:01:00   get to that Neal Stephenson's Ruby came [TS]

00:01:03   out in September and we've all read it [TS]

00:01:07   took us that long if you didn't read it [TS]

00:01:09   don't why you want this podcast and if [TS]

00:01:11   you don't want to know what happens in [TS]

00:01:13   it [TS]

00:01:13   please don't listen to this podcast [TS]

00:01:14   because we're going to tell you what [TS]

00:01:15   happens we're going to talk about what [TS]

00:01:17   happens in the book so joining me to [TS]

00:01:20   talk about what happens in the book [TS]

00:01:21   which is the purpose of a book club just [TS]

00:01:24   getting out there are serenity Caldwell [TS]

00:01:28   hello hi Jason it's just a check you've [TS]

00:01:30   read the book right [TS]

00:01:31   I have indeed read the book the whole [TS]

00:01:33   book the entire book right to be a week [TS]

00:01:35   maybe we can have that show off haha [TS]

00:01:39   well no it's okay i'm taking like two [TS]

00:01:41   months to finish cryptonomicon so all [TS]

00:01:44   right well actually never ends you know [TS]

00:01:45   that book just keeps going goes yeah [TS]

00:01:47   it's really a lot into the first page [TS]

00:01:49   and it's I think I'm glad other voice [TS]

00:01:52   you just heard his kind fleischmann hi [TS]

00:01:53   Glenn did you read the local oh I read [TS]

00:01:55   this entire book right back [TS]

00:01:58   I like it that's that's that things are [TS]

00:02:00   looking up for the book club [TS]

00:02:01   dan borin it also joins us Daniel I [TS]

00:02:04   assume you read the whole book this time [TS]

00:02:06   i read the book the whole book and [TS]

00:02:08   nothing but the book it Oh Mike so help [TS]

00:02:10   me God and Scott McNulty hello Scott [TS]

00:02:13   know you always read the book I didn't [TS]

00:02:17   read the book this time and I hope that [TS]

00:02:18   there are no spoilers because i'm [TS]

00:02:21   looking forward to read it it's about a [TS]

00:02:23   detective in New York in the 19th [TS]

00:02:25   century [TS]

00:02:26   oh is [TS]

00:02:27   so excited so windy [TS]

00:02:30   I guess we should start by talking about [TS]

00:02:32   how this is a you know Neal Stephenson [TS]

00:02:37   is an interesting author he's written [TS]

00:02:39   some cyberpunk kind of stuff like snow [TS]

00:02:42   crash he wrote a very very sci-fi novel [TS]

00:02:47   his last time out which was an M he's [TS]

00:02:51   done action like in a zodiac which is [TS]

00:02:56   actually a book like a lot he did [TS]

00:02:58   historical kind of you know with a with [TS]

00:03:02   a sci-fi flavor but historical fiction [TS]

00:03:04   with a baroque cycle so he's he's been [TS]

00:03:08   all over the place and yet despite that [TS]

00:03:12   I was surprised at the content of reem d [TS]

00:03:14   because it starts out feeling like it's [TS]

00:03:17   going to be your sort of standard neal [TS]

00:03:21   stephenson even though it's set in the [TS]

00:03:22   present day which i think only [TS]

00:03:23   cryptonomicon well now he's yeah so yeah [TS]

00:03:26   mostly it's obviously an economic on [TS]

00:03:29   maybe some of those other thrillers that [TS]

00:03:30   he sort of pseudonymous Lee wrote right [TS]

00:03:32   right but um it's so but it more or less [TS]

00:03:35   still it's like you know it starts out a [TS]

00:03:37   little bit like a almost like the cory [TS]

00:03:41   doctorow book about for the wind after [TS]

00:03:44   the wind right which is about about gold [TS]

00:03:46   farmers in a in a massively multiplayer [TS]

00:03:49   game right you have the two of them [TS]

00:03:50   apparently had some conversation where [TS]

00:03:52   Cory said Cory was assessment for the [TS]

00:03:54   wind and Neal said something like [TS]

00:03:57   reading about gold farming and they both [TS]

00:03:59   cackle door something so you're going to [TS]

00:04:00   round up i think reading their books [TS]

00:04:02   nearly simultaneously independent so my [TS]

00:04:04   theory is that is that uh Neal [TS]

00:04:07   Stephenson discovered what cory doctorow [TS]

00:04:09   is writing about 500 pages in and said [TS]

00:04:12   oh well then let's change what my book [TS]

00:04:15   is about let's take a sharp left turn [TS]

00:04:18   listen I i want to make a point at the [TS]

00:04:20   outset that because what you're going [TS]

00:04:21   through about genre is i think i got 300 [TS]

00:04:24   pages into this behemoth before I [TS]

00:04:26   actually understood that there was going [TS]

00:04:28   to be no contra factual hypothetical [TS]

00:04:32   particles or anything else and sort of [TS]

00:04:34   the science fictional elements yeah I [TS]

00:04:36   really it had because it has all the [TS]

00:04:37   tropes and feels of that terrain and is [TS]

00:04:39   isn't it [TS]

00:04:40   extrapolation of the the most massively [TS]

00:04:43   multiplayer online game culture rain [TS]

00:04:45   which is the which is the invented more [TS]

00:04:48   or less arco invented by by Richard [TS]

00:04:51   fourth rescue is one of the main [TS]

00:04:52   characters in the book it's not World of [TS]

00:04:55   Warcraft right but it is like it and [TS]

00:04:57   it's sort of the it's played a sort of [TS]

00:05:00   the next evolution of that so there's a [TS]

00:05:02   little bit of speculation in there but [TS]

00:05:04   really it's it's our world although with [TS]

00:05:07   Stevenson's traditional attention to [TS]

00:05:08   detail that extrapolation is i would say [TS]

00:05:11   hell of a lot better than ernest cline [TS]

00:05:13   xin in ready player one in terms of what [TS]

00:05:16   the Oasis is versus terrain is much you [TS]

00:05:18   know i think is much more grounded [TS]

00:05:20   there's a good hundred pages devoted to [TS]

00:05:22   exactly what the terrain of the world is [TS]

00:05:25   like with name [TS]

00:05:27   thank you yaso so too [TS]

00:05:31   there's so much here because there's a [TS]

00:05:32   thousand pages and that's why this [TS]

00:05:34   podcast will last for a thousand hours [TS]

00:05:35   or maybe not but but I want to go back [TS]

00:05:39   to so there isn't one is right it is i [TS]

00:05:42   was surprised on the one hand that [TS]

00:05:44   there's nothing you know counterfactual [TS]

00:05:46   there's nothing that seems like it [TS]

00:05:49   couldn't happen today which i think is [TS]

00:05:51   interesting and then and then despite [TS]

00:05:53   Stephenson having all these different [TS]

00:05:55   genres that he's played in i was really [TS]

00:05:57   surprised at the turn he took because we [TS]

00:06:00   end up in the last half of this book in [TS]

00:06:02   basically an action movie which is its [TS]

00:06:06   well I think it's well done but it is [TS]

00:06:09   funny because it's not what I expect [TS]

00:06:10   from Neil Stephens now I don't know what [TS]

00:06:12   I expected I guess I expected something [TS]

00:06:14   less common and maybe a a weirder you [TS]

00:06:19   know less common kind of genre instead [TS]

00:06:21   of like guys with guns fighting other [TS]

00:06:24   guys with guns but that's what we got [TS]

00:06:28   I was surprised that certain most of [TS]

00:06:30   neal stephenson's books he's kind of [TS]

00:06:31   famous for going on tangents that are [TS]

00:06:33   enjoyable to read but you really lasts a [TS]

00:06:36   couple hundred pages and yeah like I'm [TS]

00:06:37   not sure what's going on in this book he [TS]

00:06:39   seems to have decided at one point okay [TS]

00:06:42   i'm going to get rid of everything [TS]

00:06:43   extraneous it's going to be all plot for [TS]

00:06:46   400 pages and as I am I going to like it [TS]

00:06:49   exactly [TS]

00:06:50   put that in your pipe and smoke it but [TS]

00:06:52   what I found really interesting along [TS]

00:06:53   those lines is also that like you start [TS]

00:06:56   out not only do you start thinking the [TS]

00:06:57   plots going in one direction but there [TS]

00:06:59   are certain characters that you start [TS]

00:07:00   out thinking okay this gets pretty [TS]

00:07:02   important and then you know some of [TS]

00:07:04   those characters don't make it all the [TS]

00:07:06   way through the book but like so like [TS]

00:07:08   solace solace boyfriend right [TS]

00:07:10   oh he was pegged for death let's be fair [TS]

00:07:13   yeah but on the flip side there are [TS]

00:07:14   other characters you think are totally [TS]

00:07:16   like extraneous right like I mean like [TS]

00:07:18   you know cough [TS]

00:07:19   yes it's so cool officer or I love III [TS]

00:07:22   thought even I thought even Abdallah [TS]

00:07:23   Jones of course who is sort of caught [TS]

00:07:26   topless in this random you know we'll go [TS]

00:07:29   through the plot i'm sure a little bit [TS]

00:07:30   he's sort of seems like a threat like a [TS]

00:07:31   random character to encounter like he's [TS]

00:07:34   there is a plot device right and then he [TS]

00:07:35   turns into this hugely important major [TS]

00:07:38   character throughout the rest of the [TS]

00:07:39   book it's like a relay race though is [TS]

00:07:41   like they're running this isn't this is [TS]

00:07:42   like an ultramarathon and their [TS]

00:07:44   characters are running running and only [TS]

00:07:46   a few of them like zula for instance [TS]

00:07:48   makes the way all the way through it and [TS]

00:07:50   make an excellent review [TS]

00:07:53   yeah Peter hands off to Abdullah [TS]

00:07:55   Abdullah becomes that takes up that [TS]

00:07:57   missing character position you know it's [TS]

00:07:59   really ok here we go well now we got [TS]

00:08:00   zulu natal Ivanovic sort of starts off [TS]

00:08:03   as being kind of important and then you [TS]

00:08:05   know he's he dies going [TS]

00:08:08   marlin and I do know your name to the [TS]

00:08:10   who said something about characters who [TS]

00:08:11   are so significant and then is willing [TS]

00:08:14   to to murder their darlings you know he [TS]

00:08:16   sets up these from Yvonne is a great [TS]

00:08:17   character and gets crazier and crazier [TS]

00:08:19   and then he is called and maybe it's a [TS]

00:08:21   whole new bill he exits on a high note [TS]

00:08:23   you don't want to be mean you can't get [TS]

00:08:26   any crazier than that certain level of [TS]

00:08:28   crazy for a while [TS]

00:08:29   what I really like about ream d is [TS]

00:08:31   actually I can't compare it to lost in a [TS]

00:08:34   way except it's lost except everything [TS]

00:08:36   comes together at the end but makes a [TS]

00:08:38   lot of sense because you have these [TS]

00:08:40   pages upon pages of these various [TS]

00:08:42   characters backstory you get a character [TS]

00:08:44   Olivia that's introduced to the middle [TS]

00:08:46   of the book for you know you're like [TS]

00:08:47   okay where did she come from she is not [TS]

00:08:50   been mentioned at all previous to this [TS]

00:08:51   and you just have to be patient and [TS]

00:08:53   trust that she's going to get woven into [TS]

00:08:55   the story appropriately and she does [TS]

00:08:57   that I think happens with most of these [TS]

00:08:59   characters [TS]

00:09:00   oh yeah then you end up with you know [TS]

00:09:01   Sheamus Costello later on [TS]

00:09:03   who's sort of you know comes up like 710 [TS]

00:09:06   yeah i would order the characters that [TS]

00:09:08   are introduced later in the book are [TS]

00:09:09   better than only all but a handful of [TS]

00:09:11   ones that you meet near the outset like [TS]

00:09:13   the characterizations get more [TS]

00:09:15   interesting by and the and the uh you [TS]

00:09:19   know the military man I mean they're [TS]

00:09:20   they're good kind of archetypes to yeah [TS]

00:09:22   well i mean but i loved for example i [TS]

00:09:24   love the duality in the this whole thing [TS]

00:09:26   sort of starts off the beginning and [TS]

00:09:27   kinda gets under woman between the two [TS]

00:09:29   writers Donald and Devin you know I'm so [TS]

00:09:33   that part it is but it makes know if [TS]

00:09:36   there's no plot [TS]

00:09:37   they're really like you kept expecting [TS]

00:09:39   that to go in more of a direction [TS]

00:09:41   wait a second i just realized i think he [TS]

00:09:42   did something to us since we've only had [TS]

00:09:44   the opportunity in our lives and may [TS]

00:09:45   never have a chance to read this entire [TS]

00:09:46   book again because we have jobs and [TS]

00:09:48   things it's possible that if you go back [TS]

00:09:51   and read the book closely that the two [TS]

00:09:53   riders approach to fiction is actually [TS]

00:09:55   mirror two elements the book as you said [TS]

00:09:57   that I realized oh he might be playing [TS]

00:09:59   with us and the two writers are actually [TS]

00:10:01   contending through the plot of the book [TS]

00:10:02   some things that are implausible and [TS]

00:10:04   follow one path and something follow [TS]

00:10:05   another it's possible but now we have to [TS]

00:10:08   read the book a couple more times so I [TS]

00:10:09   mean that's an interesting reading of it [TS]

00:10:10   i think that somebody could go back and [TS]

00:10:12   no I mean but I i think there is a yeah [TS]

00:10:15   there's an interesting reason there with [TS]

00:10:16   the tensions of like you know sort of [TS]

00:10:18   popcorn me plot vs I think that's more [TS]

00:10:19   ground date and those are sort of two [TS]

00:10:21   things that are clearly a war with [TS]

00:10:23   Stevenson himself in this book that's a [TS]

00:10:24   good catch going honda that's very very [TS]

00:10:27   good because you've got you've got just [TS]

00:10:28   to touch on this for a second [TS]

00:10:29   you've got d squared who is this [TS]

00:10:33   completely just arrogant a Cambridge [TS]

00:10:38   dawn who is writes a I guess limited [TS]

00:10:42   amount of fantasy but it's incredibly [TS]

00:10:44   impeccably researched and Tolkien right [TS]

00:10:47   yeah and then you've got for catalytic [TS]

00:10:50   or don't just look brings them out and [TS]

00:10:53   he's a fantasy not and it it is an [TS]

00:10:55   internally consistent and he just cranks [TS]

00:10:57   out book and george george RR martin of [TS]

00:11:00   course no 26 year I meri teri about [TS]

00:11:05   quantity alright i'm sorry you know it's [TS]

00:11:07   the quantity and the sort of all right [TS]

00:11:09   yeah you got this very easy he's not [TS]

00:11:11   here after speed notice george RR martin [TS]

00:11:14   has more consistency know he is a he is [TS]

00:11:16   a pulpit [TS]

00:11:16   to see novelist like a like a 1 terry [TS]

00:11:19   brooks or uh honorary salvatori ok there [TS]

00:11:23   you know I mean the guy is like the guys [TS]

00:11:24   who write like the D&D books right like [TS]

00:11:26   the novelization of all that and just [TS]

00:11:28   crank those suckers out the level above [TS]

00:11:30   admit he's making real money so that's [TS]

00:11:31   part of making real money but he's not [TS]

00:11:33   necessarily be putting your great i'm [TS]

00:11:36   not sure he's not being real money until [TS]

00:11:38   he until Easter with to raising its your [TS]

00:11:41   right right yeah he's making it up in [TS]

00:11:42   volume i can see the point but he [TS]

00:11:45   popularizing the the all the ideas that [TS]

00:11:49   the the dawn has he's the one who kind [TS]

00:11:52   of popularizers that makes it accessible [TS]

00:11:54   and it is it is a part of the success so [TS]

00:11:57   we're going to take Glenn's idea about [TS]

00:11:59   these two warring parts of you know [TS]

00:12:02   maybe it's an evil neal stephenson's [TS]

00:12:04   mind it's also interesting because [TS]

00:12:06   because the offer all of the highfalutin [TS]

00:12:09   this of the dawn the fact is it's the [TS]

00:12:12   it's the other guy who makes it all [TS]

00:12:15   successful even though he breaks some of [TS]

00:12:17   the things that are in and and was back [TS]

00:12:21   in right he has to come back in and fit [TS]

00:12:23   everything in the end right one there's [TS]

00:12:24   the Apostle pakka lips which has thank [TS]

00:12:26   you for what is to come forward green [TS]

00:12:28   that that was pretty good [TS]

00:12:30   that entire section of the book where [TS]

00:12:32   they're just like know all of these [TS]

00:12:33   words have no adequate molecule meetings [TS]

00:12:36   and they often be rewritten and anywhere [TS]

00:12:38   that's your hundred-page digression [TS]

00:12:40   although it does serve as a plot purpose [TS]

00:12:43   because the idea is that there's this [TS]

00:12:44   kind of war of the war the war [TS]

00:12:48   yeah of the different colors yeah I want [TS]

00:12:51   to come back to that we get the point [TS]

00:12:52   the plot because i have some issues with [TS]

00:12:53   it but well it's it's a fascinating [TS]

00:12:56   it's a fascinating digression now but [TS]

00:12:58   it's also somewhat the catalyst for for [TS]

00:13:01   a lot of this true enemy and mirrors yes [TS]

00:13:04   so structurally eat how this so there's [TS]

00:13:07   so much here there's too much [TS]

00:13:10   let us let us sum up so the plot here is [TS]

00:13:12   I think you can summarize it it's [TS]

00:13:13   actually a very simple plot right is [TS]

00:13:16   there's of itself it's a story of a [TS]

00:13:18   family and some people in it and in the [TS]

00:13:20   end the family comes back there is an [TS]

00:13:22   overarching thing about the fourth rest [TS]

00:13:24   family I really might open actually i [TS]

00:13:26   love i have that it starts i love that [TS]

00:13:28   opening chapter [TS]

00:13:30   we're thanksgiving and it's this guy [TS]

00:13:33   who's like kind of on the outs with his [TS]

00:13:35   family and you don't know why and it [TS]

00:13:36   turns out it's because he left home and [TS]

00:13:38   became successful but but in a sort of a [TS]

00:13:42   questionable way it and you know it's [TS]

00:13:45   just it's fascinating and then there's [TS]

00:13:46   the his niece who is also kind of an [TS]

00:13:48   outsider and the texture of that like [TS]

00:13:51   the mud out because they're out in in [TS]

00:13:53   like Missouri right and now it's a Iowa [TS]

00:13:56   Iowa alright so there in the Midwest and [TS]

00:13:58   it's and it's cold and it's muddy and [TS]

00:14:00   they're shooting at cans and bottles and [TS]

00:14:02   stuff after a while the Thanksgiving [TS]

00:14:05   dessert is being served or something and [TS]

00:14:08   it's just I love the texture of it and I [TS]

00:14:10   thought you know what this is not what I [TS]

00:14:12   expected from you'll see even somebody [TS]

00:14:13   gonna go with it because i really [TS]

00:14:15   enjoyed that part of it well so that the [TS]

00:14:18   story so he's I mean so here's the only [TS]

00:14:20   the very bare-bones one which is that he [TS]

00:14:22   and another follow developed a world of [TS]

00:14:24   warcraft like game he winds up hiring is [TS]

00:14:27   nice after meeting her at this gathering [TS]

00:14:28   she has a boyfriend who's kind of a [TS]

00:14:30   slightly asperger e idiot and needs to [TS]

00:14:33   raise some money fast because he's [TS]

00:14:35   overextended the real estate market gets [TS]

00:14:37   hooked up with Russian mafia a virus [TS]

00:14:39   infects machine destroy some of the [TS]

00:14:40   Russian mafias information and then you [TS]

00:14:43   wind up in this worldwide trip is that [TS]

00:14:45   people get carried along to China [TS]

00:14:47   because this crazy russian guy this sort [TS]

00:14:50   of mafioso wants to looks like his house [TS]

00:14:53   of cards is falling apart [TS]

00:14:54   he wants to track down the author of the [TS]

00:14:56   virus whose he decides to personally [TS]

00:14:57   blame for all these ills they wind up [TS]

00:15:00   that's how the whole first arc of the [TS]

00:15:01   story is getting to China figuring this [TS]

00:15:03   out tracking down the people who wrote [TS]

00:15:05   the rim d virus which infected the [TS]

00:15:07   Russian systems unintentionally and a [TS]

00:15:09   lot of other people stuff they get there [TS]

00:15:11   then you hand off to the next part [TS]

00:15:12   because they go in expecting to kill all [TS]

00:15:14   these room d virus writers these hackers [TS]

00:15:17   or Stewart holding data free ransom and [TS]

00:15:20   instead they run into a muslim terrorism [TS]

00:15:21   cell in China this industrial or [TS]

00:15:24   commercial City they wanted firing up [TS]

00:15:27   firing on that apartment full of Muslims [TS]

00:15:30   and Islamic terrorists who are planning [TS]

00:15:33   to blow stuff up and then you get the [TS]

00:15:36   handoff and so zula Richards nice [TS]

00:15:39   there's a programmer her boyfriends kill [TS]

00:15:40   the Russian mafioso is killed [TS]

00:15:42   Zula is handed off [TS]

00:15:43   to Abdullah Jones and then takes the [TS]

00:15:45   ball any runs where he goes he goes it [TS]

00:15:47   goes and they wound up traveling again [TS]

00:15:49   you know a large distances gets them out [TS]

00:15:52   of China eventually into Canada where [TS]

00:15:55   through a large series of adventures [TS]

00:15:56   they finally wind up crossing the border [TS]

00:15:59   through an area that Richard fourth rass [TS]

00:16:01   when he was a drug runner before you [TS]

00:16:03   started the video game company had [TS]

00:16:04   figured that was a way to avoid were [TS]

00:16:06   controlled by going through old mines [TS]

00:16:07   and meanwhile a British spy who's going [TS]

00:16:10   to involve the China tracks and they're [TS]

00:16:12   Richard tracks them down and Richards [TS]

00:16:14   family the rest of them wind up being [TS]

00:16:15   sort of exactly survivalists but [TS]

00:16:18   fundamentalist living on the other side [TS]

00:16:19   of this mining tunnel where it comes out [TS]

00:16:23   so you get Islam Islamic radicals [TS]

00:16:26   killing people across Canada joining [TS]

00:16:28   together crossing into America and [TS]

00:16:30   hitting the salt of the earth religious [TS]

00:16:33   fundamentalists for the big final [TS]

00:16:34   showdown what you think that's pretty [TS]

00:16:37   good pretty good though [TS]

00:16:38   that's pretty good friend to sort of the [TS]

00:16:39   main skills and apply its think there's [TS]

00:16:41   two sides of the first is like we learn [TS]

00:16:43   all about the video game we learn all [TS]

00:16:44   about the culture and whatever and [TS]

00:16:46   they're on their way to try and always [TS]

00:16:47   trying to stop in the second half is [TS]

00:16:48   essentially you know Muslim extremists [TS]

00:16:52   on the run terminating in this sort of [TS]

00:16:54   run across the border yet no that's [TS]

00:16:57   that's exactly it you've got you've got [TS]

00:16:58   half the book which is setting up the [TS]

00:17:00   the you know multiplayer universe and [TS]

00:17:04   the gold farmers in China and trying to [TS]

00:17:07   figure all that out and then the second [TS]

00:17:09   half is largely this action story [TS]

00:17:13   involving the terrorists in canada and [TS]

00:17:16   crossing the border and all of that it [TS]

00:17:18   turns out you need to know almost [TS]

00:17:19   nothing about the entire video game [TS]

00:17:20   backstory in order to understand the [TS]

00:17:22   second half of the book that pretty much [TS]

00:17:24   disappears after back-to-back yeah right [TS]

00:17:26   it becomes a communications tool later [TS]

00:17:28   as opposed to a plot point Walton and [TS]

00:17:30   not to mention you know hundreds of [TS]

00:17:31   pages there and there's literally [TS]

00:17:33   hundreds of pages where Richard who sort [TS]

00:17:34   of his setup as the main character in [TS]

00:17:36   the first you know hundred pages just [TS]

00:17:38   not there's no 40 years he goes away [TS]

00:17:40   yeah by the book might be about him and [TS]

00:17:42   I kept waiting for him to come back I'm [TS]

00:17:43   like that word where we're going to go [TS]

00:17:45   back to him right [TS]

00:17:46   I said it's it's like lost each [TS]

00:17:48   character has their section it's amazing [TS]

00:17:50   what kind of a head-fake an author can [TS]

00:17:53   give a reader in the sense that [TS]

00:17:57   we start at the very beginning of the [TS]

00:17:59   book with Richard fourth rest and then [TS]

00:18:02   by the end of that chapter zula and [TS]

00:18:04   Peter have pulled up and he's befriend [TS]

00:18:06   befriended them a little better said [TS]

00:18:07   hello to them and and and i think they [TS]

00:18:09   go somewhere and it's funny because [TS]

00:18:13   without that chapter [TS]

00:18:16   you could probably you would probably go [TS]

00:18:18   in assuming that zula is the main [TS]

00:18:20   character but he gives you this head [TS]

00:18:24   fake where he says no no this is richard [TS]

00:18:26   fourth-fastest that is the is the main [TS]

00:18:28   character here and he's not do list the [TS]

00:18:30   main characters her book is this is [TS]

00:18:31   really soon but absolutely Richard [TS]

00:18:33   bookends it is facilitating plot element [TS]

00:18:35   but it's and she's a great i think she's [TS]

00:18:37   a great character I mean she does things [TS]

00:18:39   that are extreme but not unrealistic you [TS]

00:18:42   can say I can't believe that aerotrain [TS]

00:18:44   refugee adopting America's our parents [TS]

00:18:47   adopted parents killed gone through all [TS]

00:18:48   this managed to get her in on and [TS]

00:18:50   whip-smart you can see her being that [TS]

00:18:52   resourceful it's not like you know the [TS]

00:18:54   girl her or something it's like it's a [TS]

00:18:56   real so i'm sticking up for Mythbusters [TS]

00:18:58   are it's it's things that somebody [TS]

00:19:00   pushed to extremist with capabilities [TS]

00:19:02   would do she just sort of just low-tech [TS]

00:19:04   smart things right and she gets a couple [TS]

00:19:06   of lucky breaks but he also just [TS]

00:19:08   realizes when there's an opportunity and [TS]

00:19:10   knows when attenuates for it yeah well [TS]

00:19:12   you have that nice section when they're [TS]

00:19:14   all trapped in the basement [TS]

00:19:16   they've this is at the point where [TS]

00:19:18   they've been locked to two chains and [TS]

00:19:21   the broth Russian mafia is going to to [TS]

00:19:25   go kill the Chinese hackers and the [TS]

00:19:27   she's trapped with two other hackers who [TS]

00:19:29   instantly take out lock-picking tools or [TS]

00:19:31   I guess she she gives great yeah she [TS]

00:19:33   gives him her Bobby their hair pins and [TS]

00:19:35   they instantly start lock kicking but [TS]

00:19:37   you notice she not being a hacker is not [TS]

00:19:40   well versed in the art of lock-picking [TS]

00:19:41   it does not spend her days idly [TS]

00:19:43   practicing so she actually has to wait [TS]

00:19:45   for them it's just a nice touch it's [TS]

00:19:47   like no not all three characters are [TS]

00:19:49   expert lock Pickers it's just the same [TS]

00:19:51   as a hobby certain people pick up right [TS]

00:19:53   well but the to the fact that she's [TS]

00:19:55   smart and does things like I mean the [TS]

00:19:57   one that got me was when she's locked in [TS]

00:20:00   the bathroom of the i rise in China and [TS]

00:20:02   she writes the long note and sticks it [TS]

00:20:03   in the drainpipe just thinking like hail [TS]

00:20:05   mary hey maybe somebody will find this [TS]

00:20:07   and I kind of felt like you know reading [TS]

00:20:09   that ever [TS]

00:20:10   reading in thinking and it sounds like [TS]

00:20:13   that's just kind of a throwaway plot [TS]

00:20:14   point and maybe someone will find it [TS]

00:20:16   like way way down the road or whatever [TS]

00:20:18   and then I sort of forgot about it and [TS]

00:20:20   then came back and actually made it [TS]

00:20:22   actually turns out to be important [TS]

00:20:24   i also got to say I think this book is [TS]

00:20:26   also Sokolov's as well like he's a [TS]

00:20:29   strong second player he cums in you [TS]

00:20:31   think at some of these Russian heavies [TS]

00:20:33   me totally stereotypical and he is [TS]

00:20:36   remarkably resourceful he's addy is [TS]

00:20:38   somehow a decent man even though his [TS]

00:20:41   former Spetsnaz not even though he kills [TS]

00:20:44   people [TS]

00:20:44   he has the keys the kind of guy that's [TS]

00:20:46   always in books of this sort he has a [TS]

00:20:48   kind of honor a co-designer whole yeah [TS]

00:20:51   something's obviously with the soul [TS]

00:20:53   yeah it's not exactly pretty goal [TS]

00:20:55   because he's doing things that are [TS]

00:20:56   logical and sensible his big problem he [TS]

00:20:58   doesn't kill people out of anger he [TS]

00:20:59   kills them out of necessity to protect [TS]

00:21:01   the client or protect himself and to [TS]

00:21:03   further the mission and he's and his [TS]

00:21:05   dynamic with ivana right where he's like [TS]

00:21:07   slowly certifying this guy pretty sure [TS]

00:21:10   that he's actually going crazy and [TS]

00:21:12   trying to like figure out how do we get [TS]

00:21:14   out of this situation because there's [TS]

00:21:15   the people above on of we're going to be [TS]

00:21:17   really pissed off when they find out [TS]

00:21:19   what happened [TS]

00:21:20   how are we going to get out of this [TS]

00:21:21   saves from three days of the Condor [TS]

00:21:22   moment in there where Sokolov's like [TS]

00:21:24   well they want me to go out to this ship [TS]

00:21:26   but this is not always goes they tell [TS]

00:21:28   you to go to the ship something goes [TS]

00:21:30   wrong they shoot you [TS]

00:21:31   she never know she never knows no Olivia [TS]

00:21:33   never knows what happened to me somethin [TS]

00:21:36   went wrong it's like I'm not going to do [TS]

00:21:37   the thing they tell me to do I thought [TS]

00:21:39   he was gonna die there [TS]

00:21:40   there is no way he was gonna die he he [TS]

00:21:42   knew it [TS]

00:21:43   yeah I know yeah the one hand you think [TS]

00:21:45   he's like oh he's too clever for that [TS]

00:21:46   but on the other hand you like I mean [TS]

00:21:48   people died in this book right and so it [TS]

00:21:49   would have been out of the question for [TS]

00:21:51   him to be like well he served his plot [TS]

00:21:53   purpose you know maybe he's gonna bite [TS]

00:21:56   it here he doesn't mean that's nice no [TS]

00:21:58   but it's nice to have that tension right [TS]

00:21:59   like there's too many too many like [TS]

00:22:01   action movies where it's like what this [TS]

00:22:02   is the hero he can't die obviously right [TS]

00:22:05   you know he's the protagonist we're [TS]

00:22:06   going to see him through all the way to [TS]

00:22:07   the end but whenever you know an author [TS]

00:22:10   doesn't mind killing off their [TS]

00:22:11   characters as we've seen several times [TS]

00:22:13   earlier in the book you you get a little [TS]

00:22:15   worried for the characters that you kind [TS]

00:22:16   of like right because you're not sure [TS]

00:22:18   they did easily they could kill them off [TS]

00:22:21   I can't believe nobody has mentioned [TS]

00:22:23   show [TS]

00:22:24   gore yeah I said I don't like this [TS]

00:22:26   pronouncement drunk or the Hungarian [TS]

00:22:29   Hungarian hacker rather lovely villa to [TS]

00:22:32   love Lord kilgorn he's loved Lord I like [TS]

00:22:35   all the secondary characters in this in [TS]

00:22:38   this wonderful look well I and then [TS]

00:22:41   chocolate is another good example of [TS]

00:22:42   somebody who's like kind of seems like [TS]

00:22:44   well as he comes in with the bad guys [TS]

00:22:46   maybe he's important maybe not and then [TS]

00:22:48   turns out to be another very major [TS]

00:22:49   character and i love i love the Triad [TS]

00:22:51   that he force with he forms with you she [TS]

00:22:54   and Marlon right like you know where [TS]

00:22:56   they're on the ship and they're likely [TS]

00:22:57   candidate the engineer and yeah i love i [TS]

00:23:00   love that sort of unlikely pairing the [TS]

00:23:02   deal is everybody is incredibly [TS]

00:23:04   pragmatic you notice that in this book [TS]

00:23:06   there are few insane people like [TS]

00:23:07   Abdullah Jones and and it off but [TS]

00:23:10   everybody else is like okay problem [TS]

00:23:13   happening how do I get out tonight huh [TS]

00:23:15   well you know moose and squirrel have [TS]

00:23:17   chosen scroll a bomb final logo want the [TS]

00:23:21   bomb how do I get out alive [TS]

00:23:22   I jumped through a window Abdul Jones [TS]

00:23:24   may be insane because he's a terrorist [TS]

00:23:26   but he is very practical as well right [TS]

00:23:28   here lyrics talking like he's one more [TS]

00:23:31   very smartly pregnant in fact he is so [TS]

00:23:33   business like that one of the things I [TS]

00:23:36   really enjoyed about his scenes where he [TS]

00:23:38   gathers the various the various guys [TS]

00:23:40   first company's initial crew and then [TS]

00:23:42   he's got the ones who are sort of like [TS]

00:23:44   the one of the terrorists and be [TS]

00:23:45   together like well I BTW if if they ever [TS]

00:23:48   call me I'm in Canada but if they ever [TS]

00:23:50   call me for a job I'm there knowing that [TS]

00:23:52   nobody's ever called him and then he [TS]

00:23:54   calls them into like oh okay all right [TS]

00:23:57   for the garage haha he's he's but he's [TS]

00:24:00   kind of like sociopathically charming [TS]

00:24:02   right like he's got net but he's [TS]

00:24:04   professional and what strikes me is that [TS]

00:24:05   some of the people he's working with or [TS]

00:24:07   not and you can sense a he he hates them [TS]

00:24:10   right just like they don't I got to use [TS]

00:24:13   the ladies like you got your lucky its [TS]

00:24:14   hard to find good help right I don't [TS]

00:24:16   know there's like Rapids B&C players [TS]

00:24:18   he's got the razor was killed with a CD [TS]

00:24:20   by the way but he's got right he's going [TS]

00:24:23   to make sure she's got yellow shirts [TS]

00:24:25   well I also likes I can't remember who [TS]

00:24:27   describes him as this I think it's [TS]

00:24:28   either a either Sheamus or Olivia but [TS]

00:24:32   someone points out that he's not likely [TS]

00:24:35   he's not a martyr right [TS]

00:24:37   he thinks he's too thinks he's too [TS]

00:24:39   valuable right you keep saying he'll [TS]

00:24:41   wait for them the right moment but it's [TS]

00:24:43   never the right moment you get the [TS]

00:24:45   impression he's kind of maybe kind of a [TS]

00:24:47   coward like it in deep inside and sort [TS]

00:24:49   of like thinks he's really smart but [TS]

00:24:51   he's also kind of untouchable and then [TS]

00:24:54   he sort of slowly sees his plans all [TS]

00:24:56   fall apart even though they're very [TS]

00:24:57   carefully laid and he's devoted all [TS]

00:24:59   these time to the men in one monkey [TS]

00:25:01   wrench in the plan and everything goes [TS]

00:25:03   to hell yeah you know what i would say [TS]

00:25:05   there's other arc of the story which is [TS]

00:25:07   that I think what I think one of the [TS]

00:25:08   things that I'm he's playing with his he [TS]

00:25:10   creates these remarkable like I would [TS]

00:25:12   argue in the past that used to have a [TS]

00:25:13   couple of good characters in a [TS]

00:25:15   Stephenson book and everyone else sort [TS]

00:25:16   of window dressing and it's everything [TS]

00:25:18   in the service of the plot and you know [TS]

00:25:20   there's a lot of movie mannequins around [TS]

00:25:22   in this he's developed only a few really [TS]

00:25:25   good simultaneous plots and a whole [TS]

00:25:27   bunch of really great characters and [TS]

00:25:30   sort of moves them all around the board [TS]

00:25:31   so sometimes you have things like the [TS]

00:25:33   video game being predominant and your [TS]

00:25:35   focus on very plot e sorts of things [TS]

00:25:37   understand the way of the world he's got [TS]

00:25:39   this whole thing going on we're trying [TS]

00:25:40   to the wharf realignment on the side and [TS]

00:25:42   then you've got all the stuff where it's [TS]

00:25:44   very strongly character-driven like this [TS]

00:25:46   is not how you would imagine someone [TS]

00:25:47   would write the scene but this is how [TS]

00:25:49   would probably play out like Azula and [TS]

00:25:51   Abdullah stuff where she actually [TS]

00:25:53   respects her because she's on her AGame [TS]

00:25:55   right she's somebody who if she were [TS]

00:25:59   inside he'd be absolutely pleased to [TS]

00:26:01   have you know working with him so one of [TS]

00:26:04   the things that are this that did remind [TS]

00:26:08   me of other neal stephenson stuff you [TS]

00:26:09   mentioned the boat there are there are [TS]

00:26:11   segments one of things i always liked [TS]

00:26:13   about him and especially the baroque [TS]

00:26:14   cycle is there there are segments of of [TS]

00:26:17   the books he writes that he willfully [TS]

00:26:19   commits to and that they they take on a [TS]

00:26:22   life of their own and they're not that [TS]

00:26:25   important to book and he could just move [TS]

00:26:26   things along and say you know suffice it [TS]

00:26:29   to say they were on a boat and a boat [TS]

00:26:31   scene struck me as that it's like it [TS]

00:26:34   suddenly we're in a totally different [TS]

00:26:35   book which is there are people and [TS]

00:26:37   they're stuck in a boat and they have no [TS]

00:26:38   gas and they're drifting in the South [TS]

00:26:40   China Sea and that none of them know how [TS]

00:26:42   to be on a boat and they don't know [TS]

00:26:44   and that was great and it's so you know [TS]

00:26:48   again that's like a whole very well [TS]

00:26:50   first off it's practically life of pi [TS]

00:26:52   but it's it's there you know and he [TS]

00:26:55   commits to it and and those characters [TS]

00:26:56   and we've invested in you know that he [TS]

00:26:59   doesn't get that shirt ripped and I feel [TS]

00:27:01   I felt like that when they when they [TS]

00:27:02   crash-land the jet in in canada in the [TS]

00:27:05   snowy back reina de yeah and they had [TS]

00:27:08   and they find a you know like I'm [TS]

00:27:09   disused you know shut down like mining [TS]

00:27:13   camp and they're there for a while and [TS]

00:27:16   then they been and then the guys come [TS]

00:27:18   back and they've killed some people and [TS]

00:27:19   stolen there's there there's smoke truck [TS]

00:27:22   or whatever and then they use that that [TS]

00:27:24   was fully committed to in a way that i [TS]

00:27:27   really like how he can kind of take the [TS]

00:27:29   set pieces and compartmentalize them and [TS]

00:27:31   and really commit to them so that you [TS]

00:27:34   get engrossed and and it's really you [TS]

00:27:36   know i said this about a few authors [TS]

00:27:39   that i really like it feels like that [TS]

00:27:40   could be a whole books worth of an idea [TS]

00:27:42   and he just tosses it off as you know a [TS]

00:27:45   couple hundred pages inside this or a [TS]

00:27:47   hundred pages inside this thousand-page [TS]

00:27:49   book [TS]

00:27:50   well that's the same thing with the with [TS]

00:27:51   the word realignment I mean ready player [TS]

00:27:53   one you know would have fit neatly [TS]

00:27:55   inside a few chapters of this book in [TS]

00:27:57   terms of the amount of plot [TS]

00:27:59   sophistication and the length [TS]

00:28:01   yeah yeah ready player one through five [TS]

00:28:04   importantly that's the thing that [TS]

00:28:06   strikes me about Stephenson having read [TS]

00:28:07   2.55 of his novels I is oriental decimal [TS]

00:28:13   places well i know well as iphone pages [TS]

00:28:16   but it's interesting because a lot of a [TS]

00:28:19   lot of the time when i was reading this [TS]

00:28:21   book and then we're not was also reading [TS]

00:28:22   snow crash and now cryptonomicon it [TS]

00:28:25   feels like if he had wanted to this [TS]

00:28:28   could very easily been a george RR [TS]

00:28:29   martin let's write five or six books [TS]

00:28:31   about this topic but Stephenson phone [TS]

00:28:34   seems to find a way to craft a coherent [TS]

00:28:37   narrative over the course of one book [TS]

00:28:39   that doesn't necessarily feel like he [TS]

00:28:40   should be chopping it up into segments [TS]

00:28:43   which I find interesting is a lot of [TS]

00:28:47   mechanisms running I think that's the [TS]

00:28:49   thing is he's a he's an incredible [TS]

00:28:50   watchmaker in his worst books the hot [TS]

00:28:53   springs go out of control and destroy [TS]

00:28:55   the inside your kind of left with like [TS]

00:28:56   what the [TS]

00:28:57   like the end of cryptonomicon i will not [TS]

00:28:59   spoil it for you ready I'm left going [TS]

00:29:01   like there were a lot of plots and they [TS]

00:29:03   all unraveled at the end I never felt [TS]

00:29:05   like a Stephenson's worse problems while [TS]

00:29:07   he was bad attending yeah always been [TS]

00:29:09   bad endings [TS]

00:29:10   he's all like he's gotten he's gotten [TS]

00:29:12   better i mean i think i think baroque [TS]

00:29:14   cycle through an M through 3d he's shown [TS]

00:29:18   progress in each of those I was not [TS]

00:29:20   horribly disappointed at the end of this [TS]

00:29:22   is like it's what i would say obviously [TS]

00:29:24   it was like 40 disappointed culminates [TS]

00:29:26   in a huge climactic fight right like you [TS]

00:29:28   know just exactly what you expect to get [TS]

00:29:30   a nice little day newmont at the end [TS]

00:29:31   where it sort of wraps up what happens [TS]

00:29:33   to the characters in case you're curious [TS]

00:29:34   that's right and and that's that like [TS]

00:29:36   you know he's I think you know knowing [TS]

00:29:38   when to stop has always been his problem [TS]

00:29:41   and I think either he's got a you know [TS]

00:29:42   an editor who's like hey Neal you got [TS]

00:29:44   plenty here this is good wrap it up or [TS]

00:29:46   he's just sort of figured out like oh [TS]

00:29:48   yeah I've come to the end here I was [TS]

00:29:50   really impressed about how the [TS]

00:29:52   ridiculous amount of plot and the [TS]

00:29:54   ridiculous amount of characters kind of [TS]

00:29:56   came together at the end because you [TS]

00:29:58   really you have them coming from all [TS]

00:29:59   angles you even have Marlon yuxia you [TS]

00:30:02   have them winding up in the same place [TS]

00:30:04   in Iowa it's just impressive how how he [TS]

00:30:08   makes the travels and the fact that like [TS]

00:30:10   through this entire book I had no clue [TS]

00:30:13   what was going to happen next [TS]

00:30:15   couldn't even fathom it I assumed like [TS]

00:30:17   with the terrorists all right they're [TS]

00:30:19   going to get to Canada and maybe the US [TS]

00:30:20   but the rest of the characters no idea [TS]

00:30:24   well he you find that later again if you [TS]

00:30:26   if i have the gumption someday to read [TS]

00:30:28   this book i have read and then I think [TS]

00:30:30   two or three times and there are lots of [TS]

00:30:32   breadcrumb see plants when officers [TS]

00:30:34   tried before shot to win but she [TS]

00:30:35   realized this like going back and [TS]

00:30:37   looking a little bit like oh yeah you [TS]

00:30:38   know back there in the first scene he's [TS]

00:30:40   planting the seed you know yeah he was a [TS]

00:30:41   of Richard was a drug runner he figured [TS]

00:30:44   out this great way to get through the [TS]

00:30:45   border without having to build its own [TS]

00:30:46   tunnels and so you know over that period [TS]

00:30:49   of time it's like you realize oh that's [TS]

00:30:51   where his brother settle to sort of the [TS]

00:30:52   black black black sheep of the family [TS]

00:30:54   the one is really far out there and as [TS]

00:30:57   you go along you realize these [TS]

00:30:58   converging all of these crumbs to the [TS]

00:31:00   resort in the north side of this tunnel [TS]

00:31:02   and the homesteading people the [TS]

00:31:05   fundamentalist on the south side and you [TS]

00:31:07   can sort of feel it all sort of coming [TS]

00:31:09   together and it's going to all pass [TS]

00:31:10   do that through that tunnel one way or [TS]

00:31:12   the other looks like a GPS right you [TS]

00:31:14   know point and you've no point being [TS]

00:31:16   that you have no idea what route it's [TS]

00:31:17   actually going to take so here's my [TS]

00:31:20   here's my highfalutin analysis of this [TS]

00:31:23   which is I was struck by how much of [TS]

00:31:28   this book is about people being [TS]

00:31:31   culturally out of place it in in a in a [TS]

00:31:38   foreign culture or out of alignment with [TS]

00:31:41   their culture and i'll just run off a [TS]

00:31:43   few examples you have the war of [TS]

00:31:45   realignment which is all about people [TS]

00:31:46   forming cultures and drawing lines [TS]

00:31:48   between themselves that that actually [TS]

00:31:50   comes out of this universe built by d [TS]

00:31:55   squared which is then a lived-in by [TS]

00:31:59   Skeletor who does not really have the [TS]

00:32:01   same he doesn't really match it but on a [TS]

00:32:05   personal level you get zula who is a an [TS]

00:32:09   African child adopted by white people in [TS]

00:32:12   in America you've got Abdullah Jones who [TS]

00:32:17   is a I believe in african descent [TS]

00:32:21   Welshman who converts to Islam and [TS]

00:32:25   becomes a jihadist you've got Olivia who [TS]

00:32:29   is an Englishwoman of Chinese descent [TS]

00:32:32   which allows her to be turned into an [TS]

00:32:34   operative for mi6 in Asia even though [TS]

00:32:38   she's very English you've got Richard [TS]

00:32:41   and Richards brothers who are both sort [TS]

00:32:45   of like disaffected from culture the [TS]

00:32:48   brothers are totally cut off from [TS]

00:32:50   american society basically living in [TS]

00:32:52   this homestead Richard is cut off from [TS]

00:32:54   his family you know you've got it goes [TS]

00:32:58   on and on the these where where so many [TS]

00:33:00   people and so many situations in this [TS]

00:33:02   book are about people who are not i mean [TS]

00:33:07   on one level it's just they're not quite [TS]

00:33:08   what you'd expect they're not quite [TS]

00:33:11   they don't fit the mold but I think [TS]

00:33:12   that's purposeful that that a lot of [TS]

00:33:15   this almost everybody in this is [TS]

00:33:17   somebody who is that what you show is [TS]

00:33:20   from another part of China and has and [TS]

00:33:23   culturally is complete [TS]

00:33:24   really different from where she ends up [TS]

00:33:25   and and she's missing lines like [TS]

00:33:27   everybody in this book is a round peg [TS]

00:33:30   strut that stuck in a square hole you [TS]

00:33:33   and you get this with be scared Scotty [TS]

00:33:35   squared and skeletor you already sort of [TS]

00:33:36   mentioned d squared C squared the whole [TS]

00:33:38   land and well and nobody's going to tag [TS]

00:33:41   d squared is never as d square never [TS]

00:33:43   play the video game and your is getting [TS]

00:33:45   dragged and totally invested in there to [TS]

00:33:47   build up contingency legions and [TS]

00:33:49   skeletor doesn't know this highfalutin [TS]

00:33:51   literary work because he's a whole pack [TS]

00:33:54   and he gets dragged into this thing with [TS]

00:33:56   arguments about apostrophes right right [TS]

00:33:58   but anyway I think I think it's good you [TS]

00:34:00   know I think Stephenson is that that's [TS]

00:34:03   certainly an undercurrent here is that [TS]

00:34:04   the these are all about people who are [TS]

00:34:07   in who are not sort of what you'd expect [TS]

00:34:09   in the role that therein and a and i [TS]

00:34:14   love that I i think that i think that's [TS]

00:34:16   great but I i think it's got to be the [TS]

00:34:18   most obvious examples being sulla and [TS]

00:34:20   Abdallah Jones who are not if they're [TS]

00:34:25   not from where they're from and that [TS]

00:34:27   some says something about that's part of [TS]

00:34:30   their character and I think that's [TS]

00:34:31   really interesting [TS]

00:34:32   I mean but in database root for writing [TS]

00:34:34   it creates tension right because they're [TS]

00:34:36   different from all the people around [TS]

00:34:37   them and that creates conflict and [TS]

00:34:39   that's what drives the plot forward [TS]

00:34:40   everybody's in that situation in this [TS]

00:34:41   book that's why I think it's more than [TS]

00:34:43   just him structuring it for conflict i [TS]

00:34:45   think that he's he's trying to do this [TS]

00:34:48   on purpose to have it this this book is [TS]

00:34:50   in some way I think about being somebody [TS]

00:34:53   who's out of place right down to the [TS]

00:34:55   fact of somebody who doesn't understand [TS]

00:34:56   an MMO can't really understand what's [TS]

00:34:59   going on inside the MMO because they are [TS]

00:35:00   not they don't fit in the culture it's [TS]

00:35:03   all a cultural misfit even though even [TS]

00:35:05   though the Russian even Ivana is kind of [TS]

00:35:09   like broken he his bosses don't you know [TS]

00:35:12   he's not behaving properly he doesn't [TS]

00:35:14   fit in anymore and sokoloff doesn't [TS]

00:35:16   really fit anymore because he's got this [TS]

00:35:18   job but he doesn't really clearly he [TS]

00:35:20   doesn't really fit what they're asking [TS]

00:35:21   him to do which is it goes on and on it [TS]

00:35:23   and it i just kept being fascinated by [TS]

00:35:25   finding that every single person views [TS]

00:35:27   themselves as being like disaffected [TS]

00:35:29   from the the job they're in or the [TS]

00:35:31   culture there in or they're different in [TS]

00:35:33   some way you know and i I just I I [TS]

00:35:36   that was that's my that's my take on it [TS]

00:35:39   I don't like to talk about some of the [TS]

00:35:41   characters we didn't like or like you [TS]

00:35:45   know there are some characters that were [TS]

00:35:46   disposable like Peter I think Peter the [TS]

00:35:49   boyfriend as my boyfriend is great [TS]

00:35:50   because he's sort of unlikable when you [TS]

00:35:52   meet him and you figure well you know [TS]

00:35:54   the character development [TS]

00:35:55   we're gonna learn to understand why we [TS]

00:35:56   should like him it's like no he's kind [TS]

00:35:58   of a jerk he makes really bad decisions [TS]

00:36:01   and they get worse and worse and finally [TS]

00:36:03   he when he's killed i gotta say i love [TS]

00:36:06   the fact that Ivana is like [TS]

00:36:09   indifferently at times a gentleman and [TS]

00:36:11   he thinks doula is worthy of respect [TS]

00:36:12   because of how she comports herself and [TS]

00:36:14   her intelligence and he even off despite [TS]

00:36:17   being in this situation where he's crazy [TS]

00:36:19   and he's lost all this money from the [TS]

00:36:20   consortium he represents that is chasing [TS]

00:36:23   to China he still trying to defend that [TS]

00:36:25   notion so Peter is killed [TS]

00:36:27   not because Peter did something wrong or [TS]

00:36:29   croston he's killed because Yvonne up is [TS]

00:36:32   offended that Peter has left his [TS]

00:36:34   girlfriend chained by yvonne off [TS]

00:36:36   downstairs to die and Peter should be [TS]

00:36:38   there [TS]

00:36:39   why does Peter steal the credit cards [TS]

00:36:42   that gets him in this also he's got he's [TS]

00:36:43   behind it's a mortgage thing days under [TS]

00:36:46   these underwater he's underwater and [TS]

00:36:48   he's worried he's gonna lose his loft [TS]

00:36:49   and by extension that means that you [TS]

00:36:50   can't run the thing is doing its like [TS]

00:36:52   it's it's not that well defined but i [TS]

00:36:54   think it's sort of supposed to be this [TS]

00:36:55   like a bad reason [TS]

00:36:56   well you haven't had a very casual thing [TS]

00:36:58   instead of borrowing money from people [TS]

00:37:00   selling it [TS]

00:37:01   filing for bankruptcy is like when I [TS]

00:37:02   used to do this I know how to do it [TS]

00:37:04   I'm going to do one last haul my last [TS]

00:37:07   job that I retire and causes everything [TS]

00:37:09   else to happen [TS]

00:37:10   yeah a sort of blend you do blend is the [TS]

00:37:12   other thing is the thing that set this [TS]

00:37:13   all in motion of course is Peter on the [TS]

00:37:14   one hand then Richard who completely [TS]

00:37:16   essentially innocently spreads rindy the [TS]

00:37:19   virus so that it it triggers this event [TS]

00:37:22   Peters callousness the casualness of can [TS]

00:37:24   you give me a USB stick he hands in one [TS]

00:37:26   and then that's where everything goes [TS]

00:37:28   right don't forget don't forget Wallace [TS]

00:37:31   in there to write the match has been lit [TS]

00:37:32   a fleeting character who and yet we've [TS]

00:37:35   got that chain right Wallace gives way [TS]

00:37:37   to Avon of gives way to Jones you know [TS]

00:37:40   and sort of you know everything goes [TS]

00:37:42   downhill from there [TS]

00:37:43   I like Wallace though as as briefly as [TS]

00:37:46   we see him as well as long as you last [TS]

00:37:48   yeah yeah I was surprised that the ex [TS]

00:37:50   we killed by the mob the monster who is [TS]

00:37:52   also the gamer I do kind of enjoy that [TS]

00:37:54   enjoy that there is a rent like i enjoy [TS]

00:37:55   that sort of bizarreness that bed comes [TS]

00:37:58   with this fact that like you know at the [TS]

00:37:59   view hand-waving oh it's a game it's [TS]

00:38:01   really popular more popular in World of [TS]

00:38:02   Warcraft and the people that we see [TS]

00:38:04   playing it include the bookkeeper for [TS]

00:38:07   the mob basically we get the name is [TS]

00:38:11   Kelly realize it shames yeah the CIA [TS]

00:38:13   operative I was thinking even just a [TS]

00:38:14   throwaway character that Richard sees in [TS]

00:38:16   the diner and he looks over he's like a [TS]

00:38:18   coffee shop out visiting Skeletor right [TS]

00:38:20   and there's a guy playing t rain and so [TS]

00:38:22   he calls up you know his buddy at the at [TS]

00:38:25   the office and says oh yeah how many [TS]

00:38:26   people are logged on from this diner [TS]

00:38:28   whatever like we got the impression that [TS]

00:38:29   there's people out there in the middle [TS]

00:38:30   of no Missouri or wherever he is [TS]

00:38:32   visiting this guy who are playing this [TS]

00:38:34   game this game is huge i can we talk [TS]

00:38:36   let's talk about the word realign middle [TS]

00:38:37   because I think that's an extremely [TS]

00:38:39   interesting development in here which is [TS]

00:38:42   to say basically they end up so like any [TS]

00:38:46   you know game of this sort of a sort of [TS]

00:38:48   you know promulgated on the idea that [TS]

00:38:49   we've got good we got your characters [TS]

00:38:52   and evil characters whether it's by A&E [TS]

00:38:53   or something like warcraft you can be on [TS]

00:38:55   the enzyme and all the sudden you know [TS]

00:38:57   there is this sort of interesting [TS]

00:38:58   realization that it doesn't really make [TS]

00:38:59   sense because the people who are quote [TS]

00:39:01   unquote evil aren't doing anything [TS]

00:39:04   particular different from the people at [TS]

00:39:06   work photon quote good so it's an [TS]

00:39:08   arbitrary distinction actually says the [TS]

00:39:10   same coin but they need it right because [TS]

00:39:12   it makes the tension it makes the [TS]

00:39:14   conflict in the game and so this war of [TS]

00:39:17   realignment is shifting from instead of [TS]

00:39:19   it being about good versus evil [TS]

00:39:21   it's about something very different and [TS]

00:39:23   I think you know without sort of delving [TS]

00:39:24   directly into it i think it's about [TS]

00:39:26   taste right now that's what it kind of [TS]

00:39:28   comes down and it emerges from it it [TS]

00:39:31   emerges from the game it's not intended [TS]

00:39:33   by the game and it emerges from the fact [TS]

00:39:35   that the game is being played by human [TS]

00:39:38   beings who have differences and [TS]

00:39:40   different worldviews that go way beyond [TS]

00:39:43   picking when you set up the game well [TS]

00:39:45   i'm going to be evil because I want to [TS]

00:39:46   be one of those cool characters that's [TS]

00:39:47   only available in evil [TS]

00:39:49   well I think it kind of reflects on the [TS]

00:39:50   game itself because when you think about [TS]

00:39:52   the the reason why terrain was created [TS]

00:39:54   in the first place is Richard basically [TS]

00:39:56   says well you know why was popular and [TS]

00:39:59   that's great but this basically gives us [TS]

00:40:01   a way to monetize all [TS]

00:40:03   these chinese gold farmers and make gold [TS]

00:40:05   farming an actual legitimate profession [TS]

00:40:07   see already you have that where the [TS]

00:40:10   Americans are playing the game for [TS]

00:40:12   completely different reason than the [TS]

00:40:15   rest of the cut the rest of the world so [TS]

00:40:17   you already have that imbalance and to [TS]

00:40:19   bring in even more well you have the [TS]

00:40:21   people who want to play the game as d [TS]

00:40:24   squared envisioned it you know with you [TS]

00:40:26   know with all old costuming and correct [TS]

00:40:30   colors and things like that and then you [TS]

00:40:31   have and and and this is a real tension [TS]

00:40:33   with a lot of online games where it's [TS]

00:40:35   like there's the people who want to play [TS]

00:40:36   for the like the role-playing story [TS]

00:40:38   elements and then there are the people [TS]

00:40:40   that were there to play you know a [TS]

00:40:41   hack-and-slash game and don't care [TS]

00:40:43   really except the stories just there as [TS]

00:40:45   a crutch right you know the world is [TS]

00:40:47   there's a crunch and then there's the [TS]

00:40:48   other people who are just really into [TS]

00:40:49   everything that's that's you know [TS]

00:40:51   created by that world and and that's a [TS]

00:40:53   very I think that's a very real [TS]

00:40:55   distinction in you know a lot of games [TS]

00:40:57   that exists today and so it's kind of [TS]

00:40:59   fascinating to see that taking on like [TS]

00:41:00   what if those were to become the [TS]

00:41:02   factions and I mean I don't know is [TS]

00:41:04   there is there an implicit sort of class [TS]

00:41:07   warfare almost between them [TS]

00:41:09   given the representations that we get of [TS]

00:41:11   like Donald and Devin you know as the [TS]

00:41:14   two polarizing figures [TS]

00:41:16   oh it certainly seems like adequately oh [TS]

00:41:18   one of them lives in a castle and the [TS]

00:41:20   other was in the trail [TS]

00:41:21   yeah good point it's an excellent like [TS]

00:41:24   they're both kind of majestic [TS]

00:41:26   infrastructures in their own ways [TS]

00:41:28   well and they're both kind of jackasses [TS]

00:41:30   right i remember reading a remembering [TS]

00:41:31   lord of the rings and then sort of [TS]

00:41:33   Shannara and you know if I refined [TS]

00:41:36   childhood recollections right so there's [TS]

00:41:38   different kinds of things like sort of [TS]

00:41:39   Shinar like yeah there was a mythos i [TS]

00:41:40   think i got develop more but it was [TS]

00:41:42   really like a big hack him up [TS]

00:41:44   it was much more of a hack them up [TS]

00:41:45   Vision Quest you know broad strokes [TS]

00:41:47   thing versus you know for like a book [TS]

00:41:49   created in order to enshrine languages [TS]

00:41:52   with a grammar that a cut cambridge dawn [TS]

00:41:54   had developed and attracts different [TS]

00:41:56   people some people want first-person [TS]

00:41:57   shooters that they just kill lots of [TS]

00:42:00   stuff and I mean penny arcade the comic [TS]

00:42:02   is constantly full of basically that [TS]

00:42:04   tension between this is a really subtle [TS]

00:42:06   game and look we have these scrolls and [TS]

00:42:08   plant that kills y'all kill John [TS]

00:42:10   and that's I think that's a constant [TS]

00:42:12   tension between the sophistication of [TS]

00:42:15   some aspects of game design and this [TS]

00:42:18   desire to be highfalutin you know here's [TS]

00:42:19   a virtual environment which we could do [TS]

00:42:21   anything so why we just shooting people [TS]

00:42:22   but it's like the constant arguments [TS]

00:42:24   that we get over whether or not video [TS]

00:42:25   games are art right you know Roger Ebert [TS]

00:42:29   i know has delved into that pool and a [TS]

00:42:31   variety of other people as well but is [TS]

00:42:33   that idea is it is there some sort of [TS]

00:42:35   higher can it can it reach a higher [TS]

00:42:37   realm or is it just about killing people [TS]

00:42:39   or is there are inherent in the idea of [TS]

00:42:42   something even if it's just about [TS]

00:42:43   killing people like you know that again [TS]

00:42:45   this could be a whole book and yet it's [TS]

00:42:47   sort of ends up being falls by the [TS]

00:42:49   wayside as Randy progresses i have to [TS]

00:42:52   say that I one thing i like about this [TS]

00:42:54   novelties i'm assuming because of the [TS]

00:42:56   way Neal Stephenson works that I learned [TS]

00:42:58   a lot this was a day after school [TS]

00:43:00   special about the Russian mob and [TS]

00:43:02   chinese people living in different parts [TS]

00:43:05   of the country and British Columbia's [TS]

00:43:07   byways and highways you know what he was [TS]

00:43:09   writing long features for wired like I [TS]

00:43:11   believe he traveled around the world [TS]

00:43:12   possibly twice once to follow [TS]

00:43:15   fiber-optic and where it was being built [TS]

00:43:16   in weird places like the middle of [TS]

00:43:18   indonesian jungles and and another time [TS]

00:43:21   we followed container ships you know [TS]

00:43:23   like what it was the unit of container [TS]

00:43:24   and how its developed and where they go [TS]

00:43:26   and I feel like this is kind of the [TS]

00:43:28   equivalent equivalent of that but it's [TS]

00:43:30   the he went the the the detail is so [TS]

00:43:33   refined [TS]

00:43:34   I don't believe he made it up everybody [TS]

00:43:36   here played massively multiplayer games [TS]

00:43:39   before and not massively I'm not that I [TS]

00:43:43   heavily now I mean I played games that [TS]

00:43:45   have that multiplayer element the same [TS]

00:43:48   serve you know like an MMORPG minus the [TS]

00:43:50   first and that's not what you say I've [TS]

00:43:53   played World of Warcraft once or twice [TS]

00:43:55   alright wow I I'm i love you i have a [TS]

00:43:59   little bit i played in the beta of world [TS]

00:44:01   of warcraft which I realizes now since [TS]

00:44:03   that was when my son was in utero that's [TS]

00:44:05   like seven years ago now that their 7th [TS]

00:44:08   anniversary i believe Josh my wife [TS]

00:44:10   played that much more than me actually [TS]

00:44:12   and then and then she had a baby and [TS]

00:44:14   then there were two children and that [TS]

00:44:15   was that for World of Warcraft but sort [TS]

00:44:17   of a lot more time we did play at some [TS]

00:44:19   and and and that gave me enough of a [TS]

00:44:21   perspective on it I think 22 to get [TS]

00:44:24   it's about but I wonder what that would [TS]

00:44:26   be does this book make as much sense do [TS]

00:44:29   you feel if you've never really played [TS]

00:44:31   those games do you feel as if you [TS]

00:44:33   understand what they're about by reading [TS]

00:44:35   this doesn't have that kind of tour you [TS]

00:44:37   know I'd feel speaking as someone who's [TS]

00:44:39   never played an actual MMO but has [TS]

00:44:42   played a lot of other games i think [TS]

00:44:44   there's stuff that translates even in [TS]

00:44:47   that two other you know from other sorts [TS]

00:44:49   of gaming or for other interactions with [TS]

00:44:51   people it there are very recognizable [TS]

00:44:54   ideas in here and it's not a huge [TS]

00:44:56   stretch in you you know especially [TS]

00:44:57   someone who's universe kind of in gaming [TS]

00:44:59   culture like I'm familiar enough with [TS]

00:45:01   the tropes and thing and an element so [TS]

00:45:03   that make up an MMO to sort of recognize [TS]

00:45:06   them here and it seems pretty clear you [TS]

00:45:07   know that this is a pretty accurate [TS]

00:45:09   description of what goes on and it's not [TS]

00:45:13   hard to extrapolate you know the kind of [TS]

00:45:15   people that you're going to run into [TS]

00:45:16   people like you know the trolls right [TS]

00:45:18   who are there to just sort of do you [TS]

00:45:21   know cause havoc to a certain extent and [TS]

00:45:24   and proper rivers understand right yeah [TS]

00:45:26   the griefers and you know all that I [TS]

00:45:28   mean that's really interesting and I [TS]

00:45:29   think I think what's fascinating to me [TS]

00:45:31   about the world of T rain as its [TS]

00:45:34   described is the sort of key that [TS]

00:45:36   Richard hooks into in coming up with it [TS]

00:45:39   which is let's take gold farming and [TS]

00:45:42   legitimize it and and build our game [TS]

00:45:45   around it right and not only do that but [TS]

00:45:48   like you know basically in order to make [TS]

00:45:51   sure that it works [TS]

00:45:52   duplicate the exact same sort of [TS]

00:45:54   structures that we deal with in real [TS]

00:45:55   life if you had to farm gold what makes [TS]

00:45:58   sense i mean it's if you if you're going [TS]

00:46:00   to produce that kind of a game you need [TS]

00:46:02   that kind of a structure to back it up [TS]

00:46:04   you can't just randomly put gold there [TS]

00:46:06   because somebody is going to figure out [TS]

00:46:08   the algorithms and Exploited right but [TS]

00:46:11   you wouldn't have to explain that in a [TS]

00:46:12   book write and say like all the others [TS]

00:46:13   golden shows up with you get into how it [TS]

00:46:16   works and it's fascinating [TS]

00:46:18   I've never done an important either so i [TS]

00:46:20   have no idea how they play but I didn't [TS]

00:46:21   feel I don't feel lost in the [TS]

00:46:22   environment but i have to say i like [TS]

00:46:24   again Stephenson is accuracy the fact [TS]

00:46:27   that technical details were accurate was [TS]

00:46:29   awesome especially after reading ready [TS]

00:46:31   player one with impossible you know [TS]

00:46:33   verizon see [TS]

00:46:34   whatever crash yes and it's it borders [TS]

00:46:36   on precondition I i like um one of the [TS]

00:46:40   things that always struck me about about [TS]

00:46:42   world of warcraft is the do you know [TS]

00:46:44   where your character died is unlike him [TS]

00:46:46   in a ready player one when your [TS]

00:46:48   character dies and they're dead and you [TS]

00:46:50   gotta start over [TS]

00:46:51   yeah that would really haha umm you go [TS]

00:46:54   into like a limbo state and you go back [TS]

00:46:56   to where you were uh you know the last [TS]

00:46:58   time off [TS]

00:46:59   yeah you gotta go to run as a ghost and [TS]

00:47:01   go back to you know it's you're [TS]

00:47:04   basically a time penalty when you die [TS]

00:47:06   and so I love how you know it's got its [TS]

00:47:10   got a death mechanism and it's got an [TS]

00:47:12   idol mechanism where Richard when he has [TS]

00:47:14   taken a viewers when ya when he richard [TS]

00:47:17   has taken by abdullah Jones and and [TS]

00:47:19   dragged it basically across the border [TS]

00:47:22   you know the last thing we see is his [TS]

00:47:25   character which is the basically the god [TS]

00:47:27   of terrain is it just auto walking back [TS]

00:47:30   jogging back to his home i love that [TS]

00:47:33   little detail [TS]

00:47:34   yeah I i want to read my my favorite [TS]

00:47:38   little passage from this book which i [TS]

00:47:41   think you may be fine surprised about [TS]

00:47:43   what part of this book it's from but it [TS]

00:47:45   just made me laugh and it's so absurd [TS]

00:47:47   and it's it describing so so donald d [TS]

00:47:51   squared the the highfalutin cambridge [TS]

00:47:55   Don who has his castle on the Isle of [TS]

00:47:58   Man's he it says surrounded himself with [TS]

00:48:02   toadies who are basically Society for [TS]

00:48:05   Creative Anachronism type people and [TS]

00:48:07   he's living as a consultant to a [TS]

00:48:09   high-tech company he's living in a [TS]

00:48:11   castle that is trying to be immaculate [TS]

00:48:13   immaculately medieval so what happens if [TS]

00:48:16   you want to contact him and and they've [TS]

00:48:19   worked it out and this is my favorite [TS]

00:48:20   passage which was like this so the email [TS]

00:48:23   pipeline network like this down and [TS]

00:48:25   Douglas the primary city of the Isle of [TS]

00:48:27   Man the girlfriend of one of the [TS]

00:48:28   medievalists who dwelled in a flat there [TS]

00:48:30   i happen to rather like tampons would [TS]

00:48:32   read these squares email as it came in [TS]

00:48:34   filter out the junk and print out a hard [TS]

00:48:36   copy of anything that seemed important [TS]

00:48:38   and zip it up in a waterproof messenger [TS]

00:48:40   bag when it came time to walk her dog [TS]

00:48:42   she would stroll at the waterfront [TS]

00:48:43   promenade until she reached the wii [TS]

00:48:45   elephant train station its northern end [TS]

00:48:47   where she would have [TS]

00:48:48   the bag to the station nation with later [TS]

00:48:50   handed over to the conductor of the [TS]

00:48:51   narrow-gauge electrical train that wound [TS]

00:48:53   its way from there up to the interior of [TS]

00:48:54   the island at a certain point along the [TS]

00:48:56   line it would be tossed out onto the [TS]

00:48:58   sighting and later picked up by d [TS]

00:48:59   squared is gamekeeper who would carry it [TS]

00:49:01   up the hill and place its contents on [TS]

00:49:03   the desk of the in-house troubadour who [TS]

00:49:05   had translated into medieval on sea [TS]

00:49:07   chicken and then sing and or recited to [TS]

00:49:10   d squared at mealtime the lord of the [TS]

00:49:12   manor within dictate a response that [TS]

00:49:14   would follow the reverse route back down [TS]

00:49:16   the hill to the girlfriends laptop and [TS]

00:49:18   the internet [TS]

00:49:19   oh wow it's a wonderful guy that might [TS]

00:49:23   have been the most unrealistic part of [TS]

00:49:25   the entire but I don't know some people [TS]

00:49:27   actually it's correct their lives to be [TS]

00:49:29   more like that larry ellison is built [TS]

00:49:31   some kind of Japanese reconstruction on [TS]

00:49:32   top of a little pop in woodside so yeah [TS]

00:49:35   in order to get an email to larry [TS]

00:49:36   ellison like me to send in just a few [TS]

00:49:39   actions you actually have to assassinate [TS]

00:49:40   three people to send email larry ellison [TS]

00:49:42   it's pretty takes a big toll so be [TS]

00:49:44   careful as I realize that's ridiculous [TS]

00:49:46   but I mean there are lots of directors [TS]

00:49:48   great it's like great detail but that's [TS]

00:49:50   it so he's created his own kind of [TS]

00:49:52   physical tr8 right space created this [TS]

00:49:53   this replica of an age that never really [TS]

00:49:57   existed [TS]

00:49:58   why go into the internet when you can [TS]

00:49:59   just buy a castle exactly but I love [TS]

00:50:02   that when they need he goes into the you [TS]

00:50:04   know into T rain he doesn't have shoes [TS]

00:50:06   right but he doesn't need to buy them [TS]

00:50:10   because they cost of these like I waste [TS]

00:50:11   money on shoes I don't you choose here [TS]

00:50:13   and that's fascinating know that I mean [TS]

00:50:14   that's an interesting point right [TS]

00:50:16   because the you this is this guy who who [TS]

00:50:18   who insists upon you know authenticity [TS]

00:50:21   right very similar to do like he wants [TS]

00:50:24   to look real and yet when he goes into [TS]

00:50:27   the game it's I don't want to waste [TS]

00:50:28   money on shoes he has very little [TS]

00:50:31   respect for the game at first right but [TS]

00:50:33   it right and that's fascinating because [TS]

00:50:35   it's a divergence and not you know he's [TS]

00:50:38   a snob right like that's essentially [TS]

00:50:39   what he is he looks down on all of this [TS]

00:50:42   and so it's funny though that he forsake [TS]

00:50:44   his own principles to a certain extent [TS]

00:50:46   once he gets immersed in that world [TS]

00:50:48   what's interesting to me there is he's [TS]

00:50:50   completely snobbish about the game until [TS]

00:50:53   Richard basically is like hey look you [TS]

00:50:56   can earn money here you can pay for all [TS]

00:50:59   these wonderful things that you [TS]

00:51:01   I'm putting in your castle and you can [TS]

00:51:03   help us build a world your knowledge of [TS]

00:51:06   this culture is valuable [TS]

00:51:09   right i mean but that essentially [TS]

00:51:10   undermines to a certain extent right [TS]

00:51:12   like because this whole thing is you [TS]

00:51:13   know he didn't last and / yeah exactly [TS]

00:51:16   exactly mr. I mean that six-shot you can [TS]

00:51:18   sell out and make money but go right so [TS]

00:51:21   we're back to that and so he's kind of [TS]

00:51:22   saying that the taste is kind of a low [TS]

00:51:24   in the end right you know like he [TS]

00:51:26   doesn't you know he doesn't necessarily [TS]

00:51:28   the only run skin deep [TS]

00:51:30   well you know and if he's he's a Don [TS]

00:51:32   who's running a food made money ready [TS]

00:51:34   fantasy novels who's already sold out [TS]

00:51:36   right I really didn't see it that way [TS]

00:51:38   right [TS]

00:51:39   he you know he think he like Tolkien [TS]

00:51:40   he's come up with the language and you [TS]

00:51:42   know the whole society and culture you [TS]

00:51:44   know he's kind of like you kind of pic [TS]

00:51:46   from is that guy who desperately wanted [TS]

00:51:48   to be you know respected academically [TS]

00:51:50   but even though he really secretly [TS]

00:51:51   wanted to write all this like trashy [TS]

00:51:53   fantasy so I want to talk about the end [TS]

00:51:56   of the book because it does end in a [TS]

00:51:59   hail of bullets and uh I don't read a [TS]

00:52:03   lot of books that end with this much [TS]

00:52:06   gunplay and there's like a lot of [TS]

00:52:07   detailed I I thought it was strange that [TS]

00:52:10   he was thinking uh experts on ammunition [TS]

00:52:14   and and and weaponry in the [TS]

00:52:17   acknowledgments but no no it i see why [TS]

00:52:20   because it's incredibly detailed in it [TS]

00:52:25   and I just wanted to know what you guys [TS]

00:52:27   thought about the action sequence at the [TS]

00:52:29   end we've gotta chase we have a couple [TS]

00:52:30   different groups coming through the [TS]

00:52:31   mountains there's a helicopter that gets [TS]

00:52:34   shot down by a guy and then somebody [TS]

00:52:37   blow something up but then there's our [TS]

00:52:39   should go to your booby traps in tunnels [TS]

00:52:42   and there's a UH exchange of gunfire on [TS]

00:52:45   a hillside or around like a guy was on [TS]

00:52:47   anymore mind grabbing his chest [TS]

00:52:49   yeah and then and then there's the [TS]

00:52:51   there's that you know the shack and then [TS]

00:52:52   the houses in the settlement and their [TS]

00:52:54   the terrorists coming down from through [TS]

00:52:58   the air coming through the tunnel [TS]

00:52:59   another the other terrorists were coming [TS]

00:53:01   up the street into the neighborhood and [TS]

00:53:04   I mean he has so many pieces and it's [TS]

00:53:08   messy and but it's it is exciting [TS]

00:53:11   um you know it's not what i expected i'm [TS]

00:53:15   just wondering what you guys thought of [TS]

00:53:16   that the the end because the ending [TS]

00:53:18   drops all pretense of being about you [TS]

00:53:20   know p whatever we've said this book is [TS]

00:53:22   about it and in many ways it just comes [TS]

00:53:25   down to people with guns getting in the [TS]

00:53:27   right position so that they can shoot [TS]

00:53:28   other people try mean I I've little I've [TS]

00:53:32   read a lot of tom clancy I've heard a [TS]

00:53:34   few I've read a few tom clancy's and [TS]

00:53:37   there are some tom clancy's that that [TS]

00:53:38   kind of you know the kind of read like [TS]

00:53:40   this it and you know it it's very [TS]

00:53:43   reminiscent of that and yet somehow I [TS]

00:53:45   you know maybe I maybe I just maybe [TS]

00:53:47   myself and caught within that war of [TS]

00:53:49   taste and and wanted to be better than [TS]

00:53:52   that but I mean it is gripped write the [TS]

00:53:56   unit's gripping it's page-turning and I [TS]

00:53:57   think you know he does a very good job [TS]

00:53:59   of sort of not only making it just about [TS]

00:54:02   what the hail of gunfire but also you [TS]

00:54:04   know we do have some some relationship [TS]

00:54:05   stuff going on in these last few pages [TS]

00:54:07   because we have you know Richard [TS]

00:54:09   thinking he's basically you know he's [TS]

00:54:12   toast [TS]

00:54:12   he's just happy that you know he got the [TS]

00:54:14   Sula back and happy that she'll survive [TS]

00:54:17   you know if he doesn't make it out and [TS]

00:54:19   we get you know a number of other [TS]

00:54:21   characters who just sort of are working [TS]

00:54:23   towards some other goal and we get there [TS]

00:54:25   their relationships and interactions [TS]

00:54:26   with some of the other characters and I [TS]

00:54:28   i was surprised in the end that I [TS]

00:54:30   thought more of the characters that we [TS]

00:54:31   liked we're going to bite it and in fact [TS]

00:54:33   the only one who really the old we lose [TS]

00:54:35   to right and they're both kind of minor [TS]

00:54:37   characters I mean not in there you know [TS]

00:54:40   importance but in their screen time [TS]

00:54:43   yeah well i was i was kind of I thought [TS]

00:54:46   he did such a great job i was far more [TS]

00:54:47   interested i should say in the kind of [TS]

00:54:49   the t-brain aspect of this because I [TS]

00:54:52   thought it was so interesting and [TS]

00:54:53   original and I was kind of disappointed [TS]

00:54:55   when it i could it was there is a clear [TS]

00:54:57   shift into ok now it's just going to be [TS]

00:55:00   a thriller [TS]

00:55:01   I mean it's a well-written thriller but [TS]

00:55:03   I was hoping I thought the book could be [TS]

00:55:06   so much more [TS]

00:55:07   it was good but I wanted to be like [TS]

00:55:09   amazing and I just kind of thought it [TS]

00:55:11   ended kind of like a cliche [TS]

00:55:14   well that was that was my feeling when [TS]

00:55:16   they made the turn is that I started to [TS]

00:55:17   think I wonder if this really is him [TS]

00:55:19   realizing that cory doctorow did a whole [TS]

00:55:21   book about gold farmers and and [TS]

00:55:25   an MMO it you know in China and i also [TS]

00:55:28   will do something different [TS]

00:55:29   well i should point out you having for [TS]

00:55:31   the win which I don't like to think I [TS]

00:55:32   don't think there was a minority opinion [TS]

00:55:34   at the time or only one also read it for [TS]

00:55:37   the wind has you know Chinese American [TS]

00:55:40   people and other strange nationalities [TS]

00:55:42   spring the globe and conspiracies and [TS]

00:55:44   mafioso and things being kicked down and [TS]

00:55:47   people being killed unexpectedly in the [TS]

00:55:48   middle of the book it's a big shaggy dog [TS]

00:55:50   story to a very different kind of want a [TS]

00:55:52   lot more political than this because I'm [TS]

00:55:55   not sure there's a only the moral of [TS]

00:55:56   this story is there don't live it [TS]

00:56:00   don't be a terrorist on the left one [TS]

00:56:02   killed exactly don't be late again vs [TS]

00:56:05   you vs well I mean I did the family [TS]

00:56:07   themes are august i think our are part [TS]

00:56:10   of it that that you've got not just the [TS]

00:56:13   family and the fourth rest family that [TS]

00:56:16   have a lot of differences but in the end [TS]

00:56:18   you know I know it's hokey but they that [TS]

00:56:21   that is one of the messages here is like [TS]

00:56:23   people pull together and they may have [TS]

00:56:25   some differences but in the end you know [TS]

00:56:27   the you stick with the people who matter [TS]

00:56:29   to you and you see these different oddly [TS]

00:56:31   paired people come together and you know [TS]

00:56:34   that's sort of a theme of it but it's [TS]

00:56:35   not exactly something kind of deep an [TS]

00:56:38   earth-shattering you know the other one [TS]

00:56:40   is that everyone wants to belong to [TS]

00:56:41   something right so right all those [TS]

00:56:43   outsiders exactly all the characters are [TS]

00:56:45   looking for some connection which is [TS]

00:56:48   also kind of cliche but you know it's a [TS]

00:56:50   theme in lots of stuff and and we do end [TS]

00:56:53   up with a lot of them paired off at the [TS]

00:56:54   end right which I thought was a little [TS]

00:56:57   little it turned into a little bit until [TS]

00:56:59   I guess Shakespearean combinational [TS]

00:57:00   couples everywhere [TS]

00:57:02   yeah everybody's getting married at the [TS]

00:57:04   end except for except for Richard a lot [TS]

00:57:05   of love story hiding inches thousand off [TS]

00:57:08   there is but not i mean not one that [TS]

00:57:11   really makes any sense [TS]

00:57:12   no it's mostly gen hey we're all I mean [TS]

00:57:14   it's like okay so Olivia who i love i [TS]

00:57:17   actually think is a really great [TS]

00:57:18   character one of the funny things about [TS]

00:57:20   Olivia's when she said on her mission [TS]

00:57:22   she specifically told basically please [TS]

00:57:24   don't have sex with anybody which is [TS]

00:57:26   like hey wow that's what I'm just a lady [TS]

00:57:29   is she makes equipment like James Bond [TS]

00:57:31   gets to you and how come I don't ya at [TS]

00:57:33   what I mean she's the most i like their [TS]

00:57:35   relationship the best out of all the [TS]

00:57:37   girls you because it's the only [TS]

00:57:38   that has a substitute go through all of [TS]

00:57:40   that and then and then there are the [TS]

00:57:42   island right they swim to the Taiwanese [TS]

00:57:44   island and and they you know well we're [TS]

00:57:48   tired and you know we got to spend the [TS]

00:57:50   night here [TS]

00:57:51   alright and that's adding one of one of [TS]

00:57:54   the things that my friends used to [TS]

00:57:56   criticize Stephenson about in his [TS]

00:57:57   earlier books is starring in gratuitous [TS]

00:57:59   sex scenes all the time which i think is [TS]

00:58:01   still a little i mean he doesn't [TS]

00:58:02   cryptonomicon and in Snow Crash to a [TS]

00:58:05   certain extent like it's just like out [TS]

00:58:08   yeah it's probably the sexy in here like [TS]

00:58:10   it doesn't it's kind of weird like it's [TS]

00:58:12   it makes sense into a certain degree in [TS]

00:58:14   the in the illogical plot but you also [TS]

00:58:16   didn't necessarily need Bolivian [TS]

00:58:18   sokoloff i felt i was earned right i [TS]

00:58:19   mean yeah they have the best [TS]

00:58:21   relationship with anybody I mean like as [TS]

00:58:23   much as I like gore and Zula his [TS]

00:58:26   fascination with her like it's a little [TS]

00:58:29   strange [TS]

00:58:30   yes on it's sort of like you know he [TS]

00:58:32   sees it's like love at first sight right [TS]

00:58:34   and I mean I like too much better when [TS]

00:58:36   he was the foil to Peter and like Peters [TS]

00:58:39   a jerk and doesn't really care about [TS]

00:58:42   anything but soooo does and stronger was [TS]

00:58:43   like hey you know like i'm kind of a [TS]

00:58:46   gentleman you know at least be polite [TS]

00:58:47   but like the fact that he then goes all [TS]

00:58:50   the way across you know around the world [TS]

00:58:52   to track her down is a little bit thin [TS]

00:58:55   yeah you did get the sense that [TS]

00:58:58   Stephenson he wanted to get some people [TS]

00:59:00   together he wanted to be about love in [TS]

00:59:01   the end straight [TS]

00:59:02   love conquers all people and there [TS]

00:59:05   seemed no one love to do it [TS]

00:59:07   love conquers all but not as much as I [TS]

00:59:10   got unstuck and unhurt [TS]

00:59:12   I i do like Abdullah Jones is excellent [TS]

00:59:15   a in a by nearly by animal that he's [TS]

00:59:19   like you know it's an ok it's a cougar [TS]

00:59:21   at Penn or whatever he says it is what [TS]

00:59:23   it is it's a it's a it's a cougar to [TS]

00:59:26   mount like what does he say says it's a [TS]

00:59:28   it's a big cat [TS]

00:59:29   yeah it's just a big cat but it's like [TS]

00:59:32   of course because nobody in there and [TS]

00:59:34   then Richard I mean that's the great you [TS]

00:59:35   know loop there as you open with people [TS]

00:59:37   shooting guns for the hell shooting gone [TS]

00:59:39   to the beginning and the end with him [TS]

00:59:41   you know shooting doing the thing you [TS]

00:59:43   have to do which is to shoot Jones & [TS]

00:59:45   Jones finally being flummoxed after that [TS]

00:59:48   many thousands of miles and thousands of [TS]

00:59:51   life [TS]

00:59:51   there's nothing operatic or anything [TS]

00:59:53   about that that death which actually [TS]

00:59:54   kind of appreciate it is that in the end [TS]

00:59:56   which is finally got a shot and he takes [TS]

00:59:58   it and Jones is dead [TS]

00:59:58   it and Jones is dead [TS]

01:00:00   and that's it I was wondering I mean did [TS]

01:00:02   you guys find yourself wondering who was [TS]

01:00:04   gonna get to do it you know like because [TS]

01:00:06   i'm certain poetic justice right you [TS]

01:00:08   kind of expect Zullo more but at the [TS]

01:00:10   same time you're kind of relieved that [TS]

01:00:12   she doesn't have to be you know have [TS]

01:00:15   that sort of burden or what have you or [TS]

01:00:16   you know have to you know kill somebody [TS]

01:00:19   face like that or something but I don't [TS]

01:00:21   know it's interesting I kept wondering [TS]

01:00:23   who was going to turn out to be 0 was [TS]

01:00:25   gonna turn out to be Sheamus was you [TS]

01:00:26   know Sokolov I don't know after they [TS]

01:00:29   bash in Richards brothers skull with his [TS]

01:00:32   own prosthetic leg I feel like Richard [TS]

01:00:34   kind of gets the honor there right [TS]

01:00:37   why makers you know basically to design [TS]

01:00:40   shoot up his best friend and get him to [TS]

01:00:42   blow himself alright that was spread out [TS]

01:00:45   that was badass and I do I like cat i [TS]

01:00:48   like i like his little digression at the [TS]

01:00:49   beginning right was riding the [TS]

01:00:50   motorcycle and he gets the corn stock [TS]

01:00:53   like shoved up his eye [TS]

01:00:54   oh yeah terribly terribly grows it you [TS]

01:00:57   kind of forget about times before he [TS]

01:00:58   goes away for like 700 pages then he [TS]

01:01:00   comes back and he's like that so so [TS]

01:01:04   wrapping up what are we what do we think [TS]

01:01:08   what you know in the grand scheme of of [TS]

01:01:12   neal stephenson and his books and also [TS]

01:01:15   just sort of that's as its own thing [TS]

01:01:17   what's the verdict on windy always buy a [TS]

01:01:21   kilogram of tea from a short Chinese one [TS]

01:01:24   wearing bright luminous i gotta-i gotta [TS]

01:01:27   fortunate said that the other day we [TS]

01:01:28   recently by worked out didn't it [TS]

01:01:31   I I mean depends on your definition of [TS]

01:01:34   art out and she ever go home again [TS]

01:01:36   oh that's good question know what so uh [TS]

01:01:39   so what's the verdict ran what do you [TS]

01:01:41   think I quite liked it is again having [TS]

01:01:44   only read to stevens and books i've [TS]

01:01:46   started with no crash and then i read [TS]

01:01:48   this one so far my my records pretty [TS]

01:01:51   good of course i'm still halfway through [TS]

01:01:52   cryptonomicon so anything there but [TS]

01:01:54   really a quite light my kryptonite [TS]

01:01:57   economy is Krypton is worth weather for [TS]

01:01:59   the journey if not the if not the [TS]

01:02:01   destination so Scott what did you think [TS]

01:02:03   of this book I have conflicted feelings [TS]

01:02:07   about this book after you I ready player [TS]

01:02:10   one either before or after this and this [TS]

01:02:12   is clearly [TS]

01:02:13   like 14 million times better than ready [TS]

01:02:16   player one haha there's there's no [TS]

01:02:18   comparison love uu x 0 scat well its [TS]

01:02:21   trip which ready player one it's so it [TS]

01:02:24   may I don't think he would hate that [TS]

01:02:26   book that much I didn't like it but I [TS]

01:02:27   was stunned level of hate and yeah it a [TS]

01:02:31   set where we did a whole pie Kassai we [TS]

01:02:33   don't need I didn't like it i just got [TS]

01:02:36   so if every remind very successful i [TS]

01:02:39   thought it was a fun book but I I [TS]

01:02:40   thought I have to admit that he kind of [TS]

01:02:43   missed an opportunity to write like a [TS]

01:02:45   great book and i know i read some [TS]

01:02:47   interviews with him after reading the [TS]

01:02:49   book because I was like this book is not [TS]

01:02:51   anything like what I expected and he [TS]

01:02:53   just wanted to write a thriller and so [TS]

01:02:55   he wrote a thriller have you know check [TS]

01:02:58   you succeeded neal stephenson yeah [TS]

01:03:02   alright Dan what about you [TS]

01:03:05   I quite liked it as well you know our [TS]

01:03:07   colleague John syracuse I asked me the [TS]

01:03:09   other night [TS]

01:03:10   should I read this and I SAT there [TS]

01:03:13   thinking about it for a while trying to [TS]

01:03:15   figure out how to answer that question i [TS]

01:03:18   mean i think i recommended to I a lot of [TS]

01:03:21   people including I think I told him in [TS]

01:03:23   the end I think he should read it i'm [TS]

01:03:25   not sure if you like it or not but I [TS]

01:03:27   think it's a good book and you know it [TS]

01:03:31   like Scott says a kind of it goes into [TS]

01:03:32   their a direction obviously that you [TS]

01:03:34   don't expect a lot and in such is not it [TS]

01:03:37   is very unexpected but unexpected book [TS]

01:03:40   for neal stephenson but then again all [TS]

01:03:41   of neal stephenson books are kind of [TS]

01:03:43   unexpected this guy's reading like a [TS]

01:03:44   like a huge epic about like the Mongols [TS]

01:03:47   right now [TS]

01:03:48   among other things so but in the end of [TS]

01:03:51   the day I i really like it i had some [TS]

01:03:53   minor quibbles and flaws but in it grips [TS]

01:03:56   and it keeps you going right like I kept [TS]

01:03:58   wanting to read the next page and in if [TS]

01:03:59   you know sort of some it down to that I [TS]

01:04:01   think that's a that's pretty successful [TS]

01:04:03   giving you know reader to turn the page [TS]

01:04:05   to want to turn the page is a little bit [TS]

01:04:06   so that's the magic trick d laundry on [TS]

01:04:09   your part of a writer and he had to [TS]

01:04:10   accomplish that a thousand time so I'll [TS]

01:04:14   and what about you [TS]

01:04:15   I think this is one of my favorite [TS]

01:04:17   students and novels and I actually quite [TS]

01:04:19   you know I I like NM i read if you read [TS]

01:04:23   that you have to establish base camps at [TS]

01:04:25   various points in [TS]

01:04:26   be supplied with you because it's a long [TS]

01:04:28   trip to the top and then you have to get [TS]

01:04:30   down the other side that's right then [TS]

01:04:32   you have to climb down with the quite [TS]

01:04:33   literally actually go and you have [TS]

01:04:35   together with old down the Avatar I look [TS]

01:04:37   to the east but the but I've been all [TS]

01:04:40   worth it I thought he did a terrific job [TS]

01:04:42   in integrating like keeping the stuff [TS]

01:04:45   that that we like about his work without [TS]

01:04:48   pandering to us you know it doing his [TS]

01:04:51   sort of oh I don't know it's a little [TS]

01:04:53   Moby Dick is kind of like that's gonna [TS]

01:04:56   put that there [TS]

01:04:57   I bet your partner gonna start cleaning [TS]

01:04:58   tag urban television in that you know he [TS]

01:05:02   likes to be heard that villain and the [TS]

01:05:03   middle of you know fighting away i'll [TS]

01:05:05   have 500 pages on your abstract whale [TS]

01:05:07   oil but he and he said he submerges that [TS]

01:05:11   desire just like a whale here and made [TS]

01:05:14   it much more riveting story and i think [TS]

01:05:16   i like that i was surprised I was sort [TS]

01:05:18   of like okay wow this is different and [TS]

01:05:20   then just raced through it read it like [TS]

01:05:21   crazy [TS]

01:05:22   I'll compare this to Great Bear a few [TS]

01:05:24   years ago that is a sci-fi author by [TS]

01:05:26   trade I think now not really consider [TS]

01:05:28   that he can move the book called [TS]

01:05:29   Quantico that was sort of about the [TS]

01:05:31   American racks anthrax attacks and had a [TS]

01:05:33   plausible scenario about coming created [TS]

01:05:35   somewhere and there was no mysterious [TS]

01:05:37   man traveling around the country and [TS]

01:05:39   weird attacks in Islamic extremists or [TS]

01:05:42   Jewish extremist something in this case [TS]

01:05:44   perhaps and and so forth and I don't [TS]

01:05:46   think I don't feel like that pulled it [TS]

01:05:48   off like he just couldn't make a good [TS]

01:05:50   story without having supernatural [TS]

01:05:51   ridiculous elements it was he was rooted [TS]

01:05:54   in the real and he couldn't make that [TS]

01:05:55   transition give up the things that made [TS]

01:05:57   Greg Barrett what what he is and [TS]

01:06:00   Stephenson I think you know he tries to [TS]

01:06:02   tell a good story in this time he really [TS]

01:06:04   did it just it just moves along there's [TS]

01:06:05   a point where I'm just devouring the [TS]

01:06:07   book as fast as I can which I i don't [TS]

01:06:10   recall ever having done with anything [TS]

01:06:12   but maybe we start crashing zodiac are [TS]

01:06:14   more like that snow crash is less dense [TS]

01:06:16   but there are a lot shorter and shorter [TS]

01:06:18   you still crossed over too many times or [TS]

01:06:20   it's just you know I think I mean like [TS]

01:06:23   his weakest book i think almost the [TS]

01:06:24   diamond age which I feel like I don't [TS]

01:06:26   know what you like that there's some [TS]

01:06:28   great stuff in it that's my favorite [TS]

01:06:30   ways lots of my favorite of his yeah [TS]

01:06:31   really [TS]

01:06:32   Scott nice you're wrong down with me to [TS]

01:06:35   have a land of evolution [TS]

01:06:36   Stephenson fight club episode clearly [TS]

01:06:38   but diamond a job that was full of [TS]

01:06:40   clever stuff but I don't feel like it [TS]

01:06:42   come together and there's a lot of [TS]

01:06:43   extraneous things lots of sort of you [TS]

01:06:45   know weird cultural ideas the end up [TS]

01:06:46   throwing a blender and then make us [TS]

01:06:48   believe was real but I great stuff at [TS]

01:06:50   this I felt held together as a real as [TS]

01:06:52   an interesting work without without [TS]

01:06:53   going too far astray from his core [TS]

01:06:56   liking this thing we like about him [TS]

01:06:59   thank you Jason what did you get [TS]

01:07:02   oh thank you for asking Scott your [TS]

01:07:04   mobile uh I liked it but i want i have [TS]

01:07:10   some caveats III I like that it has an [TS]

01:07:13   ending [TS]

01:07:14   even though the ending is really the [TS]

01:07:15   ratcheting of the plot machinery Neal [TS]

01:07:19   Stephenson has a real problem with [TS]

01:07:21   endings and I like his i love his work i [TS]

01:07:23   really do it's so inventive i love his [TS]

01:07:26   digression sometimes the digression of [TS]

01:07:28   the best part [TS]

01:07:29   they're just so delightfully strange and [TS]

01:07:31   fully realized but his hands like Snow [TS]

01:07:34   Crash such a great book and in the end [TS]

01:07:36   is just a disaster it he doesn't know [TS]

01:07:38   what to do and and I feel that way in a [TS]

01:07:40   lot of his books and sometimes I feel [TS]

01:07:42   like the length of his books because he [TS]

01:07:43   can't figure out how to end it so he [TS]

01:07:45   just keeps writing hoping that you'll be [TS]

01:07:48   struck down and they'll say well it's [TS]

01:07:50   unfinished but here it is and so so I [TS]

01:07:53   like that this book has an ending and I [TS]

01:07:56   don't mind that it ends and in a giant [TS]

01:07:59   hail of gunfire I what I'd say is that [TS]

01:08:02   it's a strange conglomeration of a book [TS]

01:08:04   at as as interesting and and strange as [TS]

01:08:08   it is that the book takes a left turn [TS]

01:08:09   when sulla decides to send them to the [TS]

01:08:11   wrong apartment in China because that's [TS]

01:08:14   really what this is she says go to the [TS]

01:08:15   third floor instead of the second floor [TS]

01:08:17   or whatever fifth floor into the sixth [TS]

01:08:20   floor might what I would say is i think [TS]

01:08:24   this book would have been better if the [TS]

01:08:27   stories were more integrated and there [TS]

01:08:30   wasn't a left turn and so what what you [TS]

01:08:34   ended up getting was when you get to [TS]

01:08:38   that climax with the guns that there's [TS]

01:08:41   also something happening in terrain and [TS]

01:08:46   there's more you know it's more [TS]

01:08:48   simultaneous and it [TS]

01:08:49   and it's part of a bigger story and and [TS]

01:08:52   where I felt let down with I just felt [TS]

01:08:55   let down that he was dropping large [TS]

01:08:58   elements and that you know it was it was [TS]

01:09:03   messier than i thought i would like I [TS]

01:09:05   feel like I don't have a problem with [TS]

01:09:06   what he did but I feel like it was kind [TS]

01:09:08   of too big of a change for him to solve [TS]

01:09:11   so he just went ahead with the left turn [TS]

01:09:14   and my sort he throws are in ballast [TS]

01:09:17   overboard in order to you know to [TS]

01:09:19   achieve or or something like that and [TS]

01:09:20   let all the air out of the balloon to [TS]

01:09:22   land the plot or something right well [TS]

01:09:23   right yeah it's something sure those [TS]

01:09:26   little words was a template so you just [TS]

01:09:30   throwing all those metaphors out that's [TS]

01:09:32   until I hit enjoy the chase for the up [TS]

01:09:34   with what you know you know what I mean [TS]

01:09:35   it's sort of like what I what I wanted [TS]

01:09:37   to have at the end was was the action [TS]

01:09:40   integrated a little bit more with some [TS]

01:09:42   of the other kind of technical [TS]

01:09:43   extrapolation stuff no I i totally agree [TS]

01:09:45   with you because the video game at some [TS]

01:09:47   point you're like wait a minute they [TS]

01:09:48   sort of this brushed off that whole [TS]

01:09:50   thing that we've been talking about for [TS]

01:09:51   inner pages in passing here and there [TS]

01:09:53   that's been connective tissue suddenly [TS]

01:09:55   it's completely unimportant compared to [TS]

01:09:57   you know the local police department [TS]

01:09:59   flying in a helicopter which could [TS]

01:10:00   suddenly shot down by the air-to-ground [TS]

01:10:02   missile yeah yeah so so I liked it right [TS]

01:10:05   that was my that so that would be my [TS]

01:10:07   take those I wish it was more integrated [TS]

01:10:09   together instead of it just being a left [TS]

01:10:11   turn because as clever as that left left [TS]

01:10:13   turn twist is in a way cuz you're like [TS]

01:10:15   whoa I'm surprised it goes for the rest [TS]

01:10:17   of the book and it ends up not seeming [TS]

01:10:19   so much as a clever authorial decision [TS]

01:10:22   as it does that he regretted the story [TS]

01:10:24   he was writing and decided to write [TS]

01:10:26   something different and at so i love [TS]

01:10:28   that that he wrote it he's learning how [TS]

01:10:30   to do an ending [TS]

01:10:31   I wish that it had been more of a whole [TS]

01:10:34   work instead of feeling like a book that [TS]

01:10:36   he started and thought better of and bed [TS]

01:10:38   wrote something else and then sold the [TS]

01:10:40   whole thing to us that's what I think [TS]

01:10:43   Scott thank you for asking will you [TS]

01:10:45   regret it now [TS]

01:10:46   no i agree with you that I'm under [TS]

01:10:49   surprised how much we all like book i [TS]

01:10:50   was i was thinking that I might be the [TS]

01:10:52   odd one out or one of the other ones out [TS]

01:10:53   and that the parts of it like as much [TS]

01:10:56   but I was great read and I'm glad we for [TS]

01:10:58   once we were all like his style and his [TS]

01:11:01   inventiveness and his intelligence [TS]

01:11:03   it's gets let him get away with a lot I [TS]

01:11:05   think [TS]

01:11:06   yes this is truly respected respect the [TS]

01:11:10   fact that respects as a reader that he [TS]

01:11:12   thinks we're actually going to be [TS]

01:11:12   interesting stuff he has to tell us and [TS]

01:11:14   not up to walk us you know take us by [TS]

01:11:16   the nose through it [TS]

01:11:17   yeah yeah and so and so that's why I [TS]

01:11:19   i'll buy you know I need nail Stephenson [TS]

01:11:22   anything because you know he's a good [TS]

01:11:24   writer with lots of good ideas and his [TS]

01:11:25   smarts and and writes about things that [TS]

01:11:29   I'm interested in [TS]

01:11:30   and even though he's got his faults be [TS]

01:11:32   it's worth taking a chance when he when [TS]

01:11:35   he does something new and so yes even [TS]

01:11:37   though it's it's it's flawed and it's [TS]

01:11:38   not what i would recommend to somebody [TS]

01:11:40   who wants to read first Neal Stephenson [TS]

01:11:42   i would probably recommend snow crash or [TS]

01:11:44   the diamond age or cryptonomicon or or [TS]

01:11:47   zodiac which is actually in some ways [TS]

01:11:50   more the mode book its most like this in [TS]

01:11:53   that there's a lot of action but it is [TS]

01:11:56   what it is from the start though [TS]

01:11:58   exactly and that's where it gets back to [TS]

01:12:00   my complaints about this is that i feel [TS]

01:12:02   it's almost I don't feel it was a [TS]

01:12:03   bait-and-switch I feel it was him [TS]

01:12:05   thinking he was going to write one story [TS]

01:12:06   and then deciding to write another but [TS]

01:12:09   in the end perhaps he should have gone [TS]

01:12:10   back and done more work to to spackle [TS]

01:12:13   that over i mean i think anything to a [TS]

01:12:15   certain extent as I was saying about you [TS]

01:12:18   know cryptonomicon I think it's true for [TS]

01:12:20   a lot of his books that the you know the [TS]

01:12:21   reward and reading them is in the [TS]

01:12:23   reading of them not necessarily in the [TS]

01:12:25   you know where where it ends up and I [TS]

01:12:27   think we know we agreed about that with [TS]

01:12:29   cryptonomicon I think that's true with [TS]

01:12:31   the baroque cycle as well which is to [TS]

01:12:33   say not that book doesn't have you know [TS]

01:12:35   i think that that series has a [TS]

01:12:37   serviceable ending but the the interest [TS]

01:12:40   in that series comes from all the things [TS]

01:12:41   that you encounter along the way right [TS]

01:12:43   that are just his fantastic his [TS]

01:12:45   digressions as you were saying and how [TS]

01:12:47   interested in detail he gets in all [TS]

01:12:49   these things and thus makes them [TS]

01:12:50   fascinating to us the readers things [TS]

01:12:52   that you wouldn't think for fascinating [TS]

01:12:54   you know the economic development of you [TS]

01:12:57   know Europe right right in the 16th [TS]

01:13:00   century it's like wow that had that [TS]

01:13:02   sounds boring as hell what I feel as if [TS]

01:13:05   we've come to the end of our book club [TS]

01:13:07   did everybody enjoy the tea and the and [TS]

01:13:09   a little lemon cookies missing just got [TS]

01:13:12   lucky next time I'll make scones [TS]

01:13:16   skype scones enjoyed the complaint was [TS]

01:13:19   delicious kind [TS]

01:13:20   yes everybody take your complimentary [TS]

01:13:23   ammunition as you leave I'll take two [TS]

01:13:26   Clips before our NATO rounds you [TS]

01:13:28   shouldn't have [TS]

01:13:29   it's through and and somebody here gets [TS]

01:13:33   a claim or no on the claim under your [TS]

01:13:36   seat [TS]

01:13:38   the door is gone now because the [TS]

01:13:41   claymore was under it [TS]

01:13:42   oh well I let's say thank you Jason for [TS]

01:13:44   inspiring me to Rita this very long book [TS]

01:13:46   which I would have done this soon and [TS]

01:13:48   would not enjoy this much otherwise so [TS]

01:13:50   thank you [TS]

01:13:50   a while why you're very welcome i'm i'm [TS]

01:13:53   happy to inspire you to read long books [TS]

01:13:55   it it's very sad what I'm the only one [TS]

01:13:57   who has to read these thousand page long [TS]

01:13:59   book so I like I like a bit of that will [TS]

01:14:02   do it too yes but my kingdom for a [TS]

01:14:05   300-page book for pete's sake these [TS]

01:14:07   thousand-page books are going to kill me [TS]

01:14:09   so until next time on the incomparable [TS]

01:14:12   book club [TS]

01:14:13   I'm Jason still and i would like to [TS]

01:14:15   thank my guests here around our little [TS]

01:14:17   table they're finishing your tea and the [TS]

01:14:20   scones right now serenity called well [TS]

01:14:22   thank you thank you Jason Scott McNulty [TS]

01:14:26   thank you again [TS]

01:14:27   o earth tones forever earth tones [TS]

01:14:30   forever nice glad and Fleischmann thank [TS]

01:14:32   you for being here and reading this [TS]

01:14:33   thousand-page book with me thank you [TS]

01:14:35   very much and Dan Morgan thanks as [TS]

01:14:39   always as always you're welcome [TS]

01:14:41   you're so lucky to have been invited let [TS]

01:14:44   me tell you [TS]

01:14:46   until next time on the incomparable [TS]

01:14:48   thanks to all of you for listening to [TS]

01:14:51   buy [TS]

01:14:52   [Music] [TS]

01:15:07   ok boys mhm alright so wow that really [TS]

01:15:12   that snaps out of it doesn't be ok [TS]

01:15:14   because it's okay well that's enough of [TS]

01:15:17   your silliness now get-get yes ma'am [TS]

01:15:19   that now and alright alright alright [TS]

01:15:22   boys for tonight on that that's the new [TS]

01:15:28   this podcast / goodnight [TS]