Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl just doesn’t tick.




This book won the Locus Award for best first novel, nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards, voted by Time Magazine as “best book of the year,” Publishers Weekly put it on the best of 2009 list…. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, seems to love it.


So why am I having such a hard time getting through it!?


From School Library Journal:

In a future Thailand, calories are the greatest commodity. Anderson is a calorie-man whose true objective is to discover new food sources that his company can exploit. His secretary, Hock Seng, is a refugee from China seeking to ensure his future. Jaidee is an officer of the Environmental Ministry known for upholding regulations rather than accepting bribes. His partner, Kanya, is torn between respect for Jaidee and hatred for the agency that destroyed her childhood home. Emiko is a windup, an engineered and despised creation, discarded by her master and now subject to brutality by her patron. The actions of these characters set in motion events that could destroy the country.

Well, for one thing, there are four or five different story lines to keep track of, and while I’m sure Bacigalupi deftly weaves these story lines together eventually, it’s kind of tiring juggling them all. I don’t mind working for my story, but this one seems more difficult. The main characters don’t seem to help matters, since I’m not really finding anything redemptive about any of them (well, maybe the windup girl herself). I love the premise and I want to love the book – but I’m having to work really hard to get into it.


Perhaps I’m not far enough along to get sucked in & I should just be patient and slug my way through.  But I’ve been trying to read it now for four months. I’ll pick it up and read a bit, get bored, put it down, read several other books, then try all over again. Clearly, however, I am a minority in this respect.


The collectors scoop on this book is that, since it’s an award nominee and winner and this author’s first book, it’s worthy of seeking out a first edition copy. Also of note is that the print run was lower. In the future, you can bet his print runs will be much higher. The book was already being printed in paperback earlier this year (in fact the copy I’ve been trying to read is a paperback).


If you want to keep up on the goings on of this book and it’s author, hop on over to http://windupstories.com/.


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