Diamond Age (was: Re: Cryptonomicon)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Feb 2 12:48:33 EST 2000


On Wed, 2 Feb 2000 10:57:23 -0500 , McMullin, Elise wrote:
>My favorite Stephenson so far is definitely Diamond Age.  I love, love, love
>the focus on how books, one amazing book, can change a person's life. Must
>read again soon.  Needless to say, I drool over the book in that book.

I adore this book.  I *KNOW* I bought a copy before we left Vancouver.  I
can't find it anywhere.  I had to resort to getting it from the library when
I wanted to reread it.

There's a lot I like about it: the book, of course, but also the idea that
some cultures simply work better than others, and the breakdown of nations
and the rise of idealogy-based clans.  But most of all, I really, REALLY
admire Miranda.  The contrast between Nell's obnoxious birth mother and the
woman who effectively raises her is so profound.  This aspect of the book is
particularly meaningful to me because, theoretically, I gave up a lot to
stay home and raise my children.  (From my point of view, I didn't give up
anything that I didn't get back a hundredfold.  But I know a lot of women
see this choice as hopelessly submissive to patriarchal domination.  I dare
you to ask Jacob what he thinks about it.)  So I see in Miranda a woman who
made a choice that she truly felt was important--more important than
becoming a star, which was where she was headed in the first place and which
she most definitely could have achieved.  Add to that X's mission to save
all those little babies, and you start to get a book that is overwhelmingly
about the value of human life--about giving the very littlest ones a chance
to grow into magnificent men and women.  I love it.

Melissa Proffitt
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