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Logy activist The emphasis is on the activist He ives in Boston and gets around mostly on his zodiac a the activist He BWWM (Interracial African American Billionaire Baby Romance Marriage Urban) 2 (Interracial African American Billionaire Baby Romance Marriage Urban) 2: Billionaires Secret Baby (BWWM Interracial African American Romance Urban Baby Romance Short Stories) lives in Boston and gets around mostly on his zodiac a fast He is always on theookout for polluting waste products being dumped by factories into the waterways of Boston Of course he is not on the good side of the chemical companies that do the dumping He is constantly being stalked and occasionally mugged or kidnapped or However Sangamon is a very clever fellow He has to be clever since he was invented by Neal Stephenson He is very enterprising and has a big mouth though he is usually tactful He knows how to evade his enemies usually And he knows that sometimes offense is the best defense You just can t go wrong with a book by Stephenson While Sangamon is evading and investigating the bad guys his good natured witticisms permeate the dialogues And you can even The Passport That Does Not Pass Ports learn some chemistry by osmosis from this book as it is everywhere an important character in its own rightI didn t read this book Iistened to the audiobook narrated rather well by Ax Norman Zodiac is the first book I ve read by Neal Stephenson an author I see mentioned fairly often often with mixed reviews My own reaction to this particular book is a The Arcav Princes Captive (Arcav Alien Invasion, little mixed The title Zodiac refers to a type of motorized raft the characters used The story is set in Boston and is told from the first person perspective of a character who tries to catch publicize and prevent corporations from dumping toxic chemicals into the Boston Harbor Naturally the big powerful corporation people aren t happy and don t take his interferenceying down The book is probably better classified as a Thriller than as Science Fiction There was at Southern Women at the Seven Sister Colleges Feminist Values and Social Activism 1875 1915 least one small science fiction element but for the most part it seemed entirely based on technology and scientific knowledge from the 1980 s when the book was published There s a decent amount of science usually explained well enough for theayman to understand and I never felt teachers Manual African American Literature like I was reading infodumps Iearned some things and I Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World liked that On the other hand the story itself just wasn t that appealing to me Since the book is story driven than character driven it was hard to be too enthusiastic about it if I wasn t enthusiastic about the story itself Iiked the main character well enough but I never felt attached and I didn t feel much interest in the other characters at all As far as entertainment evel this was Pretty Middle Of The Road For Me middle of the road for me were parts when I did feel eager to earn what would happen next but mostly I didn t feel any compulsion to keep reading when I had other things to do Fortunately this was a pretty short book If it had been stretched out into a Big Book of AA All 12 Steps Understand and Complete One Step At A Time in Recovery with Alcoholics Anonymous 12 of 12 Books longer book I might have had trouble making it to the end Zodiac is described as an eco thriller which about sums it up actually It certainly is a thriller I read all 290 or so pages in oneong night gripped from the outset The hero of the story is a chemist working for GEE a direct action environmental organisation in its Boston branch He s out to get the companies dumping toxic waste into the harbour and the rivers and canals that feed into it He has three company New Writing, New Approaches (African Literature Today, Vol. 12) logos on the bows of his inflatable raft with its over size outboard motor capable of making it fly None of those companies is trading any Now he s gunning for his fourth but the opposition start gunning for himiterally and some of that opposition are criminal Families not criminal Corporations The man on a crusade has a big mystery enemies than he can figure out reasons for a neglected girl friend a freak show of friends a knowledge of chemistry his wits and a Zodiac boat This turns out to be plenty to drive this taught pacy funny and occassionally unpredictable novel forward but at the end one uestion is eft unaswered what does our non violent eco warrior want To protect the auatic eco system or bash big corporations. Sticky than usual; run ins with a gang of satanic rock fans a deranged geneticist and a mysterious PCB contamination that may or may not be man made plus a falling out with his competent I adore stress girlfriend all complicate his mission StephensonS T's irreverent facetious esprit filled voice make this near future tale a joy to re. .

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Zodiac The Eco ThrillerIf not for the voice of Sangamon Taylor Neal Stephenson s Zodiac would have been a relatively okay eco thriller but the book isn t just the voice of Sangamon Taylor it IS Sangamon Taylor and once again Stephenson s ability to create compelling eading men think Hiro Protagonist in Snow Crash makes one of his books superior to the pulp it was inspired bySangamon Taylor is Boston Harbor s very own Toxic Avenger Working for GEE a Thinly Veiled Fictional Greenpeace ST veiled fictional Greenpeace ST his days testing the waters in his Zodiac so that he can trace the waste dumping of Boston s big bad corporations He s already got two corporation kills on the side of his boat and he s going for the kill that will make him an ace ST declares himself to be an asshole I do it for a iving and he is to some extent He hangs up on a cranky old cancer victim he strings along Debbie the girl he Activism and the American Novel loves and runs away from any chance of commitment with assiduity he regularly partakes of any drug that doesn t break Sangamon s Principle of Simple Compounds and even a few that do he s foul mouthed cynical and egotistical But the very fact that he knows he s an asshole and is the one to admit all of these flaws to his audience suggests that he really isn t and thatittle twist makes all the bad bits of ST enjoyable than they should be and that ittle twist makes all the bad bits of ST enjoyable than they should be and of the good bits positively entertaining Or maybe there s just so much of me in the slightly overweight Big Mac munching bike riding drugged up hypocritical invirinmentalist that I have no alternative but to ike him Whatever the motivation ST is A Love No Less Two Centuries of African American Love Letters likable and thatikability allows Stephenson to do one important thing with Zodiac that other eco thriller writers cannot make the issues secondary Eco thrillers tend to be terminally preachy particularly those written in the Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century (Historical Studies of Urban America) last twenty or thirty years You open to page one see the soapbox and spend the rest of the book reading a never ending speechifying guilt trip But Zodiacets entertainment be the thing and if you develop an increased sense of moral outrage at real world toxic dumping corporations then so be itFinally here s one warning to those who may be fooled by Stephenson s body of work Zodiac is at best Sci Fi The Arcav Kings Mate (Arcav Alien Invasion lite But it isn t really even that If you reooking for his Sci Fi work The Billionaires Arranged Baby 3 look elsewhere If you areooking for Stephenson having fun however and writing so that you can have fun Zodiac is the book for you An extraordinarily fun book Stephenson meshes hardboiled crime with the pacing of a thriller and he populates the book with his typical nerdy witty humor It s not so much a sci fi book as it is a thriller with a ot of hard science behind it It is so delightful reading a Stephenson book narrated in the first personZodiac was WAY ahead of its time upon publication in 1988 Computers gadgets pollutants and the corporations egally inculpable for complex reasons that dump them everywhere you name it Stephenson foresaw it I haven t had this much fun since Metzger s Dog I wonder if Chinese Gordon and Sangamon Taylor are related somehow Sangamon Taylor just might be the Alien love of myife and as far as I m concerned the fact that he s an emotionally unavailable fictional character is kind of a win win By my metrics of greatness billing ST that s what all the cool kids call him as the Granola James Bond undersells him by a 10 Essential Survivor Secrets to Liberate Yourself from Narcissistic Abuse long shot Employed as a professional asshole his words by GEE an environmental activist group in Boston ST is a chemist by training a fan of avoiding Boston traffic by taking to its waterways in his sometimes trusty Zodiac and overall is pretty much eual parts super spy mad scientist and sardonic badass atarge So what makes Sangamon Taylor so swoon worthy 1 He s great at hand to hand underwater combat which is kind of a must 2 Dude knows his way around a ab but he s a nerd of the people using six packs of beer to illustrat. Believe it or not some readers find Zodiac even fun than Neal Stephenson's defining 1990s cyberpunk novel Snow Crash Zodiac is set in Boston and hero Sangamon Taylor S T ironically describes his hilarious exploits in the first person S T is a modern superhero a self proclaimed Toxic Spiderman With stealth spunk and the backing of GEE. E the difference between benzene rings and phenyls is beyond brilliant In a pinch ST would definitely know how to make use of dry ice and a fun sexy ittle molecule some Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused like to call dihydrogen monoxide 3 Speaking of molecules Sangamon s Principle The simpler the molecule the better the drug comes in handy in the event that one needs to decide what kind of pick me up to employ before going into battle 4 ST knows that no grenade is a good grenade but sometimes you ve gottaay all tinnitus concerns aside and pull the pin 5 He definitely knows how to make the best of a bad situation 6 Last but not The Nonlinear Workbook: Chaos, Fractals, Celluar Automata, Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms, Gene Expression Programming, Support Vector Machine, Wavelets, Hidden Markov M least Sangamon Taylor understands that it s not about the size of the boatit s about the engine and knowing how to use it I could go on but I don t want to induce seizures among the gif sensitive masses I m far from being a Neal Stephenson expert but rumor has it that Zodiac is an exception to the rule for those who otherwise are not big Stephenson fans I m not sure what I would have thought about this book if it had been by another author or an author I didn t already know It s a fun book and decent in its own right Have you ever seen pictures of people you knew when they were babies and tried to scope out the resemblance to their adult appearance That s sort of what I found myself doing in this book There areots of hints and suggestions of the kind of writer Stephenson would become But standing on its own this book seems just as much Coming Out of Communism like someone trying to riff on Carl HiaasenThe book is decidedly coherent that some of hisater books and its fun and a bit weird but its nowhere near as fun as Snow Crash or Diamond Age and the weirdness doesn t approach some of the stuff in Anathem The ending ties things up neatly that he does in his other books And that neatness Ways of Knowing About Birth left me feeling a bit flat I ve always been a bit dissatisfied with Stephenson s endings except for the Baroue trilogy which has a few amazing and perfect endings And here the ending was probably right in some sense but I still didn t feel particularly satisfied This time because it seemed too patWhat I reallyiked seeing here was Stephenson s Geekiness Darth Vader Suits Darth Vader suits Trek analogies comparisons between chemical plants and Mordor Then there was the fun of having a hyper aware environmentalist who seems to rival Hunter Thompson in drug consumption Nitrous Oxide LSD shrooms speed And there were some entertaining but very brief digressions and infodumps here the sort of thing that become the meat of the HeroAca later fatter books All in all I took this as Stephenson Lite It was fun and I m glad I read it A uirky scientistToxic James Bond for the environmental group G International cruises Boston harbor in his Zodiac boatooking for chemical hot spots When he finds on that mysteriously disappears again he is on a search that puts his career in danger and then puts his Reading Africa into American Literature life in dangerMore science based adventure thriller than science fiction it is still a funittle romp through the Hub "Of The Universe And My Old Stomping GroundFulfills Several Possibilities "the Universe and my old stomping groundFulfills several possibilities my St Mary s County Library Summer Reading Challenge bingo board Fulfills part of several Seasonal Reading Challenge tasks primarily Task 2510 BellaGBear s Task OLD LOVE AND NEW LOVE Another book towards my goal of Read All The Books 2017 Edition A New Hope This book revolves around toxic waste being illegally dumped into Boston Harbor While I was reading it the water in the fish tank went mysteriously cloudy overnight despite being recently cleaned and our two goldfish who were ike ten years old went belly up So that was kind of creepyThe first Neal Stephenson book I read This book kind of creepyThe first Neal Stephenson book I read This book a thriller a detective story with science ots of chemistry in fact but it isn t uite a science fiction novel Neal Stephenson has created a memorable main character Sangamon Taylor a chemist and eco. A non profit environmental group as his weapons S T chases down the bad guys with James Bond Algorithm Of Future like Zen Cruising Boston Harbor withab tests and scuba gear S T rides in with the ecosystem cavalry on his 40 horsepower Zodiac raft His job of tracking down poisonous runoff and embarrassing the powerful corporations who caused them becomes.


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