Friday, April 16, 2004

I tried, heaven knows I tried, to finish Quicksilver

From the movie “Wonder Boys”:

Hannah Green: Grady, you know how in class you're always telling us that writers make choices?
Grady Tripp: Yeah.
Hannah Green: And even though you're book is really beautiful, I mean, amazingly beautiful, it's... it's at times... it's... very detailed. You know, with the genealogies of everyone's horses, and the dental records, and so on. And... I could be wrong, but it sort of reads in places like you didn't make any choices. At all. And I was just wondering if it might not be different if... if when you wrote you weren't always... under the influence.

I loved Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon so I picked up Quicksilver the day it came out. It’s not a bad book, but Stephenson’s historical fiction is heavily laden by details, many of which illuminate the storyline in no particular way. So, like Sean, I’m gonna have to call it quits. Quicksilver was just too much work.

(P.S. – I am not suggesting that Stephenson wrote Quicksilver “under the influence.” However, I would suggest that he seek out a more forceful editor.).

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