Book Review: Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

windup girlI have been thinking about this book for a while.  With the fate of our tasty banana’s and people wondering who/what Texamati is.  The only reason I know anything about these things is this book.  There is truth in fiction!

When I bought this book, I was not sure how I was going to like it.  It seemed really detailed and I was worried that it would take a long time to read and understand.  It was not so.

This book is so interesting!  I caught two main stories right away, one was the fighting between the company-nations and the other was the plight of the protagonist.  There are more things going on, but you will have to read it and see what you pick up.

First story:

The food conglomerates of the world have caused a global catastrophe.  Due to their increasing destructive corporate espionage tactics, the worlds food supply has been corrupted.  The counties as we know them have crumbled and what is left is corporation-nations.  The corporations being the ones that can supply the food and the nations are the governments that help support them.  One of the spies is trying to find another companies secrets and stumbles into our protagonists story line.

This bit is really neat.  Instead of money we use calories to pay for jobs.  Office jobs cost fewer calories and are paid in fewer foods where as physical jobs cost more calories and are paid in more foods.  Calories are king and if you want more food you have to find a way to get it.

Second story:

A mechanical girl, designed for a Japanese business man, is abandoned in Thailand.  She ends up performing in a dive to a boss who exposes her weaknesses to the patrons on a daily basis.  She is not really what we consider an android, or electronic consciousness, but she is living entity.  I considered her more like a steampunk bio-mechanical creation, that is conscious.  She is a living being.  Her dream is to escape and live a life of her own, not one that she was created for or forced into.  She crosses paths with the spy and things get interesting.

I like this book for many reasons. First is that it does have truth involved.  You learn quite about about socioeconomic issues that are relevant today. It is also a viable way for the future to happen.  Secondly, it is realistic.  People are being used and using others.  Some things work well and others fail.  Thirdly, there are things in the story that do not impact the overall path of the story, but it is there to add depth and help you understand the characters motivation.  Things that help move the story are sometimes hidden in these “needless” bits of fluff.

This is definitely one to read a few times.  I am going to re-read it once I find it in my boxes of books that I have yet to put on a shelf.


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