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The Windup Girl

Auteur(s): Paolo Bacigalupi
Narrateur(s): Jonathan Davis
Durée: 19 h et 34 min
4 out of 5 stars (44 évaluations)
Prix: CDN$ 30,19
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Description

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories.

There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

What happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism's genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of The Calorie Man (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and Yellow Card Man (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these poignant questions.

BONUS AUDIO: In an exclusive introduction, author Paolo Bacigalupi explains how a horrible trip to Thailand led to the idea for The Windup Girl.

©2009 Paolo Bacigalupi (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Ce que les critiques disent

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2010
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 2009
  • Best Books of 2009, Publishers Weekly
  • 10 Best Fiction Books of 2009, Time magazine
  • Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy 2009, Library Journal

"Paolo Bacigalupi's debut sci-fi novel is a stunner, especially as interpreted under the careful ministrations of narrator Jonathan Davis. The novel postulates a corrupt near-future society in Southeast Asia, where powerful corporations vie for control over rice yields by wielding bioengineered viruses as tools for profit." ( AudioFile)
" The Windup Girl will almost certainly be the most important SF novel of the year for its willingness to confront the most cherished notions of the genre, namely that our future is bright and we will overcome our selfish, cruel nature." ( Book Page)
"A classic dystopian novel likely to be short listed for the Nebula and Hugo Awards" ( SF Signal)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    16
  • 4 étoiles
    15
  • 3 étoiles
    8
  • 2 étoiles
    2
  • 1 étoile
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    24
  • 4 étoiles
    12
  • 3 étoiles
    4
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    1

Histoire

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    14
  • 4 étoiles
    14
  • 3 étoiles
    7
  • 2 étoiles
    2
  • 1 étoile
    4
Trier :
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, great narration, highly recommend

Listened to this title for a book club, and was very glad I did, as the richness of the world and the intricate interweaving of the character arcs left me feeling thoroughly satisfied to discuss the book at the end of it. Davis does a great job of voicing all the different characters, which helps you feel empathy for the characters throughout. Not that you need help as the characters are all so complex and well written that they seem so real, given the context of the story. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and was surprised more than once by a plot which was not at all predictable. #Audible1

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars

Fantastic world-building - but the plot sags

The Windup Girl is environmental dystopia of the highest order and also a fun fish-out-of-water romp in the vein of James Clavell - unfortunately like Clavell's lesser novels, there is a lot of scheming and trampling but not much to drive the plot forward. In the final analysis the warning sticks around after the characters and the story are long gone. But unmissable just the same. #Audible1

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

Not the norm for me but a Good Story

This is not the typical type of book I would read, I'm mostly into Science Fiction and magic based books but I must say I'm glad I gave this book a try, it was a pretty good story. You will read reviews about rape in this book and in fact there are some rape themed scenes, but this is a book about a dystopian future, I will also point out that the windup girl whom is abused was engineered to be a sex companion, its up to you how you want to think of the sexual assaults. I for one understood it as her being misused from her original intended purpose of being a sexual companion. The windup girl was only every raped by another female, The male companions had to pay for there pleasure.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

UNIQUE

It is a detailed story of “survival”. All sides truly believe they are “right”!!
I read the book a few years back however in listening
I now have a clear understanding of the complexity of this story !
The author has created a masterpiece !!

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars

What a world !

The world building in this story is really the best part. Mr. Bacigalupi took me there. What a world. Felt somewhat like the apocalypse and the dinosaurs . What with the heat and the mastodons. The people , however , not so well developed. Emico, sure after being a slave , she would want to find freedom . The rest of the cast are just fall prey to the usual motive of greed, and ambition, the captain of the white shirts is such a shining star. It moves alongs so it kept my interest, wondering really where is he going with this. The narration was very good. A lot of american accents for Thai people though, but it set in the future.

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars

a little long winded

found it hard to get through. probably could've been half as long and tell same story

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars

Good story but a long time to pay off

The book had excellent voice performance with major and minor characters having distinctly different voices. The story was very compelling from a world building perspective and did come to a satisfying conclusion. However, it took a LONG time to get there. In the first half the story seems to drag unnecessarily with scenes that are ultimately unnecessary to the overall story. It was a good book but much longer than needed.

Trier :
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marius
  • 2010-01-13

Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner.

This is an outstanding dystopian work with a strong environmental flavor. Following catastrophic disasters relating to both energy sources and food production, Thailand leads a precarious existence as a partially-sheltered enclave. Power struggles between internal political factions interact with the machinations of foreigners. At the same time, the life of the wind-up girl of the title mirrors these tensions, and she is not quite what she seems. The characters are well-drawn, the tone is dark, sometimes horrific, and the storyline strong and unpredictable. It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel, given the level of maturity it displays. Italian author Paolo Bacigalupi is definitely one to watch closely in the future. The audiobook is narrated by Jonathan Davis who is simply superb.

56 personnes sur 60 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • txkimmers
  • 2009-11-16

Good and also Frustrating

The good about this book: Jonathan Davis, who did a great job, as usual. The plot was intricate and fascinating, the characters were all very complex and multi-layered. It's a very scary and creepily possible sounding future, so this book was great, except for...

the bad: I could only listen to a little bit of this each day, and as result, it's taken forever to finish it. I know it's supposed to be dystopian, but good heavens...it was such a relentess bummer, I had to turn it off and go listen to some current news (war in Iraq, bank failures, rising foreclosures rates, jellyfish invasions, etc) just to lighten my mood. In addition, this novel is so crammed with repetitive exposition, it made me scream more than once in the car, "She's obedient and she doesn't like it...he's an incorruptible fighter and a hero to the people...he's afraid he'll get killed with a machete before he buys his clipper ship...I got it, I got it, I GOT IT!"

It took a lot of patience to finish this, so I can't exactly call it gripping--but it was a very fascinating trip.

147 personnes sur 159 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Murphy
  • 2010-05-18

Brilliant and Engrossing

W.B. Yeats wrote, "Whatever flames upon the night, man's own resinous heart has fed." Bacigalupi's imagined future Thailand, his characters, and his sure and economical prose bring weight and life to that assertion. The characters especially are memorable in a Dickensian way.

The dystopian future of the story is all too plausible. Coastal cities drowned by melting ice caps. Giant corporations supplanting governments and destroying human freedom in the name of ever growing profits. Warfare of the rich upon the poor, conducted with famine, and genetically engineered insects, parasites and viruses. Bacigalupi makes every challenge real and still leaves room for unexpected hope.

I was slow to warm to Jonathan Davis' performance, but once well underway, his clear and distinctive voicing, both for narration and for each character made the novel all the more engaging and memorable. In a way I seldom do, I felt I had missed nothing by listening to the book instead of reading it. Kudos to Davis, and brickbats for me who was so slow to notice his mastery.

53 personnes sur 60 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon
  • 2009-09-30

Rated in halves

No doubt, the first half of this book is paced more slowly than the last half. It was interesting, and very detailed, which sets a good stage for the latter half where things pick up exponentially. If you can be patient with an initially slow plot, you'll be ok. Coupled with this slower plot pace in the beginning, I also agree with the previous reviews that much of the content in the first half is unnecessary to the finish. It felt to me as if the last half of the book was written first, and the beginning of the book was added for context. I give the first half three stars, and the last half five stars.

The "prologue" by the author is great backstory, and you can really see the parallels and motivation behind his tale, based on his real life experiences.

The narration was good -- but some of the section breaks within chapters weren't noted by a long enough pause, or something. Two characters would be in a discussion one moment, and the next, it would be two totally different characters in a totally different place.... On a printed page, the section breaks are clear and anticipated, but this audiobook needed a little more of a pause in between to make it easier to transition from scene to scene. Aside from this nitpick, very very good narration.

Overall, it's a very interesting book comprised of a rich near-future world set in a compelling location, with love-hate characters. If you're patient with the first half, you'll be well rewarded.

66 personnes sur 75 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Danya
  • 2012-10-28

Wanted to like, but....

I really did want to like this book. With an interest in Asian language and culture, I found the post-apocalyptic Thailand backdrop to be quite compelling. I liked the author's writing and felt that, while the cast was indeed large, I did care what would happen to the characters. The reader gave a wonderful performance, impersonating a wide range of voices from that of a shrewd American businessman to a young Japanese woman.

What kept me from finishing the book was the intense and endless depiction of violence. I know that I am more sensitive to violence than many, but I was still surprised that this was not mentioned at all in any of the other reviews. The book began right from the start with a gruesome factory accident and brutal sexual assault and never subsided. While I can tolerate some violence, I felt that the explicit descriptions of pools of blood and mutilation were unnecessary and far too copious. At least with a printed book I could have glossed over those paragraphs and potentially continued to read, but I constantly felt nauseated while trying to read.

After struggling with over 1/3 of the book--compelled to read on because of the unique story--I finally couldn't take it any more. I would assume that for the average reader this book should be tolerable, but a word of caution for those more sensitive to explicit depictions of gory violence.

149 personnes sur 171 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 2011-03-03

Fascinatingly dystopian

Some have complained this is slow, or took a while to get into it, but I had no such issue. I was absorbed with the fascinating world Bacigalupi created and the wonderful detail. It's an ugly, harsh world, but it seemed realistic somehow, and written in such a way you can feel the sweat prickle at you and smell the fetid aromas of a world gone wrong. It's a world of dinosaurs resurrected from their genes as work animals, of dirigibles and the odd coal fired car because there remains no fuel. It's a future world ruined by greed and rampant technology, great climate shifts, rising oceans, and genetic engineering gone mad. There's a warning in this somewhere.

I read this going in and out of work for a month. I would sit in the train and peer out the window at the passing scenery while I felt a growing sympathy for the wind-up girl, and curiosity at Anderson's schemes, and how it would end up. I found myself appreciating the things we take for granted - fresh fruit and vegetables, so sensuously described here, and the energy we use so unthinkingly.

I felt it all beautifully written, and if I have any criticism it seems at odds with many here. I enjoyed the slow and inevitable build-up that pointed to some final resolution - which, when it came, seemed a little simplistic.

33 personnes sur 38 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sean Gately
  • 2009-09-28

A Wound Up Review

The narration was superb, the writing was fluid and detailed, character development was spot on, but I just couldn't get into the first half of this book. I wanted to like this book, and kept waiting for a hook to capture my attention, but it never came, instead it just trudged along.

The story very slowly and often painstakingly unraveled in the first half, introducing main characters who I didn't care about, and situations that didn't spark an interest. Even the hook of the book 'the new people', took most of the book before anything of interest happened.

It seems that when something interesting in this book did happen, it was dropped rapidly in replacement of something boring. I had hope when something unique happened with a 'new person' and the discovery of a great ability, but was let down once again when it was not explored.

Characters such as Yates and the scientist seemed to have great potential, but were never developed, and items such as the windup spring, and northern territories had great potential but were left in the dust. Exciting areas like Calorie companies and Gene Rippers were barely investigated, yet internal conflict between bland government agencies were written to near exhaustion.

The second half of the book does pick up, with unique and new concepts about survival, ethics, and commerce, and introduces more action, but it couldn't save the book for me.

46 personnes sur 54 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 2009-09-30

Hard core almost at it's best

Very good hard core sci fi in the world it is set, with a message that is not preachy, but a very slow moving story. If you like story over action then this a good book for you. The story follows characters who seem to have very little interaction that leads to a chain of events that reach the book's conclusion. The world is gritty and grimy, set between the few haves and the all the rest of the have nots. The wind up girl is not electrical/mechanical but is genetically engineered. Which to me makes her still human, but how she is 'programmed' that makes her the way she is. It is the simple fact that she is made that is how others perceive her. The narrator is very good, he can jump from an American male to an Asian woman without a hitch. His voice is clean and clear. Over all the book has the feeling that is should be great, but in the end is somehow lacking.

16 personnes sur 19 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jefferson
  • 2011-01-27

A Scary Fluid Line Between Natural & Unnatural

The Wind Up Girl is a strong work of dystopia science fiction filled with imaginative, vivid, and provocative ideas, settings, and characters that cast a horrible light on our present world here and now. The novel takes place in the capital city of a future Thailand that is barely holding out against global warming, scarcity of fuels and foods (calories), and prevalence of mutating, genetically engineered plagues that attack flora and fauna. Powerful genetic-agricultural corporations who control the world food and gene supply are itching to get their hands on Thailand's secret, "natural" seed bank. Genetically engineered people (wind ups), elephants, and cats play their roles (or break free from them). In this situation Bacicalupi tells his story from the point of view of several compelling characters whose schemes and dreams and destinies become ever more intertwined as the novel progresses.

Some reviewers have complained that the novel is too slow, especially in the first half or so, but I found it completely engrossing. Some reviewers have said that there are no likable characters, but found all of them very human and increasingly compelling. I sympathize with the reviewer who said that he'd have preferred shorter or fewer of the movie-type action scenes that kick in as the novel surges through its climax, although the reader, Jonathan Davis, does such a splendid job that I found myself excited rather than repulsed by the action.

Jonathan Davis delivers a virtuoso performance, convincingly reading parts for a Japanese wind up girl, an aging Chinese refugee entrepreneur, a Thai double agent, an American corporation operative, and more, his voice becoming appropriately tender or intense, cynical or ominous, jaunty or morose, depending on what's going on in the story.

All in all a fine listen!

20 personnes sur 24 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • 2009-09-29

Spellbinding

At first I thought the book was a little slow, then as events unfolded, I found myself thinking back to the earlier chapters. The characters were engrossing and very real and the future presented was believable.

This listen was good enough that instead of listening only on my commute, I would keep it playing after I got home.

17 personnes sur 21 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente