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9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen I wonder why so many people didn't like it...
Well, what can I say...
I've just finished reading this book... At this precise moment, I am feeling a kind of grief, which I usually feel when some book, that I really enjoyed, ends. I am missing not only the characters, but mainly the world itself.
And, to my disappointment, there are no sufficient interesting opinions about this story, in this site...
Veröffentlicht am 24. Juni 2000 von rsenna

versus
5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Großes Kino ohne Story
Von der Zusammenarbeit Gibson/Sterling war eigentlich mehr zu erwarten. Sie entwickeln in dieser Steam-Punk-Ausgeburt eine völlig abgefahrene Welt, ohne eine Geschichte zu erzählen.

Der Computer wurde im viktorianischen Zeitalter entwickelt, und deswegen geht die Welt schon 1850 so steil wie eigentlich erst seit Bill Gates. Diese Ausgangsposition ist...
Veröffentlicht am 16. Juli 2006 von Dülp


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4.0 von 5 Sternen I wonder why so many people didn't like it..., 24. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
Well, what can I say...
I've just finished reading this book... At this precise moment, I am feeling a kind of grief, which I usually feel when some book, that I really enjoyed, ends. I am missing not only the characters, but mainly the world itself.
And, to my disappointment, there are no sufficient interesting opinions about this story, in this site...
Most of the people here seems to complain about excessive details and the lack of a plot... I almost understand the reasons for the first (but I don't agree at all, and I am NOT an expert of 19th century).. However, "lack of a plot" sounds almost offensive... To me, it's always the little details that make a good story, plus the capacity to "tie" these events in a clever and interesting manner... I just can't explain it, but I really believe that the word "plot" is just not good enough (there is no plot in "Crime & Punishment", for instance, but it is still one of the best books i've ever read).
And the end was not unsatisfatory at all. In fact, I confess that I kind of guessed what was all about in the first 300 pages, so the conclusion was not THAT surprising (there are many clues along the book, though - the word "iteration" being an obvious one). But it only prooves that it wasn't an "anti-climax"; since the begining, the book was destinated to end like that.
So, I give you this hint: if you are a typical sci-fi lover, like "straight" stories, with plain characters, not too much (non scientific) details and a good definition of who-they-are and where-they-need-to-go; just DON'T read this book... You probably already prefer Asimov to Gibson, so why keep trying...
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5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Großes Kino ohne Story, 16. Juli 2006
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
Von der Zusammenarbeit Gibson/Sterling war eigentlich mehr zu erwarten. Sie entwickeln in dieser Steam-Punk-Ausgeburt eine völlig abgefahrene Welt, ohne eine Geschichte zu erzählen.

Der Computer wurde im viktorianischen Zeitalter entwickelt, und deswegen geht die Welt schon 1850 so steil wie eigentlich erst seit Bill Gates. Diese Ausgangsposition ist gar nicht so unrealistisch, weil Charles Babbage tatsächlich kurz davor stand, eine funktionierende Rechenmaschine zu entwickeln. Jede Technik basiert auf Dampfmaschinen, zum Beispiel finden große Autorennen statt.

In Nebenanmerkungen entwickeln sie einige andere alternative Zeitstränge. Karl Marx macht Manhatten zu einer kommunistischen Kommune und Texas etabliert sich als eigenständiger Staat.

Genau diese Phantasien machen den Reiz des Buches aus. Man verliert sich in dieser Welt und ist überzeugt, dass es tatsächlich hätte so kommen können.

Doch wie so oft bei Gibson, verliert er sich im Aufbau seiner Welt und interessiert sich nicht für die Dramaturgie. Er lässt seine Protagonisten ziellos durch verschiedene Handlungsstränge stolpern, ohne auf ein Ziel hinzuarbeiten. Oft fragt man sich als Leser, was man an dieser Stelle verloren hat und ob ausser dem Rahmen überhaupt irgendetwas wichtig war an der gerade gelesenen Szene.

Wer Spass an diesem Buch haben will, sollte nebenbei die Wikikipedia oder die Enzyclopedia Brittanica am Start haben, denn der historische Zusammenhang und das tatsachliche Schicksal der Hauptfiguren bringt erst den Pfiff in die Lektüre dieses halb-gelungenen Romans.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen half and half, 2. September 2012
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
When ordering this book I was expecting a great novel and was disappointed about half-way through. No detailed story about the "engine", just half glimses and descriptions touching the subject.
The "being there" feeling was portrayed and delivered superbly, by good descriptive language and nice choice of vocabulary.
But be warned, only about half of the book (literaly that is) covers the "engines", the other half is more of a fictional history novel.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen What if Babbage had had more money?, 20. August 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
Books that tell alternate histories often rest on bigger differences than this one, but the consequences Sterling and Gibson postulate couldn't be more radical.

What if 19th century inventor Charles Babbage had had the means to complete his Analytical Engine, the first programmable analog computer? The consequences they imagine remind of the well known butterfly that causes a storm. That hurricane like unleashing of ideas was rightfully termed steampunk.

In a world where science has taken a leading place in politics, analog computing has evolved to unknown heights and still much of society has reamained so charmingly victorian, that's where this novel is set. And this setting is at the same time the story's greatest assett. As in its mother-genre cyberpunk the plot is quick and dirty and the characters are not quite as three dimensional as in your average more literary fiction, but hey, they don't have steam powered supercomputers made of gears, do they?!

So generally speaking, the ideas the authors come up with are staggering, the world they build is fascinating and the pacing is fast enough not to let you get bored. As long as you don't expect literary brilliance you probably won't be dissapointed.
The punk in steampunk is there for a reason, don't say I didn't warn you!
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Mechanical Computers and Humans, 21. Mai 2002
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Difference Engine (GollanczF.) (Taschenbuch)
The book tells an alternative history. It is set in the years 1850, but in this book, the world is affected by a developement of mechanical computers which in reality did not take place. Great Britain is leading the world into a steam-driven IT-revolution. In contrast to this background several very different characters are introduced who reflect the constant factors of human life: love, intrigue, adventure. The main plot is set in London, but swerves also to France ruled by Louis Napoleon and to Karl Marx` Commune in Manhattan (!).
The book is quite inventive as to the strange mixture of steam-driven informantion technology, but in my opinion becomes a little boring concerning the characters and their circumstances of life. This book could tell the same story with a lot less pages.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Creative but problematic, 1. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
The one thing that struck me the most about this book is that you have to know quite a bit in order to fully appreciate it.
You have to understand something of Victorian culture and technology; you have to understand the significant historic figures of the time; you have to understand the players in the industrial revolution and of the scientific community.
There are no explanations in this book - it is mostly assumed that you have this type of knowledge. If you do not have this knowledge, the meaning and depth of some events will be lost on you (which defeats part of the seeming purpose of the book) - and you will be even more confused as you are immersed in a fictional culture that is, to a point, supposed to already be a bit disorienting.
What this book does well is work as an anthropological treatise. It describes in great detail - one might say EXHAUSTING detail - the routine, day-to-day moments of life in a theoretical culture that could have been.
I was originally drawn to this book because the premise was intriguing: what if the computer revolution had intersected the historic time-line 100 years earlier than it did? As I have stated, this novel presents a plausible and intriguing vision of such an intersection.
Unfortunately, that's almost all it does. There is a purpose to it all - what could be described, in a more low sense, as a hook or "gotcha" at the end of it - but the 400 some odd pages leading up to it weren't an adequate justification for it, in my opinion.
While the ending wasn't intended as "a hook," the episodic, sometimes wandering nature of the main story-line weakened the conclusion's impact. Ultimately, it came across as being far too much labor to go through to arrive at, essentially, the ending of The Wizard of Oz.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Creative but problematic, 1. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
The one thing that struck me the most about this book is that you have to know quite a bit in order to fully appreciate it.
You have to understand something of Victorian culture and technology; you have to understand the significant historic figures of the time; you have to understand the players in the industrial revolution and of the scientific community.
There are no explanations in this book - it is mostly assumed that you have this type of knowledge. If you do not have this knowledge, the meaning and depth of some events will be lost on you (which defeats part of the seeming purpose of the book) - and you will be even more confused as you are immersed in a fictional culture that is, to a point, supposed to already be a bit disorienting.
What this book does well is work as an anthropological treatise. It describes in great detail - one might say EXHAUSTING detail - the routine, day-to-day moments of life in a theoretical culture that could have been.
I was originally drawn to this book because the premise was intriguing: what if the computer revolution had intersected the historic time-line 100 years earlier than it did? As I have stated, this novel presents a plausible and intriguing vision of such an intersection.
Unfortunately, that's almost all it does. There is a purpose to it all - what could be described, in a more low sense, as a hook or "gotcha" at the end of it - but the 400 some odd pages leading up to it weren't an adequate justification for it, in my opinion.
While the ending wasn't intended as "a hook," the episodic, sometimes wandering nature of the main story-line weakened the conclusion's impact. Ultimately, it came across as being far too much labor to go through to arrive at, essentially, the ending of The Wizard of Oz.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Good in concept, poor in execution, 26. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
Having just read this book over a period of a few days, I have to say that this was probably one of the most frustrating books I have ever read (I forced myself to read it through to the end).
From reading the amazon.com reviews of this book.. there seems to be two schools of thought about this book.. one that criticizes the book for its lack of plot and direction, and another that heaps praise upon it for its technical accuracy and cunning placement of notable historical figures.
I know it is never nice to be put in the "I just don't get it" camp.. but that appears to be the one I am in.. the narritive annoyingly jumped around from plot thread to plot thread, throwing in excerpts of unrelated drivel which confused me greatly. The story never went anywhere, and the resolution (if it could be called that) was certainly unsatisfactory for me.
Sure the setting was comprehenisvely researched and lovingly constructed, and I suppose could be classified as a good 'concept' book, but it fails as a book to tells an engaging story.
Don't get me wrong here, the few plot threads that were explored were well written.. it is just that the characters were pretty much dumped at differing points throughout the book.. and were never satisfactorily tied back into the story at any time. It felt like time wasted.
This book waffles.. Maybe it will improve with a second reading.. but I doubt if I have the stomach to tolerate it.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen annoying, 7. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
Despite having a great idea for a story, the characters and lame attempts at 19th century slang made this book unreadable. I couldn't get past page 50.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen well drawn, but too clever by half, 15. Februar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) (Taschenbuch)
An alternate future past of 19th century England is thorough and believable. The intricacies of plot trip over themselves trying to be cryptic though and ultimately it wasn't a very satisfying read. Many plot lines and alternate histories are supposed to converge, but I really don't think that they do. Imagine the deliberate muddiness of Pynchon but with neither the underlying purpose or humor. Despite liking Gibson's other (admittedly opaque) work, if I had it to do over again I wouldn't have read this book.
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The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions)
The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions) von William Gibson (Taschenbuch - 1. Januar 1992)
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