November 14th, 2005

agent

Becca and book

Quick Becca-update:

1) Her hair has been chopped off. It's cute.
2) Last week, while parked outside, her car got hit by a stupid old lady in a stupid-old-lady-mobile. Quoth stupid-old-lady, "I just had cataract surgery and didn't see your car."
3) She has new parfum. It smells of lemon and sambac, which (if I'm not mistaken(*)) is the giant ant-lion pit-monster from Return of the Jedi. Who knew they smelled so good?

I finally, after weeks of agonizing reading, finished Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver. It's really long and boring. I believe Stephenson is only capable of about 200 pages of entertainment per book. Thus, the Big U is entertaining from beginning to end. Snow Crash is mostly entertaining. The Diamond Age is half-entertaining. Cryptonomicon is maybe 20% entertaining. And the Baroque Cycle (of which Quicksilver is Volume one of three) will ultimately be about 7% entertaining.
I remember wondering whether the many typographical errors in Cryptonomicon somehow encoded a secret message. Quicksilver doesn't suffer from as many errors, but I think this time I'm on to something. On two pages, both very near the end of the book, there are doubled words. "about about" and "time time". By the time I finished the book, I certainly felt that it was about time, too.
After finishing it, I figured I'd stay in the time period and milieu, so I started reading a biography of Robert Hooke, who appears as a very minor character in Quicksilver. Poor Hooke is mostly remembered now for Hooke's Law and for pissing off Isaac Newton almost as much as Leibniz did. Already, the biography is more interesting than Quicksilver.

(*) Of course I am not mistaken. I know full well the difference between sambac and the Sarlacc.