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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Third-person sections in RttW
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 08:23:44 

On Tue, 10 Apr 2001, William Ansley wrote:

> By the way, no matter how much anyone reading this appreciates and 
> admires the BotSS, I don't think anyone will deny that the elaborate 
> structure Wolfe uses in these books makes finding a specific passage 
> a royal pain in the ... neck.

The worst novel I've ever read in that respect is Cryptonomicon by Neil
Stephenson.  It jumps back and forth between two timelines and the the two
timelines jump around from various perspectives and are very episodic, so
even after you've just read it, when you're looking for a specific passage
it's almost impossible to figure out if it is before or after the passage
you've opened the book to.  One of the few books I absolutely needed a
bookmark for when I was reading it.


(I found Cryptonomicon hilarious and highly entertaining, btw.  The
story's not much, but the writing is so much fun I didn't care--forget the
story, give me more digressions on organ-pipe computers or mathematical
models for divvying up inheritance!)

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