Zodiac

Zodiac

4.5 41
by Neal Stephenson
     
 

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Zodiac, the brilliant second novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the The Baroque Cycle and Snow Crash, is now available from Grove Press. Meet Sangamon Taylor, a New Age Sam Spade who sports a wet suit instead of a trench coat and prefers Jolt from the can to Scotch on the rocks. He knows about chemical sludge the way he

Overview

Zodiac, the brilliant second novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the The Baroque Cycle and Snow Crash, is now available from Grove Press. Meet Sangamon Taylor, a New Age Sam Spade who sports a wet suit instead of a trench coat and prefers Jolt from the can to Scotch on the rocks. He knows about chemical sludge the way he knows about evil—all too intimately. And the toxic trail he follows leads to some high and foul places. Before long Taylor’s house is bombed, his every move followed, he’s adopted by reservation Indians, moves onto the FBI’s most wanted list, makes up with his girlfriend, and plays a starring role in the near-assassination of a presidential candidate. Closing the case with the aid of his burnout roommate, his tofu-eating comrades, three major networks, and a range of unconventional weaponry, Sangamon Taylor pulls off the most startling caper in Boston Harbor since the Tea Party.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stephenson's (The Big U) improbable hero is Sangamon Taylor, a high-tech jack-of-all-trades who inhales nitrous oxide for kicks and scouts environmental hazards for GEE, the Group of Environmental Extremists. Taylor particularly wants to nab the polluters of Boston Harbor, whose toxic sludge he monitors by zipping from illegal pipeline to illegal pipeline in his inflatable Zodiac raft. His work is slow-going and boring until the concentration of deadly PCBs rises inexplicably and then mysteriously drops to nothing. And then the ``eco-thriller'' begins: the bad guys are everywhere as Taylor ferrets out the connections between his bizarre landlord, a nerdy friend from college who's at work on a top-secret genetic-engineering project for a high-tech company, an industrialist-turned-Presidential-candidate and the crazed fans of Poyzen Boyzen, a heavy-metal band. In creating this all-too-conceivable story of industry and science running amok, Stephenson puts his technological knowledge elegantly to use, but never lets gadgets and gizmos take over the story. The characters are entertaining, if broadly drawn, and the rip-roaring conclusion will make a dandy denouement in the movie rendition. Film rights to Warner Brothers. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802143150
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
08/10/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
179,043
Product dimensions:
12.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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Zodiac 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Zeuxidamas More than 1 year ago
Zodiac is a solid effort. While, for me, it will never rank up there with any of the Ender's Game books or anything by Stephen R. Donaldson or Frank Herbert, I was entertained. I do not know or understand a lot about the plight of our planet, so this short excursion into an understanding of toxic threats (from a chemical science perspective; not from a political one) was new material for me. Somewhat educational, or at least awakening, the backdrop of action probably allowed me to absorb it a little more readily. The climax is a page-turner, I just wish it had been more-so throughout the entire book. It is a quick read and not too heavy. It is a great book for a rainy-day (as some speed-readers could likely finish it in a day or two), and a decent break from the heavier stuff for anyone who is usually a history, business, or other non-fiction reader. I will likely not avoid more Stephenson books, but I will not necessarily be seeking them out. Like your first motorcycle, I will remember the book fondly, while also looking forward to moving on to better things.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After a somewhat rough start, Stephenson straps you in for a full speed ride in his Zodiac. Recommended reading for all who are interested in the varagices of chemical and hazardous waste and it impacts. Stephenson builds this thriller using archtypical charachters in a way that is both amusing and informative. The hidden practices of both his enviornmental group and the chemical companies are truly hysterical. He uses abstract philosphies and science in equal measure to yield a page turning read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of his more focused stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephenson at his best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Can i join? I turn into a boar when im mad." Says a brown shecat with white stripes on her cheeks." Im also looking for a faithful and kind mate. He has to transform too though."
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