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Download Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing, by Neal Stephenson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (435 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Neal Stephenson Narrator: Jeff Cummings Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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One of the most talented and creative authors working today, Neal Stephenson is renowned for his exceptional novels: works colossal in vision and mind-boggling in complexity. Exploring and blending a wide range of topics—including technology, economics, history, science, pop culture, and philosophy—his books are the products of a keen and adventurous intellect. Not surprisingly, Stephenson is regularly asked to contribute articles, lectures, and essays to numerous outlets, from major newspapers and cutting-edge magazines to college symposia. This remarkable collection brings together previously published short writings, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as a new essay and an extremely short story created specifically for this volume.

Stephenson ponders a wealth of subjects, from movies and politics to David Foster Wallace and the Midwestern American College Town; video games to classics-based science fiction; how geekdom has become cool and how science fiction has become mainstream (whether people admit it or not); the future of publishing and the origins of his novels. Playful and provocative, Some Remarks displays Stephenson’s opinions and ideas on:

– The Internet, our dwindling national attention span, and the cultural importance of books and bookishness
– Waco, religion, and the cluelessness of secular society
– Metaphysics and the battle between Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
– The laying of the longest wire on Earth—and why it matters to you
– Technology, freedom, commerce, and the Chinese
– How Star Wars and 300 mirror who we are today and what that spells for our future
– Modern Jedi knights, a.k.a. scientists and technologists, and why they are admired and feared by both the left and the right

By turns amusing and profound, critical and celebratory, yet always entertaining, Some Remarks offers a fascinating look into the prismatic mind of this extraordinary writer.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sometimes when you’re reading Neal Stephenson, he doesn’t just seem like one of the best novelists writing in English right now; he seems like the only one.”

    Lev Grossman, Time 

  • “There’s an intellectual pill buried deep in Mr. Stephenson’s narrative candy, one powerful enough that he deserves to be classified as a major national and international resource.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “The collection’s range and the author’s lively voice keep it entertaining…Stephenson fans will surely find much to enjoy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A must-read for Stephenson’s fans, of course, but also for readers who enjoy thought-provoking, entertaining, and (occasionally) just plain out-there nonfiction.”


  • “Includes the text of a speech at Gresham College, a revealing interview with Salon, and a massively long but massively interesting piece of investigative journalism for Wired, which deals with the history, technology, and logistics of the submarine cable industry. [Stephenson] traveled across the world—and back in time—to explain in ways surely comprehensible to most readers how all of this started, how it works, and what it costs…The historical significance of his work is sizeable. Readers will emerge from that labyrinthine piece with a more comprehensive understanding of how the Internet works, how information gets from here to there and back again…[An] engaging assortment from a talented literary mind.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2013 Locus Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by A.J. | 2/7/2014

    " A bit of a mixed bag. The FLAG chapter was far too technical to be interesting, although there were parts of it that I enjoyed. I liked the characterisation of life in a MACT and thought the essay on being a bad correspondent might just have effectively been titled 'Why I'm a good writer'. But there was an awful lot of geekiness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bill | 1/5/2014

    " What would Neal Stephenson write that I wouldn't want to read? I don't know...haven't found that unicorn yet. But WHY do I want to read whatever he cares to write about? This lovely little collection of essays helps to explain why. Stephenson is interested in complicated problems, and respectful of the competence that solves those problems, whether it's the competence of the mad geniuses who (separately) invent the calculus or the competence of the manual laborer who knows how to dig the ditch PROPERLY so it doesn't flood with the first rainfall. He writes about such things with enthusiasm, absolutely confident that you, reader, will also be captivated by such things. And he's absolutely correct. The highlight of this collection is "Mother Earth, Mother Board", about the laying of transoceanic cable, although really I liked just about everything here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeff Anderson | 12/25/2013

    " In the ultimate essay of Some Remarks Neal Stephenson says the time he might spend answering e-mails could be better spent writing fiction. In my opinion the time spent compiling this volume would have been better spent writing fiction as well. With that bit of snark behind me I can also say I enjoyed reading this for the most part. The central and longest of the essays on laying cable did go on a bit though. Overall it is a fun read and Stephenson has some pretty good ideas to throw out along the way. The two pieces of short fiction are a mixed bag with "Spew"(originally titled "Hacking the Spew" I believe) superior in all respects to "The Great Simolean Caper" which read a bit too pedestrian for a Stephenson piece. I would definitely say the fan has the much better chance of enjoying these pieces than the casual reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Charlie Huenemann | 12/4/2013

    " If you are already a NS fan, you will probably like about half of this book. He's at his best when he's reflecting further on some themes that have come up in his novels - like working while walking on treadmills, the metaphysics of Leibniz, the technologically-induced ADD of society, and so on. The earlier pieces are included only for the creepy NS stalkers who are hoarding everything he's written. I don't think he really had enough built-up material to justify this collection, but, as I said, there are some interesting pieces. Borrow it if you can. "

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