Zodiac, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Two centuries after the Boston Tea Party, harbour dumping is still a favourite local sport, only this time it's major corporations piping toxic wastes into the water.

Environmentalist and professional pain in the ass Sangaman Taylor is Boston's modern-day Paul Revere, spreading the word from a 40-horsepower Zodiac raft.

Embarrassing powerful corporations in highly telegenic ways is the perfect method of making enemies, and Taylor has a collection that would do any rabble-rouser proud.

After his latest exploit, he's wanted by the FBI, possibly by the Mafia, and definitely by a group of Satanist angel-dust heads who think he's looking for a PCP factory, not PCB contamination.

Pretty soon dodging bullets is the least of Taylor's problems - because somewhere out there are an unhinged genetic engineer and a lab-concocted bacterium that could destroy all ocean life and that's just for appetizers.

Frightening, funny, fast and furious, "Zodiac" is thrilling speculative fiction torn straight from today's headlines.



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I did not finish this book, and I'd advise you not to bother starting it. Stephenson has become a good writer, but he did not start off that way.

Review by

This is different from the other Stephenson books I've read, but is an enjoyable read nonetheless. I particularly liked the way it blends the tropes of the usual noir-type thriller with environmental 'direct-action' (eco-terrorism to some): an eco-crime is being committed - the question is not just by whom, but also how (don't worry if you are not a science-buff - the chemistry lessons are short and well-explained for the layman).If it has less breadth and a more straightforward premise than Stephenson's later books, Zodiac is more focused, with the plot zipping along at a fair clip (particularly in the second half where it really builds up speed) and holding together well as a story (unlike say The Diamond Age which suffered from some strange narrative transitions). Flashes of Stephenson's trademark wit make the story all the more enjoyable to read. As long as one doesn't go in expecting another epic like Cryptonomicon, or the sci-fi spectacle of Snow Crash, one can enjoy it for what it is - a witty, fast-paced eco-thriller.As an aside, the edition I have published by Arrow Books (2001) is choc full of typos and spelling mistakes which was rather irritating. It really should have been better proof-read.

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