River of Gods

As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout And so is Aj the waif, the mind reader, the prophet when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decAs Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout And so is Aj the waif, the mind reader, the prophet when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and cultures one and a half billion people, twelve semi independent nations, nine million gods Ian McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.
River of Gods As Mother India approaches her centenary nine people are going about their business a gangster a cop his wife a politician a stand up comic a set designer a journalist a scientist and a dropo

  • Title: River of Gods
  • Author: Ian McDonald
  • ISBN: 9781591024361
  • Page: 361
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “River of Gods”

    1. Rating: 5* of fiveThe Publisher Says: As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business—a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is—the waif, the mind reader, the prophet—when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with pe [...]

    2. I liked this more than Necroville which I liked a lot and which served as measuring stick for this book since old McDonald's writing style makes it hard to compare it to anything else.Like in Necroville we again have near future setting, far enough to fully implement lot of new technology and near enough not to let go of old ways yet. India is atypical setting for sci-fi and with McDonald's unusual brand of writing creates experience with strong and unusual flavor.It's colorful setting where tra [...]

    3. Plenty of bang for the buck, but it takes some bucks of effort to keep up with all the balls being juggled here. The nut theory of art applies here: that getting more out of a creation takes more effort. So despite having to set it aside for several months, I still give a top rating.The time is 2047 (40 years from the book’s writing in 2007), and the setting is Varanasi, an ancient and holy city on the Ganges in north-central India. The intertwining voices of eleven main characters weave the t [...]

    4. 6.0 stars. A staggering, literary achievement. McDonald is a superb author and this may be his best book ever. I was absolutely blown away by the original, well-thought ideas crammed into this book. Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction Novel (2005) Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (2005)Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (2005)Winner: British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel (2005)

    5. Drawing on 60’s New Wave SF(especially Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar), Cyberpunk, and the mainstream novel, McDonald pulls off this incredibly ambitious novel. A near future India broken into different countries and three sexes(a new pronoun is used) which the reader gets immersed in through nine intertwining character lines. This is a future that lives and breathes and is incredibly convincing, and even though the technology is quite interesting(including a frightening look at cybernetic warfar [...]

    6. You know you're probably not going to write a rave when you find yourself skimming hundreds of pages at a time to reach parts of the book that matter to the plot.Four things really bothered me about River of Gods, Ian MacDonald's latest about how humans will react when they create beings greater than themselves (i.e AIs). In no particular order:1. I'm not a Puritan - sex? profanity? violence? I can deal with it if it's part of the plot or character but outside of romance novels or explicitly por [...]

    7. I respect what Ian was trying to do with this novel, I really do, but his ambition, I think, exceeded the execution to the point of muddling ambiguity. Mr. MacDonald's a wordsmith, there's not doubt about it, and some of his descriptions are small morsels of pure prose desert. He is truly a master of the language and plays with it beautifully. The issue, however, is that one will read pages, perhaps a chapter, and realize how very little actually occurred in the scene and how little it contribut [...]

    8. The one set in a near-future India, where a non-natural object is found in the asteroid belt which is older than the solar system and contains pictures of three humans currently alive. Leadership and scientific struggles at the nation's largest power company; a religious revolt; a Muslim government minister brought down by his passion for an artificial third gender called nutes; AIs thousands of times more intelligent than humans, outlawed and hunted down by a police branch called Krishna Cops.I [...]

    9. When you pick this up and hold the hard cover in your hands, its heft is a little intimidating. When you put it down 597 pages later, you’ll wonder how he managed to keep it so focused, how he kept it from wandering all over the place. Not that it doesn’t have a tremendous scope (borders on “epic” but I feel I must reserve that adjective for a space opera review) but McDonald keeps it moving at an aggressive pace. Every back alley detour and out-of-town foray is very deliberate and very [...]

    10. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)As I've mentioned here several times before, there are many of us science-fiction fans who believe that the industry has entered a whole new "age" in the last ten years, one major enough to be compared to the four eras that came before it (to be specific, the historic "Golden Age" of the 1930s and '40s; [...]

    11. A kitchen sink novel of catastrophe, salacious sex, and gritty businessisms buoyed together amidst a well-executed cohesion of theme, culture, and linguistic rhythms. McDonald throws it all in: AI, multiverse theory, Urban Combat Robots, media obsession, third gender and does it with style and purpose. A world where gods and data collide.

    12. on reading the synopsis i really wanted this to be something akin to The Windup Girl but what i got was more of an anthropological study mixed with a dull political intrigue thriller. the science fiction aspect was minimal but the major plus is the realistic depiction of a near future society, one that could quite easily happen within the timeframe set out.i wanted something excellent and i got something simply ok that was actually a chore to finish. i'm left with a disappointment in a novel for [...]

    13. A unique science fiction tale of India at its centenary told through the inter-locking tales of nine extremely different characters. There is Mr. Nandha,the Krishna cop tasked with exterminating artificial intelligences (or aeais as the book terms them) who break beyond their programming restrictions to a higher threshold of intelligence. There is Shiv, a gangster fallen on hard times forced to work for genetically-engineered titans. There is Tal, a nute (or neutral-gendered person) drawn into i [...]

    14. Aahh. It doesn't get much better than this. The bad news is that the novel is over. The good news is that I still have a collection of short stories set in the same fictional universe, "Cyberabad Days".

    15. This book is much like the country it takes place in. You get off the plane, go through immigration where notions of standing or cuing in line are meaningless. People always cut in front of you or that family of 20 is holding place for the other 20 that are coming. You get your luggage and have to fight the man who is trying to help you,meaning he is going to grab your suitcases, put them on a cart and try to take you to his taxi,hotel or whatever other service he may be in cahoots with. It is n [...]

    16. Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig()Ultimately, the story of this book could have taken place anywhere, and India mainly serves as a metaphor for the complexity of our planet and our species. It also makes for a colorful backdrop, and the Indian pantheon allows easy links with software avatars. All that doesn’t take away the feeling I have that the reason McDonald chose India as the story’s setting has more to do with the stereotypical images we Westerners tend to have of India: e [...]

    17. I doubt it's intentional, but Ian McDonald seems to be translating the great treasures of magical realism into scifi, and doing it masterfully. Where Desolation Road reads rather like One Hundred Years of Solitude set on Mars, River of Gods feels like someone gave Salman Rushdie a time machine so he could rewrite Midnight's Children a hundred years later. The result is something completely new, and breathtakingly imaginative and ambitious. The plot reads like magical realism, but McDonald has ap [...]

    18. This is one substantial story - both in sheer mass of the book, and in the plot itself. McDonald tells the story of India, 50 years into the future. I find his speculation on what may happen to India is believable, and his spec fic elements are plausible. The culture of India seems particularly suited to McDonald's storytelling style - he brings together all of his plots coherently, finding a certain underlying theme to the chaotic and disparate subplots he's working with.The tale is voyeuristic [...]

    19. Le sobran metros de papel. Muchos.Le falta profundizar más obre los personajes principales y quizás le sobren algunos secundarios.Como siempre con McDonald la primera mitad del libro es pura creación de escenarios, el tercer cuarto para dar una idea de lo que quiere contar y el resto es un carrera desenfrenada hacia el abismo.

    20. I read about this book in a study of postcolonial science fiction, and was motivated to want to read it. It's vast and sprawling in a way that enables it to do justice to its subject. The setting is Bharat, a portion of what once was India, in 2047; Bharat is at war with one of the other former-Indian countries, sectarian violence continues, there is a long-term drought emergency, and meanwhile a flourishing entertainment industry. Most importantly are the aeai, the sentient artificial intellige [...]

    21. Ambiguous.That's the best way to describe how I felt on finishing this book. Obviously, I enjoyed it for the most part, otherwise why would I give it four stars? That said, the last section was a letdown.Why?(1) It felt overly hasty, like the strands of plot were all drawn together too quickly given the pace and depth with which the book was building.(2) It felt overly hasty, part II. Was it just me, or did there seem to be an inordinate amount of "draft relics" in the later stages? The differen [...]

    22. I had great difficulties reading the first half of the book because I mainly read it on the tram, on my way to and from work. And this isn't a kind of book you just read for 20 minutes a day. Too much stuff going on you just know it's going to be relevant later. I finished reading it on my vacation when I couldn't put it down. Everything came together in most interesting and delightful way, taking me by surprise. Masterful storytelling and a story beyond ages and universes, combining tradition a [...]

    23. Interesting concepts, but dramatically overwritten and hard to follow because he's colored his prose a deep purple. See what I did there? I totally used a silly turn of phrase to make a simple statement more confusing. Gosh I'm so clever. That's kind of how his writing style feels.

    24. As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business In the next few weeks they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation. Intriguing concept and the first chapter was compelling. I recently heard about Ian McDonald with high praise for New Moon series. Saw this in my library and a science fiction novel set in India seemed like a good read. Especially for Asian Heritage month. Unfortunately this novel was not for me. And honestly I should have dn [...]

    25. Od dawna nie miałem takiego problemu z oceną książki jak przy tym, pierwszym zresztą, spotkaniu z Ian'em McDonald'em. Osadzenie akcji w Indiach nie byłoby prawdopodobnie niczym niezwykłym, gdyby nie mnóstwo zapożyczeń z hinduskiego i wyjątkowo precyzyjne budowanie tła powieści. Do tego autor zadbał o bogate przedstawienie historii wielu postaci, które na początku zupełnie niezależne, po jakimś czasie zaczynają się coraz bardziej przenikać. Osiągnięcia myśli ludzkiej doty [...]

    26. India is a river, constantly moving, changing, bewildering, giver of life and taker of life. It is most likely that a westerner or non-Indian Asian, perhaps even Indians themselves, cannot truly comprehend the depths of India. In the West, we regard Mesopotamia as the cradle of civilization, but that is western civilization. In Mesopotamia, we learned how to stand still. We stopped roaming around gathering food and started planting and reaping. India contemplated the mind and spirit and grew the [...]

    27. First, a warning: There is a goddamn glossary in the back of this book. I did not realize this until I was about 300 pages in. A lot of the Hindi words became clear through contextual clues, but some stuff I still am not sure about. I didn't bother to consult it (once I learned of its existence) because I was more than happy to just let the atmosphere wash over me and try to absorb meaning as I went.Anyway, this is a hell of a book.It's an absurdly rich portrait of India in the year 2050. The pr [...]

    28. It's one of these things that make you pause and think is it right if a man writes from a woman's perspective? If a perfectly healthy man acts as a disabled man in a movie? If a farang writes intimately about a country in which he doesn't live?These questions are moot, because this book is so well done it doesn't matter if you've been to India or not. If it isn't authentic (if feels like it!) then it's an alternate world. As books always are. We view a slice of time in 2047 India through many di [...]

    29. Wizja niedalekiej przyszłości, wspaniale nakreślona, oparta na kanwie dopracowanej, wciągającej i obfitującej w niezwykłe zwroty akcji fabuły. Idealnym dopełnieniem tej doskonale zaplanowanej opowieści o świecie, w którym sztuczne inteligencje stawiają swoje pierwsze i kolejne kroki ku autonomii, są nietuzinkowe postaci, które przeżywają swe małe prywatne dramaty, walczą ze słabościami, kochają i cierpią - pierwiastek ludzki ma niebanalne znaczenie w "Rzece bogów". Wszyst [...]

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