The Big U by Neal Stephenson

I know this is a sexist statement, but here it is–The Big U is a guy’s book.  Set in the early 80s, the novel is a wacky, apocalyptic send-up of university life.  No one is spared–students, janitors, administrators, faculty–all are skewered in the uproar as stupid pranks escalate to terrorism.  A few characters are memorable–level-headed Sarah, a charming geek named Casimir Radon, and a mad organist called Pertinax.  But these people are submerged beneath the fantastically overdone technical details of the Dungeons and Dragons style plot. Brilliant writing, but it wore me out.

Reviewed by Hopalong


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