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Brasyl by Ian McDonald : Quantum Physic in Brazil with a lot of great writing


How does Ian McDonald do it. He delighted me with River of Gods. He surprised me with Cyberabad Days and Brasyl is an absolute beauty.
There are three parallel stories all set in different times in Brazil. The one I liked most is set in the 17th century and is about a prise Luiss Quinn(that I remember after two weeks ought to speak for the book). The sword fights are the equal to anything that Alexandre Dumas does in Three Musketeers and the writing is fantastic. I also learnt a lot of strange facts about a lot of strange things including the origin of computing.
The second arc is set in the present and concerns itself with a reporter on the hunt of disgraced Goalkeeper who lost Brazil the fateful final against Uruguay. This probably has the best description of a football match that I have ever read. (Admittedly I haven't read many but its hard to see how it can get better than this).
The third strand is set in the future and I found it to be the most confusing. Quantum technology has reached the street and is with any technology that is made available, strange and unconventional uses are found all the time. Admittedly I didn't enjoy this strand as much.
As with Ian McDonald and like in River of Gods it all connects in the end thanks to the many worlds interpretation of Quantum Physics. McDonald is a wonderfully gifted writer and the prose is clipped and of all the authors I read I think I read McDonald the fastest. I would still rate River of Gods higher than Brasyl though.

You can buy Brasyl here.

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