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It has swords in it.

Ser­gio de la Pa­va is Neal Stephen­son with law and bull­shit in­stead of com­put­ers and sword­s.

—Rober­to Alsi­na

But there are al­so swords in A Naked Sin­gu­lar­i­ty!

—Le­vi Stahl

A while ago I fin­ished read­ing "A naked sin­gu­lar­i­ty" by Ser­gio de la Pa­va.

If you have not read it, stop read­ing this now, take a week off and read it first. You may love me for telling you that, or you may hate me with the in­ten­si­ty of a thou­sand sun­s, but I doubt you will find it in you to say "me­h" af­ter you do.

I will try not to go in­to plot de­tail­s, even though it's per­haps im­pos­si­ble to spoil this book. If I told you how it end­s, it would not make any dif­fer­ence. If I told you about the chim­p, or about the Ca­sio Carousel, it may not mat­ter. Or maybe it was a mon­key, and the Carousel is done by Sony. Which it is, in the book. By Sony, not a mon­key. I think.

Re­mem­ber that kid in school that could tell the best jokes, and he did those fun­ny voic­es? De la Pa­va writes in fun­ny voic­es. And he breaks your heart with fun­ny voic­es. His book does­n't me­an­der, it goes straight and quick, de­ter­mined and in a hur­ry right out to the mid­dle of nowhere, then keeps go­ing, goes of­froad, keeps go­ing, runs through a few wall­s, and comes back here, by just go­ing and go­ing. It has a mo­tor, it has a rock­et en­gine, it nev­er blinks.

This book is os­ten­si­bly about a lawyer stray­ing his path. It's prob­a­bly writ­ten about some­thing else. I have this strange feel­ing that most char­ac­ters are imag­i­nary, even though they talk and feel very re­al to me, who am writ­ing this and thus am sup­posed to be more re­al than they are. It's hal­lu­ci­na­to­ry grit­ty re­al­is­m. It's po­et­ic and tech­ni­cal. It's bull­shit as an art for­m.

Which is, re­al­ly, what at­tract­ed me to it. The di­alog, the mono­logues, are to reg­u­lar bull­shit like fine din­ners are to hot dogs. Ser­gio de la Pa­va may be the finest bull­shit-­giv­er in this blue plan­et of ours (take it from one dab­bler in the art), and we are all lucky to have him writ­ing.

UP­DATE: How could I for­get to men­tion that this book, this nov­el, has some of the best box writ­ing since Mail­er? It's an in­cred­i­ble feat, and I just for­got about it be­cause there is so much stuff in it.

And yes, it has swords in it.

Pablo2M / 2012-06-08 17:42:

¿Es largo? he leido algunos libros de stephenson (criptonomicon, anatema, snow crash) y me han gustado pero me acobarda el largo. Extraño a los escritores de antes como John Wyndham (por decir uno que vengo leyendo mucho ultimamente), esos tipos solian contar grandes historias y sin hacer libros larguisimos (y eso que algunos arrancaron sus carreras cobrando por palabras...)

Roberto Alsina / 2012-06-08 17:46:

Es re largo: 689 páginas.