Reading The Quantum Thief

Posted on June 7, 2011 | 3 minute read

I don’t usually blog about books until after I’ve finished reading them, but I can’t help myself - I’m reading The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi.

It took me a couple of pages to grasp exactly what I was reading when I started The Quantum Thief. I was completely baffled, thrown into a world with weird references that were never actually explained - the only way you could figure out what the crap is going on was to gauge the meaning of different terms based on what context they were being used in. Eventually I was able to grasp what the heck was happening as Jean le Flabeur is broken out of a virtual prison where he’s forced to play games against himself (and other prisoners?) over and over again. He gets busted out by the beautiful Mieli and told that he has to steal something. Ok. Got it. This is getting good!

But then the next chapter comes and everything is thrown into disarray once more. We are now on one of the floating (or walking…?) cities of Mars, in the middle of a murder mystery…a chocolatier is murdered and the detective Isidore Beautrelet is charged by some important person called The Gentleman to solve the case. Only by the end did I kind of start to understand what was happening and how Isidore solved the murder…what I still don’t really “get” is what the bodies are made of. The chocolatier’s body was found in his factory - dead. And yet, the Resurrection Men are trying to bring him back in what I understood to be a different body (although they’re having trouble with that). What are these new bodies made of - is it like cloning or are they built out of mechanical parts? What am I not getting here?

I’m getting the core of the storyline, but am still being thrown by the jargon. I’m so glad that I found some glossary resources for the book online (including a Wikipedia page) - that’s already cleared up some of the confusion for me.

Despite still being a bit lost, I’m enjoying the book and am already feeling that exciting anticipation of knowing that a good heist story is unravelling.

Are you reading (or planning to read) The Quantum Thief?

I’ve just started and am only on the third chapter. If you were planning to read The Quantum Thief, it might be fun to do it at the same time and then share reviews/thoughts/discuss/whatever (a virtual book club?). Anyways, please avoid spoilers in the comments if you’ve read it already :)




Categories:literature
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