Monday, July 17, 2006

Zodiac by Neil Stephenson

Zodiac is a very fun eco-thriller about hazardous industrial waste and an environmental action group that exposes polluting companies.

The lead character is Sangamon Taylor, an improbable anti-hero who inhales nitrous oxide for kicks and rides around Boston Harbor on a 40-horsepower Zodiac raft, scouting for toxic sludge and other evidence of pollution.

Richly set in Boston, the novel is a great ride in the tradition of a fast-paced thriller. Beyond that, it is also funny, with humorous dialogue and unconventional characters. Finally, beneath the action and the humor, the text makes its point, about the all-too-conceivable dangers of unchecked industrial pollution.

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