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Brasyl   by Ian McDonald

Read: 2009-04-17 Reviewed: 2009-11-25
Re-read factor:

Incredibly over-eclectic mix of hard science and psychedelic flowery writing, over-permeated with Portuguese phrases. To be fair the Portuguese does distract an awful lot from the story, and in places the writing is just chaotic and confused.

Basically a story about a cross-parallel universes police force, told from the vantage of three characters at different times during the evolution of Brazil the country. The author takes the opportunity to allow some of the characters to meet across the universes, but this does not make a difference to the stories being told. The characters are a bunch of underground quantum computer hackers in the future, a television producer of today, and, most interestingly, a Jesuit priest three hundred years in the past. All three stories are complex, involve the main character being replaced or shadowed by a version of themselves from a different universe, and end with some spectacular action sequence. But the stories are also completely different, and it is only through the resolution of one story that another makes sense. The whole book falls together wonderfully well and in the end does leave you feeling like you've had thrice the benefit normally obtained from reading one book.

This is one I might very well read through again, just to make sure I understand everything.

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