Summary and book reviews of Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldan

Turing's Delirium

by Edmundo Paz Soldan

Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldan X
Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldan
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2006, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2007, 304 pages

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Book Summary

In this thriller set loosely in contemporary Bolivia, cyberpunks become virtual terrorists as they try and incent revolution against a democratically-elected former dictator.

Set against the backdrop of the globalization crisis, Edmundo Paz Soldán’s latest novel is a modern chapter in the age-old fight between oppressed and oppressor.

The town of Río Fugitivo is on the verge of a social revolution—not a revolution of strikes and street riots but a war waged electronically, where computer viruses are the weapons and hackers the revolutionaries.

In this war of information, the lives of a variety of characters become entangled: Kandinsky, the mythic leader of a group of hackers fighting the government and transnational companies; Albert, the founder of Black Chamber, a state security firm charged with deciphering the secret codes used in the information war; and Miguel Sáenz, Black Chamber’s most famous codebreaker, who begins to suspect that his work is not as innocent as he once supposed. All converge to create an edgy, fast-paced story about personal responsibility and complicity in a world defined by the ever-increasing gulfs between the global and the local, government and society, the virtual and the real.

Excerpt
Turing's Dilirium

As soon as you turn your back on the uncertain sunrise and enter your office building, you cease to be Miguel Sáenz, the civil servant discernible behind the wrinkled gray suit, round, wire-rimmed glasses, and fearful gaze, and become Turing, decipherer of secrets, relentless pursuer of encoded messages, the pride of the Black Chamber.

You insert your electronic ID card into a slot. You are prompted for your password and type ruth1. The metal door opens and the world you unknowingly dreamed of as a child awaits you. Slowly, with measured steps, you enter a vaulted glass enclosure. Two policemen greet you formally. They see the color of your card — green, meaning Beyond Top Secret — without looking at it. It was all so much easier during Albert’s time, when there were only two colors, yellow (Secret) and green. Then that smug Ramírez-Graham arrived (you had once called him “Mr. Ramírez” and he ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The first few chapters are a little slow because the novel is told from the perspective of seven different characters in three different persons - first, third, and the slightly awkward second - which takes a bit of getting to grips with, but once the groundwork is laid the plot moves at a fair clip, offering many reasons to keep reading, not least of which is the opportunity to experience a different side of Bolivia from what most of us imagine - suffice to say, it ain't all ponchos and alpaca!..continued

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Media Reviews

New York Times
The story...is supple and not without potential....The trouble is that the whole scheme feels like a blur of downloaded ideas, or even gestures.

Miami Herald
...Turing's Delirium is a diverting entertainment for people who like some ideas to go with their bang-bangs.

San Francisco Chronicle
...Turing's Delirium combines the excitement of a political thriller with the intellectual ambition of a literary novel of ideas....[A]n exciting and rewarding techno-thriller.

Kirkus Reviews
The clean, uncomplicated prose and intricately mapped minds of its many players should satisfy readers of the low and high alike. An adventure with realpolitiks at its center.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. An engrossing depiction both of his nation's 20th-century political history and of the 21st century's confrontation with accelerating global hegemony and the conundrum ... of virtual terror attacks.

Library Journal
Paz Soldan has packed this thriller with popular culture and the latest technological gadgets, its cybercrime theme as current as today's headlines.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Republic of Bolivia

The Republic of Bolivia is a mountainous landlocked country that boasts the highest capital city in the world at 4km above sea level.  It is bordered by Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Paraguay.  It's population of about 9 million people enjoy three official languages - Spanish, Quechua and Aymara.  It's per capita GDP is less than $3,000 per year (versus $42,000 for the USA) with almost two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line. In 2005 there were about 16,000 internet hosts in the country and 350,000 users. 

Named after independence fighter Simon Bolivar, Bolivia broke away from about 300 years of Spanish rule in 1825 (having been under Inca rule for at least 100 years before that); and since ...

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