REVIEW: "Siberian Light", Robin White
- BKSIBLIG.RVW 20001012
"Siberian Light", Robin White, 1997, 0-440-22460-8
%A Robin White
%C 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
%I Bantam Books/Doubleday/Dell/Island
%O 800-323-9872 212-765-6500 http://www.bdd.com webmaster@...
%P 518 p.
%T "Siberian Light"
Remember all the mysteries that have the hero/protagonist pretending
to leave "the information" with a lawyer/friend/newspaper in order to
be safe for the big denouement? I've always felt that it would be a
capital idea to have the data sitting out on the net somewhere, ready
to email itself off, if the good guys don't get back in time.
Turns out I was a piker. White's idea is *much* more dramatic.
Unfortunately, to describe the technology that White uses is to give
the game away, which isn't fair to readers who are, after all, reading
a mystery. And that cuts down the amount that I can say in a review
which, after all, is about technology. The technically competent will
figure it out well before the end of the book, but should still enjoy
the journey. The use of the Internet is higly realistic, and all I
will say about problems is that, given a system with sufficient
bandwidth to have the potential to carry multiple video streams,
having to set up a separate system to make a phone call seems a bit
White joins the ranks of a recent spate of writers who are using
Russia and the crumbling ex-Soviet Union as a backdrop, and are,
almost universally, producing great stuff. I have more than a
suspicion that these people are well steeped in Russian literature
itself, since there is a common stream of rather black humour and an
odd hopefulness in the midst of bleak situations.
I am almost tempted to talk about the author's technical trick, since
knowing the ending will not destroy much of the pleasure of the read.
White has an extraordinarily convoluted plot, with the most amazing
twists and turns. He will definitely be an author to watch for.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2000 BKSIBLIG.RVW 20001012
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
Where does the idea come from that if what we are doing is fun,
it can't be God's will? The God who made giraffes has a sense of
humor. Make no mistake about that. - Catherine Marshall
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade