This was a recommended work by Neal Stephenson, and it's pretty good. The writing is light and breezy, which is a distraction from the dark events at the core of the novel. It's called an "eco-thriller" on the copy I have, and I guess that pretty well describes it. The main character is a member of an ecology group - probably patterned after Greenpeace - and he hits all kinds of trouble when a project he's working on finds evidence that some really bad things are going on in Boston harbor. Some of the local corporations are still dumping nasty stuff into the water, and covering up for past misdeeds. It's complicated, but you can track it as events unfold.
Originally published in 1988, Zodiac has held up pretty well over time. That's actually rather depressing, since it means that the issues it addresses are still real too. Anyway, so long as you don't stop to ask questions like "why doesn't he use a cell phone?" the story is just fine, and it's a roller coaster.
My only previous experience with Stephenson was Snow Crash which I enjoyed at the time, but which I recall has some plot issues that I (as a software engineer) thought were fairly significant. This one seems to have fewer such plot holes. Alternately I just don't notice them, perhaps because it's not in my area of expertise, or because the subject matter is closer to the author's own expertise. I honestly don't know.
In any event, Zodiac is an enjoyable read. Recommended for a few hours of relaxation at some point.
I love this book more than life itself. Seriously. It is a masterpiece of tongue-in-cheek humor. It takes "geek pride" to a whole new level. It has one of the most serious annoying protagonists ever and some of the least plausible plot twists imaginable and it still makes me grin just to see the title here on PBS.
I'm a really big Stephenson fan and had just moved to the Boston area when I read this. He really knows how to integrate setting into an action novel. Plus, I always learn something when I read his books, which is important. Aside from all that, though, good clean toxic fun.
standard thriller. gets a bit technical at times
I enjoyed reading this book, though it is very apparent this is one of Neal Stephenson's early efforts, and while this is quite different from his Cyberpunk-style work in the mid 1990's, it does remind me somewhat of "Cryptonomicon" and the Baroque cycle.
Zodiac is billed as "The Eco-Thriller", and it delivers exactly that, being more thriller than SF.
A fun, fast-paced eco-thriller. Brimming with Stephenson's trademark, offbeat humor and scientific explanations, Zodiac offers an entertaining read for fans and novices alike.
Two centuries after the Boston Tea Party, dumping is still a favorite sport, only now it si toxic waste.
Very early book of his. Light reading.