|Plot Summary of Whole Wide World|
Tor, May 2002, 25.95, 400 pp.
About a decade into the future, the United Kingdom and much of the world struggles to recover from the Infowar that erased most computer records. Needing a sense of security people turn to extreme right-wing elements to run the government. Leaders vow to cleanse society of pornography and related violence. To succeed on their quest to destroy the obscene, the Autonomous Distributed Expert Surveillance System (ADESS), a network of security cameras controlled by an artificial intelligent computer, is developed.
Not everyone acquiesces to the new world order. For instance London student Sophie Booth provides live performances in her apartment almost daily for her loyal following via her webcams. However, in front of her camera, someone wearing a Thatcher mask enters her abode and kills Sophie. Detested and scorned by his peers for alleged cowardly acts during the Infowar, “exiled” Police Detective John investigates the murder. The case should be obvious, but every new clue leads to a zillion questions and several dead ends and detours.
The key element to WHOLE WIDE WORLD is the chilling reality that this type of surveillance is here today even without a growing AI presence. The story line smoothly blends science fiction that feels more like science into a strong, old fashioned who-done-it starring an anti-hero with a lot on his plate besides the inquiries. All this turns into a strong suspense filled novel while Paul McAuley furbishes a convincing “warning” that will delight fans of science fiction mystery.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Whole Wide World|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 10%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 30%
Tone of book
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- science fiction story
Spying & Investigations
What is main char. doing?
- finding a killer (criminal)
Repressive society story
- strict rationing of freedoms/goods
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Very much smarter than other characters
- very athletic
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a little/some
How sensitive is this character?
- mean, arrogant
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
- medium future 22-24th century
Takes place on Earth?
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
scientific jargon? (SF only)
- an average amount of scientific explanation
How much dialogue?
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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