There are 50 or so pages left in this book, and I just can't bring myself to read them. I sit down and can't remember who the characters are, how they're related, and
The Windup Girl is one of those books that switches from one side to the other with each character - in one chapter we're on this guy's side as he's gearing up to fight X. Then turn the page and we're X, running from the baddie. And then back to the baddie, fighting the good fight. It would have been more enjoyable if I had been able to form some kind of connection to any of the characters. They were all quite one dimensional. What kept me reading was really the world - the food, the energy, the social systems. It almost felt like the written sequel to a brilliant movie, cashing in on the context and back story, but not quite hitting the right note. I'm thinking Stormy the Wild Seahorse, the straight-to-VHS spin off of The Little Mermaid.
The actual 'world' that the book is set in is very interesting - it's post-oil, post-nation-state, really. Set in a Bangkok in some indeterminate time in the future. It feels like it is supposed to be centuries, but seems too familiar to be that far. I'd like to read a prequel to The Windup Girl, and see the apocalyptic lead up to the blah that it becomes.
It's a shame, really. I was really taken in at first, but my attention just waned and the book became increasingly irritating and felt like it lost steam where it ought to have kept dragging me in. Interesting, for such a highly awarded book. It just didn't really get there.