27. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
This book won so many awards and having read it I just don’t get it. The premise did sound really interesting, which is why my book club picked it when we were looking for a post-apocalyptic novel to read. The story takes place in Bangkok after some sort of disease has wiped out much of the agriculture in the world and decimated the population. You follow a series of characters living there, but whose stories are only tangentially connected. There’s an American factory owner and the local man who runs it. There are people who are sort of agriculture police who run things and who are supposedly attempting to prevent future outbreaks, but really have their own agendas. Finally there is the titular windup girl, who is one of the new people, an engineered people created by the Japanese to serve them. I didn’t care for most of the characters or their stories and every time a new chapter started that focused on one of the people I didn’t care for I sort of groaned. I also wish you could hear my friend’s rant about how women are portrayed in this book. Let’s just say it is not well. No one in my book club cared for this book at all so I’m flummoxed by how widely praised it was. I give it a 3 out of 10.