Reviews

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

yates9's review against another edition

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5.0

Some very good stories though perhaps not even the author’s best. The worlds described are seamless with the ideas presented. The concept in these iis very close to contemporary problems of “knowledge” in technology and science. The author brings the philosophical observations to life making then accessible and intriguing.

My only critique is that in some cases if you dig in you may find logical inconsistencies.. and that sometimes the stories are a bit more complex than needed.

nanno_lib's review against another edition

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challenging reflective medium-paced

5.0

kjellojello's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

mary_beth's review against another edition

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reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

chaosmavin's review against another edition

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3.0

okay so this guy wrote the short story that got turned into the movie Arrival...which I loved...so yea I was all about reading his new book...the problem is I somehow missed the detail that it was short stories. And if I am being honest I haven't been excited about short stories since Ray Bradbury. I am probably being too hard with a 3 start...this book got lots of praise but none of the stories gave me pause...no tears...and no chuckles...I wasn't moved, inspired, titillated or even repulsed...I was entertained...but left wanting.

paigemay's review against another edition

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challenging informative reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

waqasmhd's review against another edition

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5.0

this is the first time i have enjoyed short stories so much. every story is (scientifically) thought provoking. i was not prepared for such goodness.

gillzzz217's review against another edition

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challenging slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

3.0

authorjbr's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
A heavy, beautiful, emotional, heart wrenching collection. Excellent. 

aiden51's review against another edition

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3.0

I really love Chiang’s writing but I think the way these stories were compiled was all wrong. The titular story, Exhalation, was incredible and moving. The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate was also pretty interesting and I enjoyed the folktale style. What’s Expected of Us was neat, and basically what you would expect to find in a book of sci-fi shorts. In my opinion The Lifecycle of Software Objects should have been published as its own short story. It’s incredibly long with TEN chapters and overshadows every other story in the book. After all of that I was so fatigued and couldn’t enjoy the rest of the stories in the compilation so it took me a very long time to get through. Short story compilations should be incredibly digestible and hold your attention.
I listened to this as an audiobook and I really enjoyed hearing Ted Chiang’s voice after every story, explaining its inspiration. I thought it really enriched the stories and he’s clearly a very intelligent guy. I do wish he could have just straight up read all of the stories, though. I might have to implement a rule where I only listen to audiobooks narrated by the author.