Zeitgeist, by Bruce Sterling

While at the library a few days ago, I was browsing along and noticed this book by Bruce Sterling. As a longtime subscriber to his Viridian mailing list, I’d almost forgotten that Sterling makes his living as a writer. So I picked this up and read it. Our protagonist is Leggy Starlitz, a band promoter among other things, who has a strong line into the cultural narrative of the times – the Zeitgeist, if you will. And the narrative draws him into one ridiculous situation after another. The metaphysics is kind of wacky, but the idea of having the cultural narrative being too strong to break out of is a fascinating one; to take an example not used in the book, when the evil villain is given a chance to repent, they always end up saying “No, I have chosen to be evil, and evil I will be!” Plus there’s a couple laugh-out-loud scenes when the semi-antagonist taps into the narrative and pulls off a ridiculous James Bond escape sequence. Wacky stuff.