A
Literary Saloon
&
Site of Review.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.



Contents:
Main
the Best
the Rest
Review Index
Links

weblog

crQ
to e-mail us:



In Association with Amazon.com


In association with Amazon.com - UK


In 
Partnerschaft 
mit 
Amazon.de

the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction



Exegesis

by
Astro Teller


general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Exegesis



Title: Exegesis
Author: Astro Teller
Genre: Novel
Written: 1997
Length: 224 pages
Availability: Exegesis - US
Exegesis - UK
Exegesis - Canada
Hello, Alice - Deutschland

- Return to top of the page -



Our Assessment:

D : a decent idea, weakly realized -- and bad science

See our review for fuller assessment.



Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Times . 4/7/1998 John Naughton


Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

- Return to top of the page -



The complete review's Review:

       An appropriate book to criticize on the internet, Mr.Teller's little novel is, more than anything, a disappointment. It is about artificial intelligence, positing a computer (Edgar) that stealthily grows more "intelligent." It is able to gather knowledge, surfing the internet on its own, as it were -- a clever though not exactly original idea. Hunted down by the powers that be, with computer scientist Alice Lu as its only (very wary) ally, Teller tries to generate some excitement as the entity Edgar fights for survival -- while raising the spectre that perhaps the survival of Edgar is not such a great idea.
       There is lots of potential here, but little of it is realized. The shame of it is that Mr. Teller is apparently someone who actually is working at the forefronts of AI (artificial intelligence), but for some reason he dumbs down those aspects of the book, simplifying many of the AI ideas to the point where it is hard to take the book seriously. A quick, easy read, it is written almost entirely as an exchange of e-mails between the computer and Alice. Stylistically it is rather weak: some scenes are effectively set, but most of the (electronic) dialogue is wooden. That could be forgiven -- it is, after all, a novel of ideas -- but Teller forsakes his idea as well, reducing them to a point where the book can not stand up to any scientific scrutiny. Exegesis is, in all respects, a failure.

       Mr. Teller seems to have done rather well by the book. There is a neat site devoted to it at his Random House publisher's site and Vintage did market the attractive little book effectively. However, we could not suppress our smiles seeing copies for sale at a dollar a pop at the local bookstore. The market wins: crap won't sell. What is sad, however, is that it makes publishers more wary of books on this subject and the talented writer who writes one might have a harder time getting it published.

- Return to top of the page -



Links:

Exegesis: Reviews: Astro Teller: Other books of interest under review:

- Return to top of the page -



About the Author:

       Eric "Astro" Teller works in Artificial Intelligence. And, yes, he is related to Mr.H-Bomb himself.

- Return to top of the page -


© 1999-2009 the complete review

Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links