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  • Published: New York : Shaye Areheart Books, 2011.
  • Year Published: 2011
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 307 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780307717092 (alk. paper)
  • 0307717097 (alk. paper)

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The informationist

by Stevens, Taylor.

There are currently 5 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Fiction

Available Copies: Downtown 1st Floor, Pittsfield Adult, Traverwood Adult, West Adult

Community Reviews

The Informationist

In general, I believe people should avoid allowing an authors personal life to interfere with their interpretation of a book. After first finishing The Informationist I thought it was a fun, quickly paced, inventive storyline, but with several cliched conversations and personality types. The similarities between Vanessa Munroe and Lisbeth Salander were impossible to ignore, and it seemed like Larsson did a better job with creating his character than Munroe did with hers.

But then I read the author biography and was intrigued. Author blurbs are usually pretty typical, but this particular book flap explains that she escaped a cult, has had nothing more than a sixth grade education, and now lives in Austin Texas with her two daughters.

It turns out Stevens was born and raised in the cult known as the Children of God. She was separated from her parents at a young age, was sent from country to country as a servant to the higher ranking cult members, and was refused anything beyond a sixth grade education. She was married to another cult member out of random selection and they had two daughters. As their little girls grew up Stevens and her husband decided they did not want their daughters to live their lives in the cult and made plans to escape. Later they divorced and Stevens migrated to the United States. She had not read a single novel until she was in her 30's.

One of the first books she picked up was a Robert Ludlum thriller and she realized that she had found her calling. She wanted to write works as good, if not better, than Robert Ludlum.

And she did. That book was on par with Ludlum's work, if not better. After reading interviews with her I realized that certain character aspects that had seemed overly similar to Lisbeth's were coincidence and she should not be held accountable for that. Vanessa's keen sense of human behavior is a side product of Stevens' years of trying to recruit outsiders to the cult. Her knowledge of African politics was not developed out of guesswork or any misguided research- it was from personal experience.

In this one case, I'm letting the authors' identity alter my perception of the book, and I think it was great.

Like Stieg Larsson, But in Africa

Violent, fascinating thriller/mystery set in central Africa. The protagonist compares well to Lisbeth Salander, and if you liked "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", you'll probably like this fast-paced story.

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