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Bedlam [Paperback]

Christopher Brookmyre
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

21 Jan 2014


Ross Baker is an overworked scientist developing medical technology for corporate giant Neurosphere, but he'd rather be playing computer games than dealing with his nightmare boss or slacker co-workers.

He volunteers as a test candidate for the new tech - anything to get out of the office for a few hours. But when he emerges from the scanner he discovers he's not only escaped the office, but possibly escaped real life for good. He's trapped in Starfire - a video game he played as a child - with no explanation, no backup and, most terrifyingly, no way out.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (21 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349138699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349138695
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full time novelist with the publication of QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING. Since writing A BIG BOY DID IT AND RAN AWAY he and his family decided to move away from Aberdeen and now live near Glasgow.

Product Description


A fascinating, fast-paced but thoughtful blend of science fiction and techno-thriller (Iain M. Banks)

Funny jokes, characters you can empathise with and devastatingly employed swear words (Ed Byrne (Comedian))

Christopher Brookmyre hits another high score with this brilliant, fast-paced gamer's nightmare (Charles Stross)

One of the funniest writers in Britain (Guardian)

BEDLAM is what Brookmyre does best (Diana Gabaldon)

Book Description

Cult legend Christopher Brookmyre's first novel for Orbit - an explosive, thought-provoking trip (literally) through the worlds of virtual reality and retro video games

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it - it comes together very nicely!! 14 Feb 2013
By Jimbo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got this delivered to my Kindle on the day it came out and was very excited to read the new CB novel. However within the first few pages I was getting rather confused - it was not what I was expecting. I just was not sure what world I was in or what the heck was going on - a bit like the main character! As I had no reference point, I was not sure whether or not to continue but as I love Mr Brookmyre's works, I figured that I would go with it and see where it took me. Very glad I stuck with it - after the first few chapters you get a sense of the world that the characters are living in and then you get sucked out into "Meatworld" to get the back story. By about halfway through, I couldn't put it down and ended up reading until 3am to get it finished (I didn't want to go to sleep until I knew what was going on). It is actually classic CB but the beginning of the novel throws you a bit. The concepts that are developed really get you thinking and scarily will probably come true in the next few decades - hopefully the controls that are adopted in fiction will be adopted in reality. However I will not hold my breath! I really enjoyed this novel and have only knocked a star off because of the beginning - which felt like a bit of a slog to start with. It also took me back to my youth - I am not a gamer but did play Jet Set Willy (ZX Spectrum game that features along with a number of computer games) and was taken back to the days of yore when getting through the levels seemed to be the most important thing in life! So I can wholeheartedly recommend it, if you have enjoyed Christopher Brookmyre's books before - you will enjoy this one too.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced mayhem 9 Feb 2013
I have a feeling this is going to divide Brookmyre's fans (again). It's a full blooded science fictional story, akin to last book but two Pandaemonium rather than the more recent "straight" crime fiction. Indeed, there's a case for saying that in narrative terms, this book picks up almost where Pandaemonium left off - with a character flung unexpectedly from this world into another reality, albeit that of a video game rather than a parallel universe.

So begins a breakneck narrative as Ross, a browbeaten Scottish techie with a Dilbertish outlook, tries to find out what has happened and how he can get back to familiar, damp Stirling and his girlfriend Carol. He soon discovers that there's more going on than a simple brain scanner accident, and that events inside and outside the game are threatening its reality: a Corruption is spreading...

It is an exciting story, interspersing chases, combat, philosophy (are we all in a simulation?) and ethical debate (if the simulated inhabitants of a game are sophisticated enough, does that make them human? If so, what rights should they have?) The plot is intricate and, for the first half of the book, pretty baffling, turning on a few unexpected reveals which it would spoil to say much more about. But everything does become clear in the end (perhaps there is a bit too much exposition in the final 20 pages or so) and - no surprise - it turns out to have been very deftly put together.

I enjoyed this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There can't be many books aimed at the West of Scotland ageing gamer so as a paler than normal Glaswegian who has 'wasted' a hefty portion of my life playing through the developing games worlds and increasingly complex/simplified gaming environments I have to say this is probably one of the funniest things I've ever read.

There's wealth of detail that brings the realities to life and while there's going to be the inevitable Tron comparisons it outshines in character development, plot and warmth.

Gawd bless you Mr B, you write for 'us'
(whoever the hell we are)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad - but not that good. 18 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Brookmyre fan, buying the book was a no-brainer. As a Brookmyre fan, I am disappointed with the storyline. I feel this book would really entertain those who share the PC gaming interest of the main character. As a female and not a gamer, I just feel a little bit left out. The humour is there - no question of that - and it's as action-packed as we're used to, but I just didn't 'connect' with it at all.
For me, this will be one Brookmyre book that I won't be reading again, which is a pity as I like to revisit them from time to time.
I think this sums it up: if I were to suggest a Brookmyre book to someone who has never read his stuff before, I most certainly wouldn't give them this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Ter
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Did not like the beginning, and for the first time ever with a Brookmyre book I felt disappointed, and was not sure if I would persevere. I did complete the book, but did feel it was not up to the usual standard. I did appreciate the ideas, mainly around the idea of random storage and access. Brookmyre is stretching his wings a little, what with the more standard crime novels, and now science fiction - I'm not convinced by this SF one that this is a line he should follow; or maybe more precisely whether I will follow him if he does do so.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I wish it could've been different
Oh dear, another disappointment. I so wanted to enjoy this book, and I thought we'd have a return to the irreverent anarchy that makes so much of his work that bit special. Read more
Published 7 days ago by A. Anderson
2.0 out of 5 stars is this Tron?
Not to his usual standard. The plot seems to be that of the films Tron and Tron Legacy.
Published 27 days ago by bookie
4.0 out of 5 stars Brookmyre's Bedlam
I wanted to give this 3.5 stars but that is not possible. The idea is not original, of being sucked into a computer game, although it is an interesting one that allows more plot... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Suzy P
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmm
I don't love it as much as Christopher Brookmyre's other books (Be My Enemy, Country of the Blind, AFAG), but it's still great.
Published 1 month ago by Banriona
4.0 out of 5 stars More Brookmyre Convolutions
A bit different from Christopher Brooymyre's "usual" fare, but an excellent read - a bit confusing at times, but it all comes together in the end - I think!
Published 2 months ago by Bill D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous
Brookmyre takes on Sci-Fi genre and gives it a laser pulse up the derriere. Thoughtful, funny and as an ex-gamer, a nice amble down a pixel memory lane.
Published 2 months ago by G Buchanan
5.0 out of 5 stars Geekier than a Physics Nerd in a Spaceship Museum and Much, Much...
Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre published by Orbit

This book is just about perfect for a certain kind of Guardian-reading, left-of-centre nerdster, you know the kind of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrew D Wright
3.0 out of 5 stars Have all Brookmyre novels
This novel is more difficult to read than all the other Brookmyre novels that I have. It is truly about computer games but does have good personnel in the novel, which does make it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ms. P. E. Donaldson
2.0 out of 5 stars Love the author... Cannot finish this book.
I've struggled to get past the opening chapter. Love his crime stuff but this and Pandaemonium were not so good.
Published 3 months ago by Gavin-Alexander Craw
1.0 out of 5 stars What was that all about ?
I remember my first Brookmyre book and from that point I was hooked. I've bought everything he's done without question and enjoyed them all, getting through each one cover to cover... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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