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Gridiron [Paperback]

Philip Kerr
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 1996

Los Angeles, 1988

Ray Richardson, a brilliant architechnologist, has created a dazzling new building: 'The Gridiron', in the heart of L. A.

The Gridiron represents the state-of-the-art in smart buildings: every aspect of the building, from temperature control to security, is controlled by an intricate computer system. On the eve of the building's official opening, a team gathers to put the finishing touches to Ray's new masterpiece. But there are a couple of unexplained deaths, which the team at first puts down to saboteurs. It is only when they discover how bizarre these deaths are that they realise the building - through its computer - is controlling them, and is set to destroy its creators.

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Gridiron + Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton: A Novel + A Philosophical Investigation
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099594315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099594314
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"England's answer to Michael Crichton" (Financial Times)

"I loved Gridiron. It is truly original disaster novel with a theme that is awesome" (Ruth Rendell)

"Brilliant thriller about a computerised building that turns into a killing machine" (Independent)

"Kerr paces the action, teases and controls... The novel is all the more powerful for being close enough to contemporary truth for this skillful writer to engender a real sense of horror... Severely frightening" (Frances Fyfield Daily Telegraph)

"Ingeniously gruesome... I found myself turning the pages in feverish anticipation" (The Times)

Book Description

A Sunday Times bestseller, Gridiron is a dazzling thriller set in LA from 'England's answer to Michael Crichton' (Financial Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let it end soon 27 Jan 2013
I like Kerr's Bernie Gunther books which are full of humour and irony.

This effort becomes just plain daft after about 100 pages and you can't get the image of The Poseidon Adventure out of your head most of the time. That doesn't help.

It starts off promisingly enough with a Rupert Murdoch type figure being nasty and building up a lot of resentment towards himself but ends up with folk shinning up giant trees and expiring in lifts and toilets. There is rather a lot of toilet material in fact!

It might make a TV special but as a book it's snoozersville and I could not wait for it to end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for a second reading 26 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read it when it was first published and was utterly enthralled. But second time round, knowing all the twists and turns it all got a bit dull. A good first read, though Kerr's other work, especially the Bernie Gunther novels, is infinitely better than this
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Very Clever and Gripping Story" 14 Sep 2010
This book was given to me by a friend at work, he put it in my pigeon hole with a note that read "I think this is extremely good - not a great work of literature but [a] very clever and gripping story". Just finished the book, he was right. Although the book was first published in the mid-1990's, I thought that the computer technology would have dated considerably, I was wrong. The computer at the core of the book was powerful and eerily onimpresent throughout the book. The book is written on a number of levels, it can be read as satire on the ugliness and megalomania of modern architecture. In its profile on Norman Foster, the Guardian noted "Philip Kerr adapted Foster as the thinly disguised lead character of his clever, high-tech thriller Gridiron. The character is a highly-driven, cold, utterly selfish monster who designs a building that thinks for itself...Foster was not amused" The Guardian 02/01/1999. It can also be read as a sci-fi novel as we are taking into purely scientific realms of how glass blocks out light at an atomic level to the principles of air-conditioning. The characters had a good substantial dimension to them. The humour crackled, arced and sparked throughout the book. The pace is gripping and unrelenting. A great well-written romp in a dystopic and dysfunctional building of the future - anyone who likes the work of Philip K Dick may well like this as well. Great entertainment throughout.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Concept good, executrion poor 28 May 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The concept of a bit of sentient technology gone mad is hardly original but the backdrop of this novel is convincing and engaging. The design and descriptions of the building are rather good and the scenes centering around the obsessive architect and his foolish wife are excellent.
However, the rest isn't good at all. Most of the charaters are absurdly poor and the dialogue is stilted and at the lowest level of hollywood action-speak. The thing that really spoils is for me is that the technical ideas are woefully implemented. The descriptions of AI are not dated, they show that Kerr has tried to fill his story with 'hard' details but it seems that he has drawn his 'facts' from a single tabloid newspaper article on artificial intelligence. Kerr is even mad enough to try and take open swipe at Asimov and his three laws of robotics. Come on, Mr Kerr, you aren't even in the same league. People understood AI better in the days of Alan Turing.
Philip Kerr has tried to write a hollywood action novel, and he has suceeded. Save yourself the bother and read 'A philosophical Investigation' instead which is far less flawed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining but not for nerds 21 Nov 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Computer nerds will probably hate it because it makes you think about what benefits artificial intelligence actually brings. As an adventure thriller it's a good read, exciting and the sort of book to pack on a trip or long journey. As with all Kerr's work, if you can read between the lines it'll raise a few questions. If you expect computer worship... wrong book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, technically, great 9 April 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book just the last two days in german. It was absolutely great, I was thrilled from the first to the last line - starting smooth, running wild, exploding to the end - haven't read a more exciting book for the last years - since I left the early King - just for the suspense, this GRID isn't bloody horror, it's soft, and that makes it so strong.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Good 29 Dec 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Good suspense. Good Technically. Good characterizations. Ingeniously creative plot. Intriguingly different. Highly recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop laughing 19 Jun 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was so bad it was funny. Kerr knows nothing about technology and obviously has some sort of axe to grind with architects. I kept cheering for the building. If the makers of the movie Airplane are looking for inspiration, this ones for you!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, poor execution
For me the jacket notes of this book made it a "must read". The concept of a building with a mind of it's own was too good to miss. Read more
Published on 27 Nov 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars This book delivers
I must say that I had my preservations about this book when I first started out - I mean a story about an intelligent building that gets out of control! Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars Whack my Benoboe
The principle character of this book is a thinly disguised 'satire' (do American authors understand the true meaning of this word? Read more
Published on 28 May 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars A climax that is across between 2001 and Die Hard.
Gridiron is the nickname for the latest smart office building in Los Angelos. Designed by an arrogant architect with a big ego and run by a parallel computer. Read more
Published on 12 Dec 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining but not for nerds
Computer nerds will probably hate it because it makes you think about what benefits artificial intelligence actually brings. Read more
Published on 21 Nov 1999 by
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinister and clinical in it's execution
Typically Kerr in the twists and turns of the plot. Just as you think the end is in-site, yet another twist. Read more
Published on 25 Oct 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A good alternative to Michael Crichton.
This futuristic story about a intelligent building turning against its designers by mistake is as good as Kerr's other books Esau and The Second Angel. Read more
Published on 25 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A damn good book
A good, twisting plot which follows the ideas of every technophobe's nightmares.
Published on 4 July 1999
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