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Gridiron Paperback – 6 Jun 1996


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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: 12.8 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"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

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glen1975 on 14 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gonetomorrow on 27 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
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 By A. Friswell on 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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sam VINE VOICE on 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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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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By A Customer on 9 April 1998
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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By A Customer on 19 Jun. 1997
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
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. As Ishmael comes on-line the smart building toys with human lives. The 187s rise and two LAPD homicide wise cracks begin a deadly investigation. Ultimately the players struggle to a finale that points to a future that has already arrived.
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