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Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in "The Matrix": Science, Philosophy and Religion in "The Matrix" [Paperback]

David Gerrold
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 May 2003
Containing many answers to the questions posed by the first 'Matrix' film, this book explores the frontiers of philosophy, technology and religious symbolism. It explores the enormous dilemmas the Wachowski brothers presented when they gave the movie its many layers of meaning - fusing myriad philosophical and religious themes with futuristic science and technology.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers (15 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840243775
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840243772
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'the sheer brilliance of the Matrix films becomes clear.' -- Radio - MFM 92.6, 'The Green Room'

Taking The Red Pill acts as a wonder drug, a miracle cure for all the cognitive complications The Matrix generates. -- Dr. Marleen S. Barr, pioneering feminist science fiction scholar and author

From the Publisher

I made an offer to publish this book after reading just one of its mind-blowing chapters. It was the most far reaching and profound book I had read in a long time, and I knew right away it was going to be a bestseller. Taking The Red Pill has sold translation rights all over the world - it generated quite a buzz at this year's London Book Fair, and kept the Summersdale stand busy with people desperate for review copies! Wide ranging scientific, religious and philosophical concepts introduced by The Matrix are explored in this very readable book. It's an intelligent read and thought-provoking (especially when 'proving' that statistically it's likely that we are living in a computer simulation!), but it's also a book that any fan of The Matrix movies can enjoy.

Stewart Ferris

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If the film made you think... 15 Jun 2003
If you are one of the many people who saw 'The Matrix' and realised that it was much more than amazing eye candy and fantastic special effects/fight sequences, then this book will make you think even more!
Taking thoughts and ideas raised by the film, this is a series of essays exploring the philosophical/science fiction and religious questions the motion picture scratches the surface with. The single essays are brilliantly written and will make you think for days afterwards. Using a collection of different topics written by different writers you can read and digest, instead of trawling through an entire book all about one subject.
After reading this book I am hungry for more philosophy and if you are simply a beginner just asking questions about your reality, or an experienced "thinker" then this book really is worth a read. Will you be taking the red pill?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is the Matrix? 22 Mar 2004
Having been mesmerised by the films, having seen the parallels the religion, science and philosphy, this book was the obviously the next step for me to take. I was not disappointed. With an eclectic blend of essays from different authors, this book voices some the ideas and worries that beface is all, but especially teenagers (which is probably why the films were so successful). The questionability of reality is something that seems to come up on a daily basis, with science replacing religion as the bible by which man now lives, how long before we are able to control and master the 'avatar' as Neo does in the films? How long will it be before machines do actually begin to do everything for us, or begin to think and realise that we are in fact not needed?
Maybe the films are philosophical and filled with meaning, or maybe it's just a cool action film that pretend to be clever to make people feel better about themselves and rake in cash. Either way, this book gives both sides of the argument and also some startling insights into how we soon could be (if not alrready) living in the Matrix for real.
My advice? Take the red pill and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes ...
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as mind-bending as the movie 12 Dec 2003
As a fan of the film, I bought this book to explore some of the themes in ‘The Matrix’ more deeply. I was hoping for some insights into the movie’s motifs and hidden meanings. I was largely satisfied.
A couple of elements in the book took me into various authors' encyclopaedic knowledge of science fiction or philosophy. However, highlights included:
An interesting discussion on ‘Was Cypher Right?’ ie: if you had the choice, and you knew the truth, would you plug back in forgetting the real world, and live out your fantasies in VR? An interesting question.
A bonus revelation in Robert Sawyer’s enlightening explanation of AI and what was really going on in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.
Peter Lloyd’s explanations of how Matrix technologies could actually exist one day; a nice introduction to Buddhism from James Ford; Ray Kurzweil’s scary proposition that Matrix-type processing power is not all that far away; and Bill Joy’s counter argument that we should think about pulling the plug now.
The book’s real masterpiece, though, is the final essay, and I assume it was placed last intentionally. ‘Are We Living In The Matrix?’ by Nick Bostrum is one of those page turning revelations that just stuns you....
To discover the answer that he proposes, buy this book. It will, literally, "free your mind".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas 9 July 2006
This book poses some interesting ideas and theories. Some of the essays are linked to the film and others are inspired by themes the film explores. I found most of the essays to be well written and have something of interest to say, a minority were not of much interest, a little tenuous or of minor relevance. Never the less, it is worth a read for some of the forward looking ideas explored in it's pages.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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