The Jonah Kit (Gollancz S.F.) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading The Jonah Kit (Gollancz S.F.) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Jonah Kit (Gollancz S.F.) [Paperback]

Ian Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 2.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  
Unknown Binding --  

Book Description

18 April 2002 Gollancz S.F.
A young Russian boy, accompanied by his devoted minder, turns up in Japan and presents a problem to the American security officials who take on his case. For the boy appears to be part of a sophisticated Soviet experiment and to have the mind of a dead astronaut imperfectly imprinted on his own. If the boy is to be believed, then the experiment has been extended to a whale... And in Mexico, ground-breaking research by Nobel Prize winner Paul Hammond and his disparate team has shown that what we perceive as the Universe is no more than the ghost of the real thing. Signals received by his radio telescope show that the Universe God created no longer exists. Then the whales start singing their death-yantra throughout the oceans of the world.


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (18 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575073896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575073890
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Ian Watson was born in 1943. He lectured in Tanzania and Tokyo and taught Future Studies at Birmingham Polytechnic. He began publishing sf with 'Roof Garden Under Saturn' for NEW WORLDS in 1969 but it was with the publication of THE EMBEDDING in 1973 that he really established himself as a writer of rare power and vision.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
HE SWIMS ACROSS a mountain range. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Yet Fascinating 28 Sep 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A fascinating, early sci-fi novel by reknowned British author Ian Watson. This is a mindblowing though somewhat flawed novel that weaves together a multi-stranded narrative structure, centering around communication, perception of language and the origins of our universe and written in a manner that makes it one of the finest examples to emerge from the New Wave movement.
Foremost among the narrative structure, a Soviet (this book was written in 1975) research establishment based at a remote outpost on Sakhalin Island has established a method of imprinting the human consciousness into the brain of a modified, programmed whale, with the future aim of using such programmed whales to provide military intelligence on the locations of US naval shipping and for economic use. In Japan, a 6 year old Russian child, with his minder, has turned up from the above-mentioned Soviet establishment and seemingly appears to possess the mind of a supposedly dead Soviet cosmonaut. High up in the mountains of Mexico a Nobel Prize-winning megalomaniac of a scientist, Paul Hammond, has made the earthshattering discovery that signals received from his radio telescope demonstrate that the Universe is really composed of antimatter particles and that this matter universe is really only a 'ghost' of the real Universe that will eventually collapse in on itself. These revelations eventually come together in a shocking climax that is quite disturbing in its bleak nihilism.
Where this book excels is in its excellent use of characterisation and structure. This is perhaps at the expense of pacing as the first half of the novel is quite slow and appears at times to plod along though admittedly the pace picks up considerably towards the end.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars extremely clever fable 8 Jun 2005
By peter d pipinis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Jonah Kit is an agonisingly slow read, but the story is original and fascinating enough to grip you to the end. The science is not very convincing, which is distracting, until you realise this is not a realistic SF novel, but an extremely clever fable.

Scientists have discovered God created the universe, whose reality was then pulled into some other dimension, leaving ours a false, unreal shadow. This threatens the most basic need of conscious beings to feel they belong to a real world, which in turn threatens the very existence of everything, because what the 'intelligent' majority believes literally becomes the reality for all.

Whales have their own philosophy, their own mystical gatherings, and are evolving (they sense) into beings that will in the far future comprehend the 'whole' truth. A man's consciousness has been grafted onto an individual whale's - the 'Jonah' of the title. Being inside the mind of this not-man/not-whale as it awakens and adjusts to its entirely new consciousness and nature is exhilarating.

Civilization is disintegrating quickly because humanity has chosen to believe in the unreality of everything as proven by science. In an attempt to bring back some sanity the whales are sent - via Jonah - the news that nothing exists. Their much older and wholly integrated understanding is now our only hope for survival - if they can take in the scientific proof and reject or ignore it.

The whales represent the best, most natural and glorious side of ourselves - with the added emotional impact of creaturely innocence. Their reaction to the beliefs of humanity shows us where we are bound when, beguiled and misled by 'thinking', we place abstractions above our instinctual and essential connection with nature.

A good, though slight novel, that made me want to immediately read more of Ian Watson's work.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beached 27 Sep 2005
By JR Dunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It can be taken as a rule of thumb in SF that the boys who can handle the big concepts can't do much else. Examples include Greg Egan, Greg Bear... Well, there may be a rule of thumb about Gregs too, but here comes an Ian to get us back on track.

"The Jonah Kit" is the 'communication with cetaceans' riff on steroids. There's not much of storyline, merely scenes designed to present data, there are no characters, only behavioral tics with names. But those concepts! The first, and most spectacular, is the discovery, through a clever cosmological means I haven't encountered elsewhere, that our universe is a mere reflection of the authentic item, that we're the waterboys of existence, forever cut off from the real game. The second is what the cetaceans do when this fact is communicated to them. They commit mass suicide, every last whale, dolphin, and orca in the deep blue beaching itself in utter existential despair.

Now you may say this makes little sense, and you'd get no argument from me. (The human response is nearly as silly. There is, after all, nothing new in the concept of alienation. Augustine wrote about it in the 5th century, the Greeks even earlier. Most people have developed mechanisms to cope.) But I'd still be inclined to recommend it, if only to a limited audience who can appreciate Watson's ability to sling those concepts.

There's still all those poor dead whales, though, which may well, and understandably, put some people off. Watson has a rep as a tower of humanism. Like many such, he exhibits a streak of pure cruelty evident in much of his work, such as the fate of the protagonist of "The Martian Inca", or the deformed child in "The Embedding". I'm sure there's some rule of thumb that can be derived from that too, if I were to take the time to formulate it.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback