Customer Reviews

14
3.7 out of 5 stars
Tracks
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2008
The hero of this fast-moving satire of high capitalism and information technology is a geeky Englishman, Peter Miller, for whom computer software is `the most difficult art, satisfying and beautiful, like chess and music', while understanding people is `a tough proposition'. But in the process of taking on the greedy corporate world of America - and for corporate read political - Miller grows up.

This cyber thriller is an entertaining critique of the misuses of technological development. When the microchip implants that allow health monitoring of individual subscribers and consequent prevention of hearth attacks, cancers and the like, are abused by the authorities whose aim is universal surveillance, Miller's intervention prevents the utopia from turning into a nightmare and replaces it with a farce. The corporate world keeps its brave face by referring to the teething problems of the system. But by that time, Miller is sufficiently elusive and confident to be within their reach. The author amuses us by allowing Miller to get the girl and the cool last lines - a pastiche of James Bond.

But despite its light-hearted humour, this novel raises serious issues. The reader is left echoing one of the characters who wonders about the extent of social control of those who behave in suspect ways, such as `go on foreign travel'. Hearing that `it is already in hand, sounds alarming, but not far fetched.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2008
Tracks is a really good read - I found out all about it first on their official website ([...]) and decided to take a punt on it. It's actually suprisingly good for a first-time author, original and well written, and really does make you wonder what the future will hold in terms of nano-technology. Well worth the money, and another sign that not all great books come from big publishers!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2008
From its arresting opening, where a man is told by phone that he is about to have a heart attack, this is a fine read. An intelligent techno-political thriller about medical implants and surveillance that is all the more gripping by being plausible; we should be worried! For the first time computer programming is brought into the story in a way which is neither technical or showy but which makes it a player. The author is always in control as the story unravels and you don't see the ending coming. Very satisfying.
Mike Riley
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2008
Some books grip you from the opening paragraphs, Tracks does exactly that. The book is about the use of hi technology, ostensibly for medical purposes, to predict illness, such as heart attack, in time for medical treatment to be sought. Of course, the original purpose of the technological system provides opportunities for abuse in the form of covert monitoring by state agencies. There are numerous twists in this story which make it exciting and unpredictable..... no clues, read and find out!

The prospect of computer chip implants, for dignostic or other purposes, may seem a far-off event for most of us, yet the technology and associated systems are already with us; in Rotterdam one nightclub already offers chip implants and scanning as an alternative to cash transacions in the club. How long before we chip children (oh, sorry, I forgot, they're doing this already in the US) and employees?

A highly recommended read. Mike, when can we expect the second in the series?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2009
Set in the high-tech computerized medical science realm, Mike Gordon's thriller forecasts the shadow side of health research, insurance and snoop surveillance - possibly: you wanna have a heart attack? If not, play the game!

Tracks has a pace like a Dan Brown thriller, a multitude of swiftly well-drawn characters like a Martina Cole crime story and a deadly secret virus of Michael Crichton status. Every reader is bound to fall in love with the hero's computer-generated female avatar, and bound to shriek `look behind you!' in certain dark corridors.

Mike Gordon is firmly on the thriller genre path, with the addition of an ending with a masterfully subtle twist. It left me wondering just who is capable of what?
Susan Lee Kerr
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on 26 April 2011
Fed up with sci-fi that is poorly written featuring stereotypical characters in which the author seems to assumes the reader is equally ignorant of science and technology? If so, try this novel by Mike Gordon.

I was Initially drawn to reading Tracks having read a little of the author's background. I hoped that the references to technology and science would, for a change, be accurate and insightful. I wasn't disappointed.

However, there is obviously far more to writing a novel than a good grasp of the technology the plot is built around. Whatever ethereal process is involved, the author has developed an enviable mastery of it.

The plot is complex but hangs together beautifully. The characters feel like real people we've all encountered, free of the cliches often found in science fiction. Its hard to believe this is Mike Gordon's first novel. I really hope it isn't also his last.

In summary, this is the best novel I've read for a long time.
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on 1 November 2012
I like this one, a great plot that escalates in a believable way and could actually happen in the not too distant future. I will give nothing away of the plot, the writing style is flowing and makes it a good read, nothing challenging, just a story that you want to follow to its ending.
Normally I feel cheated by thrillers, the inevitable heavies who kill all in their way while a police force seems blind but an everyday hero who has super powers puts things right and beds the girl. Tracks didn't do this, it is actually a thriller that is worth reading, has characters that can and no doubt do exist in some form and has an ending that would no doubt happen. Is public privacy more important than crime prevention? Read this and ask yourself would you of agreed to this technology?, An interesting concept that no doubt is only a few years away from possibility if not already available if a super power could just afford it and convince us it is essential.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2008
A brilliant, challenging novel that I couldn't put down till I reached the end. An excellent book that keeps the surprises coming and leaves you with plenty to think about. An amazing achievement for a first-time author.
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on 2 September 2014
I picked this up off of Amazon while it was free for one day only… the synopsis intrigued me, it sounded mysterious, and to be honest I thought this was going to run throughout the book, but unfortunately the part that intrigued me was explained pretty sharpish, and actually the book was totally different to what I expected. However I still enjoyed the read, being from a fairly technical background it was quite interesting to read a story with a systems developer at the forefront, a first for me. It also touched on both mental health, the future of medicine and the idea of government control of a population. All in all a good debut novel (I believe?) from this author.
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on 16 November 2013
Considering what is happening with the NSA, wearable tech and the self-quantified gadgets rapidly becoming "must haves", this is a disturbing account of a very likely - and not at all distant - future. Dystopian, ruthless, cold and at times outright scary, Tracks is a tale of what will surely come to pass unless there are significant changes in how we manage data and its ownership.

Whether you're a technophobe, a technogeek or someone who simply enjoys a great thriller, Tracks will entertain and educate you.
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