Most helpful positive review
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.