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Vienna Blood [Paperback]

Adrian Mathews
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Jan 2000
It is 28 November 2026. Sharkey, a Viennese reporter, spends one tiresome evening with a drunken computer nerd. Three months later the man's unexpectedly glamorous widow calls - her husband had hinted that Sharkey might hold the information to explain his mysterious death.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (6 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099273578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099273578
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,397,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Sharkey is a Viennese newspaper columnist who finds himself spending time with a drunken computer nerd. When his acquaintance dies in mysterious circumstances, he is contacted by the surprisingly glamorous widow, convinced he has been passed vital information. This sets Sharkey on a terrifying and complex search through the cyber highways for an equation which turns out to be a very dangerous secret for those who know it.

The writer who took out the patent on the cyberpunk novel was, of course, William Gibson. His nightmarish vision of the future has proved a literary gold mine for many of his followers. Matthews' book, however, is something noticeably different. Although it could certainly be called science fiction (it is, after all, set in the year at 2026), Matthews clearly has a more literary model in mind. And although his compulsive narrative has many thriller trappings, the use of language is both exciting and innovative.

As a guide to the dark and violent world of nationalism and racial tension, Matthews is always sure-footed (even if he is not always able to shake off the over-familiarity of his material). Readers of literary novels (or, for that matter, readers of straight thrillers) should not be frightened away by the science fiction elements here. This is a piece which has plenty to offer all kinds of readers. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Vienna Blood 21 Jun 2006
Interesting idea, setting a futuristic tales in Vienna, but it fails to draw the reader in as a thriller and just doesn't feel like sci fi either. I've tried to read it twice now and on both occasions run out of steam and interest after 100 pages. I read a lot of sci fi and very rarely have to give up on something I've spend good money on. Sorry.
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2.0 out of 5 stars overwrought, and somewhat neurotic 30 Nov 2004
By still searching VINE VOICE
Life is far too short to waste on this overblown, hyperbolic and, finally, unsuccessful attempt to revisit Vienna, Philip Kerr style 60 years on. Go back to the original - Berlin Noir - for a truly satisfying read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overwritten, clumsy and anticlimactic 12 April 2002
By A Customer
From the first few pages it becomes evident that Mathews knows more words than most people. Unfortunately, he seems determined to prove it.
Every sentence is packed full of elegant, complicated and often obscure words which slow down the pace and irritate anyone with a vocabulary less than the size of the OED.
Mathews clearly did a great deal of research for the book; however, he chooses to demonstrate this by giving us five-page lectures in biology every so often, in far more technical detail than is necessary or useful.
He also seems to treat his readers as idiots (although idiots with a very wide vocabulary and capacity for scientific understanding), since he finds it necessary to pause to explain the plot every thirty pages or so. While this might be helpful if you read books in five minute segments once a month, in a book with a plot as simplistic and limited as Vienna Blood's it simply isn't necessary.
I enjoyed the plot a great deal until the very end, at which point the dazzling crescendo we've been expecting fails to materialise, leaving us instead with a limp 'conclusion' that fails to conclude very much at all.
If reading novels with a whole lot of big words where shorter words would do appeals to you, by all means take a look. But don't expect art.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction at the cutting edge 12 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Vienna Blood is a techno-thriller so impressive it re-vamps a genre woefully demeaned in recent years, the creations of Adrian Matthews leap off the page. The narrative shows that he has done some pretty thorough research throughout the writing of this novel which are integrated subtly and organically.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought 28 Aug 2003
By A Customer
I'd like to counter some of the other reviewers' criticisms of this book. In forty years of reading Sci-Fi, this is one that stands out for me, perhaps because it doesn't try to be too Sci-Fi. I've loaned it to many people who never read Sci-Fi and they have enjoyed it.
The characters of Leo (poor Leo), his taciturn wife and the slightly sleazy, but middle class, Sharkey are very believable. Vienna in the 2020's is portrayed as not too much different but were the 1980's so different? There are a lot of neo-Nazi and conspiracy red-herrings and the conclusion is not earth-shattering but it provides serious food for thought about forthcoming technologies and their implications.
The long, investigative journey through the book carried me with it and I never got close to guessing the truth about who killed Leo, however I will criticise the weak justification for the bombing of the flat which was unconvincing and unnecessary, unless you hate Jack Russell terriers of course.
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