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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it - it comes together very nicely!!
I got this delivered to my Kindle on the day it came out and was very excited to read the new CB novel. However within the first few pages I was getting rather confused - it was not what I was expecting. I just was not sure what world I was in or what the heck was going on - a bit like the main character! As I had no reference point, I was not sure whether or not to...
Published 17 months ago by Jimbo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as his early work, but definitely better than the recent crime stuff!
The author seems more at home in this skin than his current incarnation as a crime writer, both of which I have struggled to pick up and keep reading, as opposed to his earlier incarnation when the stories where gripping and almost impossible to put down!

However although a reasonable read it does seem a little derivative (seeing code as per the matrix etc)'...
Published 9 months ago by Scuba Adrian


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it - it comes together very nicely!!, 14 Feb 2013
By 
Jimbo (Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
I got this delivered to my Kindle on the day it came out and was very excited to read the new CB novel. However within the first few pages I was getting rather confused - it was not what I was expecting. I just was not sure what world I was in or what the heck was going on - a bit like the main character! As I had no reference point, I was not sure whether or not to continue but as I love Mr Brookmyre's works, I figured that I would go with it and see where it took me. Very glad I stuck with it - after the first few chapters you get a sense of the world that the characters are living in and then you get sucked out into "Meatworld" to get the back story. By about halfway through, I couldn't put it down and ended up reading until 3am to get it finished (I didn't want to go to sleep until I knew what was going on). It is actually classic CB but the beginning of the novel throws you a bit. The concepts that are developed really get you thinking and scarily will probably come true in the next few decades - hopefully the controls that are adopted in fiction will be adopted in reality. However I will not hold my breath! I really enjoyed this novel and have only knocked a star off because of the beginning - which felt like a bit of a slog to start with. It also took me back to my youth - I am not a gamer but did play Jet Set Willy (ZX Spectrum game that features along with a number of computer games) and was taken back to the days of yore when getting through the levels seemed to be the most important thing in life! So I can wholeheartedly recommend it, if you have enjoyed Christopher Brookmyre's books before - you will enjoy this one too.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced mayhem, 9 Feb 2013
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bedlam (Hardcover)
I have a feeling this is going to divide Brookmyre's fans (again). It's a full blooded science fictional story, akin to last book but two Pandaemonium rather than the more recent "straight" crime fiction. Indeed, there's a case for saying that in narrative terms, this book picks up almost where Pandaemonium left off - with a character flung unexpectedly from this world into another reality, albeit that of a video game rather than a parallel universe.

So begins a breakneck narrative as Ross, a browbeaten Scottish techie with a Dilbertish outlook, tries to find out what has happened and how he can get back to familiar, damp Stirling and his girlfriend Carol. He soon discovers that there's more going on than a simple brain scanner accident, and that events inside and outside the game are threatening its reality: a Corruption is spreading...

It is an exciting story, interspersing chases, combat, philosophy (are we all in a simulation?) and ethical debate (if the simulated inhabitants of a game are sophisticated enough, does that make them human? If so, what rights should they have?) The plot is intricate and, for the first half of the book, pretty baffling, turning on a few unexpected reveals which it would spoil to say much more about. But everything does become clear in the end (perhaps there is a bit too much exposition in the final 20 pages or so) and - no surprise - it turns out to have been very deftly put together.

I enjoyed this book. Brookmyre shows his knowledge of 80s and 90s video games, moving Ross through a succession of different game milieux from first person shooters to platform games to a warped version of The Sims - yet as a non-gamer I never felt left out or baffled. (If I were a "Daily Mail" reader, I might have felt got at by one section...) Philosophically, it felt as though he was joining in an ongoing discussion among Scottish based SF writers about the "simulation hypothesis" and its consequences, coming after books such as Ken MacLeod's The Restoration Game and Charles Stross's The Rapture of the Nerds.

In a postscript, Brookmyre hopes readers will find this venture into SF proper worthwhile - so do I, because it would be a shame if there were no more like this.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you a 30-50 year old gamer? Then this is your book., 17 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
There can't be many books aimed at the West of Scotland ageing gamer so as a paler than normal Glaswegian who has 'wasted' a hefty portion of my life playing through the developing games worlds and increasingly complex/simplified gaming environments I have to say this is probably one of the funniest things I've ever read.

There's wealth of detail that brings the realities to life and while there's going to be the inevitable Tron comparisons it outshines in character development, plot and warmth.

Gawd bless you Mr B, you write for 'us'
(whoever the hell we are)
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new foray into sci-fi for Christopher Brookmyre, 17 Feb 2013
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YeahYeahNoh (Willenhall, West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
With a few reviews now present, it's unlikely anyone will buy Bedlam expecting a novel in the style of the 'Jack Parlabane' series and similar for which the author is probably best known.
When he began a more traditional detective series (Where the Bodies are Buried) it caused some consternation amongst a number of regular readers, and his most recent other book (Pandaemonium) was also criticised for being different.
Well those who disliked those books for being different won't be happy here. This is a straight sci-fi novel, but with enough of the Brookmyre politics and wit present to be clearly identifiable. There are several of superb one-liners (not quoted here because of the naughty words) which would fit in any of the previous books, and a whole section devoted to criticising the Daily Mail, so it's on comfortable ground for those of us who've enjoyed all his previous books.
So, what we have here is a well executed, pretty much straight down the middle sci-fi novel. It's a clever premise, one explored in other books of recent times by other authors, but which comes with a clear knowledge of the computer games universe which the book inhabits. It's familiar reading for anyone who's played any of the leading games of the last 25-30 years.
Personally, I found it a little hard going at the start, but it was well worth sticking with. It does all make sense eventually, and I for one didn't see the eventual outcome at all.
Hats off to Christopher Brookmyre for tackling a new genre - for me it rates as a success attempt, and I'd be happy to read more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to usual standard, 27 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bedlam (Paperback)
This felt a lazy book, not something that Brookmyre would have been satisfied with in his early days or that would have been published if he didn't now have a name to trade on. Is he resting on his laurels? Sure it has some of his trademark satire, black humour and cultural resonance, but it doesn't hang together well, there are too many unexplained aspects to the world he created, and overall it lacks the wit, cleverness and tight plotting which characterised his earlier books, of which I am a big fan. Disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a game, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
Interesting avenue for CB. still prefer his old stuff but enjoyed this all the same. Delivered with clout as always.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Computer geek chase novel, 19 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely fabulous. Took a little while to work out what was going in and then had me gripped. Loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sci fi, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
A great story, well told. Keeps you guessing throughout. I would recommend reading this book before reading any reviews as otherwise the twists in the plot become somewhat obvious. I am a huge Brookmyre fan and can't wait to read his other sci fi stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as his early work, but definitely better than the recent crime stuff!, 10 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
The author seems more at home in this skin than his current incarnation as a crime writer, both of which I have struggled to pick up and keep reading, as opposed to his earlier incarnation when the stories where gripping and almost impossible to put down!

However although a reasonable read it does seem a little derivative (seeing code as per the matrix etc)' but worth reading if you are of a certain age, just disappointed lemmings didn't appear in it ;)

Off to see if I have half life, quake and doom still installed somewhere to regain my lost youth, and to escape the tune of "in the night garden" playing in my head......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really for those of us who aren't fans of computer gaming!, 5 Aug 2013
This review is from: Bedlam (Kindle Edition)
I adore Brookmyre's other books; especially the older ones. I love his sense of humour, the cynical, sarcastic characters he fills his books with, the Tarentino-esque violence, his morality and his sense of fun. I really struggled with this book however. I enjoyed Pandemonium and didn't mind that being different to the norm, but Bedlam really didn't appeal to me at all. The problem is I don't play computer games; never have and don't have plans to. Therefore the whole storyline and endless references to different games and 'worlds' was completely lost on me. I struggled through to the end (which did come together nicely with a return to familiar moral themes and a nod to 'Not the End of the World' in its treatment of the villian) but I was generally disappointed with Bedlam. The Daily Mail world amused me and felt like a return to Brookmyre's usual satire, but for me that was the highlight of a disappointing book.
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Bedlam
Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre (Hardcover - 7 Feb 2013)
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