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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Hate
I'll not detail this review with all the things that go on in the book. I have read all Richard Morgan's work so far, and I love his style.
This book, I feel , is largely underrated because of its Chomsky-ish overtones, and people tend to get bogged down in politics. That is why I'm not going to go through that here. Instead, I found the real message of this book to...
Published on 14 Jan 2006

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of my favourites from Richard Morgan
Much as I like Richard Morgan's work in general - Tadeshi Kovacs trilogy and Black Man which I thought great, verging on genius - somehow Market Forces just didn't quite work for me.

Perhaps because of having read Harlan Ellison's short story on the topic of 'Road Rage' the idea seemed somewhat stale. Admittedly Ellison's short offering left a lot of room to...
Published on 8 May 2010 by Mr. Peter A. Gilligan


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Concepts, But Could Have Been Better Written., 22 Feb 2005
By 
Chris Chalk "Chris" (Croydon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a step off the beaten track for Richard Morgan, which is an excellent path for authors to take. To try and explore other domains, other characters and other scenarios really does show depth and ability.
I do however have many issues with this book and don't think it was as well written, as it should have been. The first is that although this book is not set many centuries in the future, the lead character - Chris Faulkner - is in a very similar mould to the author's previous lead and the environment he writes in is just as desperate!
The second issue I have with this book is the confusion of ideas, I found the concept of the corporations investing in wars to be quite intriguing (although I did find this over played) but I did find the "Mad Max" style road wars to be completely superfluous to the tone of the book, and in all honesty made a bit of a mockery of it.
The last issue I had with the book was that is seemed to base its lead concept on the premise that the majority of current business men, or at most those one generation away, can all be turned into cold hearted killers. This I really struggled with and the author never offered me a reason as to why, or how this had happened, more he alluded that this kind of drive and ambition already exists at the heart of all business and just needed an outlet. Now I am sure we all agree this may exist in part in SOME businesses but to allude to the majority would soon be acting like this needed more explanation.
In summary I found this an interesting concept but I believe the author may have let gone a little too far with some anti-capitalist beliefs without enough explanation. Well worth a read but the author has written better.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A funny idea for a short story does not a novel make., 24 April 2005
By A Customer
Richard Morgan created a unique blend of noir mystery and sci-fi action in books such as Altered Carbon and Woken Furies: the hero, Takeshi Kovacs, was a roguish amalgam of Sam Spade and Gully Foyle - a compelling anti-hero who can by turns have you cheering him on, or shaking your head in pure shock at his violent ruthlessness.
In Market Forces, Morgan portrays Chris, the poor kid made good in an amoral future where corporations make their own international law (not the far future, obviously). Chris climbs the greasy pole in the lucrative field of Conflict Investment, where firms fan the fires of low-intensity wars, sell arms to both sides, topple rulers, corrupt revolutions, etc,... well, imagine the CIA run by that well-known purveyor of beefburgers and fries that's top of everyone's list of ethical companies. Advancement, a higher salary, and ever more insulation from the vicious slums of the have-nots depend on boardroom backstabbing and road duels to the death - corporate gladiatorial contests in armoured BMWs and SAABs on the M25!
It sounds daft and it is. What might have been an amusing idea for a satirical short story wears pretty thin over the course of a whole novel. The book is padded out with tedious moral descent of the hero, Chris, though he never for one moment gives the impression he will do anything other than embrace the values he professes to despise. Author Morgan name checks anti-globalisation gurus like Noam Chomsky in a bibliography at the end of the book. You can't help thinking that 'Chris' is Morgan's stricken conscience, having swapped a career in education for a $1 million film rights deal for Altered Carbon.
Something similar happens in the second Kovacs novel, Broken Angels, where the hero loses some of his lustre when he ceases to be the rebellious antagonist of the rich and powerful and simply starts grubbing for his own big break. Morgan can't have it both ways: either the hero is flawed but bascially on the side of the little guy, or he's just a tool of the powerful - mere survival of the fittest isn't a satisfying moral trajectory for a character. It may be a Darwinian universe, but we don't have to like it: Chris, you suspect, likes it just the way it is.
Perhaps Morgan felt he needed to do penance for when Jerry Bruckheimer 're-skins' Takeshi Kovacs, an ethnic Asian, as Tom Cruise. However, either Morgan or his editors should abandon the navel gazing and stick to the grippingly plotted mix of gumshoe investigation and big sci-fi that make the Kovacs stories work so well.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Let Down, 8 Sep 2006
From the high standards set by the Takeshi Kovacs novels by the same author this is something of a let down.

The authors notes hint at how this story might have come to be. Someone gave him a neat idea with elements of the Road Warrior in, improbably set in a dystopian version of the UK in the future. As a resident of the UK I can honestly say that familiarity with the places being written about makes it all the more improbable. Perhaps to a foreign reader that would be less the case.

While it might've made a good short story it's not material for a lengthy novel. There are just too many things that defy any form of logic. Big business deciding contracts via car wars? If that was the case do we really think that they'd allow one or three drivers to decide their profit and loss?

Personally I'd have been a lot happier to keep the personal grudge matches to the car wars and then tell a story around that. There's just too great a lack of thinking in the story, or at least what we can see there. Morgan has always written as if the reader already knows the background/explanations behind his plots - then revealed the details to us very gradually over a hundred or more pages. That worked in the Kovacs novels. Here... not at all.

After the first person story-telling of his other books I found the third person here much less intimate in a way that'd always worked well for Morgan before.

I was stuck on a plane to the US with this book, anticipating something much better. I still gave it a couple of stars for the idea and for the characterisation of the hero and his wife, I did like them both as characters.

It just feels like the author wanted a change of pace and scene, without really caring what he was writing about at the time.

Oh, keep a look out for the references to things mentioned in the Kovacs novels. It suggests - perhaps - this is part of the past of that world?
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 11 July 2004
By 
S. Holm (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If You expect Market Forces to feel like it takes over where Altered Carbon and Broken Angels left, You are going to be dissapointed. Market Forces is *not* at all a bad book - I just didn't think it was as good as Morgan's 2 previous efforts.
Please note! I AM a sucker for the far, far future setting of the two first books - and currently my favorite authors are Alastair Reynolds and Neal Asher. Keep that in mind as well as the first two sentences of this review, and Youll be fine.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment after his other books, 6 July 2006
By 
XTR (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I read this after Altered Carbon etc by the same author, and this is the only one of his books I haven't enjoyed. The idea of "car wars" on the M11 seems more laughable than anything else and the parts of the book set in an office environment are too implausible to take seriously (even set in the next century). Given that these make up most of the book, and that the main character (Chris) is pretty repugnant, and you're on to a loser.

Save yourself the time/money and skip this one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984 with corperations, 28 April 2006
This book is quite fantastic, a dark and violent portrayal of a future that appears to be more likely than most other sci-fi futures. Amid remorseless violence Morgan creates a bleak alienating landscape of all powerful multi-national corperations and blighted urban poor. I found the main chracter Chris repugnant, although there were a few moments when what goodness still remained shone through and Morgan did allow me to feel sympathy for him, even though he wasn't the nicest of people. My only fault with it was the car chases - car chases do not work in books and the whole premise seemed a bit silly. It was good to read sci-fi that is not overall right wing in viewpoint although I think the politics could have been done a lot more subtley.

With this novel Morgan demonstrates sci-fi's real strength: To use fantasy to point out the traits of the present day. This not a novel about the future, it is about now.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment after his first two efforts, 14 Nov 2004
By 
Steve P (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
After reading the author's first two novels,and finding them thoroughly enjoyable this was a bit of a let-down.
The whole novel feels like it is an extrapolation of a chance discussion in a pub about road-rage and the inequities of modern society. Unfortunately the extrapolation is not in the least bit believable.
The author provides little in the way of back-story to explain how Britain turned into this dystopia, and what is provided is late in the book and is unconvincing. Even in the far-future setting of his first two novels the setting and premise of the books was coherent and believable. In a near-future setting the reader is likely to be even more sceptical and need more persuasive explanations of how the universe came to be as it is.
The violence in the book seems intended to shock, and appears to be an attempt to gain notoriety rather than adding to the story. I am not squeamish about violence in fiction, Morgan's first two books, and some Iain.M.Banks carry off the ultra-violence well without feeling forced.
I would suggest skipping this effort and waiting instead for Morgan's next real sci-fi entry, rather than this sub Mad-Max political novel. (Having said all that - I personally am still looking forward to his next book as the first two were really very good, and he hasn't used up his accumulated goodwill from Altered Carbon and Broken Angels as yet.)
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Stuff, 4 Mar 2004
By 
A full throttle, ultra-violent, twisting, treacherous tale of corporate killers.
Not for the faint-hearted nor the politically correct. No hero, just varying degrees of villainy. No squeaky-clean Hollywood good-guys here.
It's a superb read, one of the most enjoyable and absorbing thrillers I've read in years.
If you liked Morgan's previous work or maybe Neal Asher then this is for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, I thought it was very good, 3 Jun 2004
This was the first Richard Morgan that I read. Altered Carbon had been recommended to me but I picked this one up first. I was not disappointed. The description of the future world is convincingly maintained and is sufficiently close to ours to be very believable with no excursions into complicated devices to paper over holes in the plot or outrageous technological contrivances to explain narrative disjunctions. Morgan's world has developed in ways that have terrifyingly recognisable roots in ours. Just look at some of the reports coming from any of the "little" wars that hide on page 11 of your paper or even from the headline stories of Iraq. Although it wanders slightly in the middle and could do with some slightly tighter editing the story concept is excellent and the writing (with the exception I have already mentioned about the slight wobble in the middle -- an excursion to Scandinavia) matches the potential of the plot. Like all good fiction it invites you in to another world that it totally absorbing and in this case the germs of Morgan's world have already -- awfully -- been sown in ours.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 19 Feb 2014
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I loved the dog eat dog corporate machinations in this book and the nihilistic vision of the near future. Though the premise that led to the 'car wars' concept of promotion seemed contrived to facilitate the physical conflicts that are Morgan's forte, I forgave him this for the sheer velocity of the action. Not quite in the league of altered carbon and the Kovacs novels in general, this was still a piece of highly enjoyable Morgan entertainment and is probably begging to be made into a film (Tom Cruise perhaps)!
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Market Forces (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Market Forces (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by Richard Morgan (Paperback - 4 Sep 2008)
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