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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Game of All, 8 Mar 2011
This review is from: Faking It: accounts of the General Genetics Corporation (Kindle Edition)
Who has not, at one time or another, wished that a particular person would love us forever? Who has not wished that we could _make_ that person love us?

In 'The Greatest Game of All' Brooke riffs on this sophomoric idea, with beautifully bitter-sweet results. A wealthy narcissist commissions the manufacture of a love potion to stop his wife wanting to leave him ever. Plangent work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Collection Of Work, 3 Mar 2011
By 
P. Fitzgerald - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Faking It: accounts of the General Genetics Corporation (Kindle Edition)
Although the stories presented in this volume share a common theme, a parent company if you will, there is an interesting variety of material here. At times Faking It is exciting, at times it's funny, at times it's incredible cruel. It is, however, always engrossing.

What I found particularly satisfying about this collection is the fact that there is a natural development all the way through. We start with a story that is knee deep in General Genetics Corporation, then we have a few stories that just sit outside of this company's sphere of influence (although they are always present, even if it isn't always obvious), and finally we have a few stories that show us how the company develops. Beefcake, in particular, is a wonderful piece of extrapolation. It seems so far from our first experience of GenGen, and yet you can see how it could happen, how the same people could be responsible.

The afterwords are also a wonderful little insight into the processes behind the stories, and how they slot into Keith Brooke's career.

Highly recommended, worth every penny and every second spent reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supersoundbites: The Master Record of a Writer's Development, 21 Feb 2011
This review is from: Faking It: accounts of the General Genetics Corporation (Kindle Edition)
I didn't realize until I was already reading Faking It: Accounts of the General Genetics Corporation that I in fact know Keith Brooke, in the sense that I read one of his early books, which for years stood on my family's sci-fi shelves. Though some of my own books are generally rated sci-fi by readers, and were written under the influence of the legendary hard sci-fi editor Nick Austin, I'm not generally a reader of sci-fi. So I was in for a big surprise! Brooke turns out to be one of the most energetic boosters of scifi as a writer, editor, publisher and teacher of creative writing.

Faking It isn't the `Chronicles' of the General Genetics Corporation, they are, literally, the `Accounts'. Oh, Brooke gives the collection of stories a decent veneer of characterization and even wit about `erogenous zones' which caused me to laugh aloud at a tragic moment for his characters, but an auditor could read this book and trace the products and the profits of the GenGenCorp in these stories as easily as in a set of expense accounts. A more ruthless bunch of psychopaths would be difficult to assemble. This is real life corporate warfare taken to the limit in the very near future. As someone who survived, and prospered, in the ratf*c*e*r* of multinational advertising, I recognized quite a few of my ex-partners and most of my clients in Brooke's pages. More I can't say without introducing spoilers. But I will say that my fave character was Elsa the lapdancer.

This is an important book in that the stories seem to have been deliberately selected to give an overview of Brooke's development as a writer. That's great for his hardcore fans and for future scholars evaluating the influence and work of an important actor. And it was great for me as an instant catch-up to a writer whose work I had no difficulty recalling after almost two decades. Faking It is the supersoundbite version of Brooke's growth as a writer.

This appealing concept does however bring with it two problems. The first is a slightly uneven tone, unavoidable in this sort of compilation of material written over so many years. Brooke was very professional from the beginning, but it is clear to me from the subtle shifts in Faking It that a long stretch, perhaps decades, of his most powerful middle years is just starting.

The second problem is commercial, that fans will have seen at least some of this material before as short stories and in at least one case the opening chapter of one of Brooke's novels. Does that matter? The stories are very inventive and clever, worth rereading. So it matters not quite half a star's worth. Five stars for entertainment value.

André Jute is the author of Writing a Thriller. His most recent books are IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth and THE LARSSON SCANDAL the unauthorized guerilla critique of Stieg Larsson. More literary chat on his blog KIssing the Blarney.
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