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3.2 out of 5 stars
21
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 14 September 2010
This book was given to me by a friend at work, he put it in my pigeon hole with a note that read "I think this is extremely good - not a great work of literature but [a] very clever and gripping story". Just finished the book, he was right. Although the book was first published in the mid-1990's, I thought that the computer technology would have dated considerably, I was wrong. The computer at the core of the book was powerful and eerily onimpresent throughout the book. The book is written on a number of levels, it can be read as satire on the ugliness and megalomania of modern architecture. In its profile on Norman Foster, the Guardian noted "Philip Kerr adapted Foster as the thinly disguised lead character of his clever, high-tech thriller Gridiron. The character is a highly-driven, cold, utterly selfish monster who designs a building that thinks for itself...Foster was not amused" The Guardian 02/01/1999. It can also be read as a sci-fi novel as we are taking into purely scientific realms of how glass blocks out light at an atomic level to the principles of air-conditioning. The characters had a good substantial dimension to them. The humour crackled, arced and sparked throughout the book. The pace is gripping and unrelenting. A great well-written romp in a dystopic and dysfunctional building of the future - anyone who likes the work of Philip K Dick may well like this as well. Great entertainment throughout.
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on 21 November 1999
Computer nerds will probably hate it because it makes you think about what benefits artificial intelligence actually brings. As an adventure thriller it's a good read, exciting and the sort of book to pack on a trip or long journey. As with all Kerr's work, if you can read between the lines it'll raise a few questions. If you expect computer worship... wrong book!
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on 9 April 1998
I read this book just the last two days in german. It was absolutely great, I was thrilled from the first to the last line - starting smooth, running wild, exploding to the end - haven't read a more exciting book for the last years - since I left the early King - just for the suspense, this GRID isn't bloody horror, it's soft, and that makes it so strong.
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on 12 December 1999
Gridiron is the nickname for the latest smart office building in Los Angelos. Designed by an arrogant architect with a big ego and run by a parallel computer. As Ishmael comes on-line the smart building toys with human lives. The 187s rise and two LAPD homicide wise cracks begin a deadly investigation. Ultimately the players struggle to a finale that points to a future that has already arrived.
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on 27 November 2000
For me the jacket notes of this book made it a "must read". The concept of a building with a mind of it's own was too good to miss. A lively enough start and some interesting characters made it easy to read at first but then as the building took control the storyline became inevitable and I was probably more relieved than those trapped inside when their ordeal ended.
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2004
The concept of a bit of sentient technology gone mad is hardly original but the backdrop of this novel is convincing and engaging. The design and descriptions of the building are rather good and the scenes centering around the obsessive architect and his foolish wife are excellent.
However, the rest isn't good at all. Most of the charaters are absurdly poor and the dialogue is stilted and at the lowest level of hollywood action-speak. The thing that really spoils is for me is that the technical ideas are woefully implemented. The descriptions of AI are not dated, they show that Kerr has tried to fill his story with 'hard' details but it seems that he has drawn his 'facts' from a single tabloid newspaper article on artificial intelligence. Kerr is even mad enough to try and take open swipe at Asimov and his three laws of robotics. Come on, Mr Kerr, you aren't even in the same league. People understood AI better in the days of Alan Turing.
Philip Kerr has tried to write a hollywood action novel, and he has suceeded. Save yourself the bother and read 'A philosophical Investigation' instead which is far less flawed.
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on 29 December 1997
Good suspense. Good Technically. Good characterizations. Ingeniously creative plot. Intriguingly different. Highly recommended.
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on 15 August 2000
I must say that I had my preservations about this book when I first started out - I mean a story about an intelligent building that gets out of control! It all seemed a little farfetched and boring in the beginning but the suspense and action soon picked up and the book became extremely exciting. Basically the plot is about human survival in a high tech world dominated by machines. Give it a chance and this book will be good to you. All in all a great read if you're in to this sort of thing.
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on 11 June 2016
Read all Phillip Kerr books but could not get into this one. May again in the future .
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on 27 January 2013
I like Kerr's Bernie Gunther books which are full of humour and irony.

This effort becomes just plain daft after about 100 pages and you can't get the image of The Poseidon Adventure out of your head most of the time. That doesn't help.

It starts off promisingly enough with a Rupert Murdoch type figure being nasty and building up a lot of resentment towards himself but ends up with folk shinning up giant trees and expiring in lifts and toilets. There is rather a lot of toilet material in fact!

It might make a TV special but as a book it's snoozersville and I could not wait for it to end.
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