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The Quantum Thief Paperback – 1 Nov 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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£8.99 FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by Amazon over £10. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (1 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575088893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575088894
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 2.2 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

This is a sci-fi book to read; the world is pieced together masterfully and you get a detective/adventure story all in one. (Linda Bloduedd BOOK GIRL OF MUR-Y-CASTELL Blog)

Book Description

The most exciting SF debut of the last five years - a star to stand alongside Alistair Reynolds and Richard Morgan.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’m not really sure what to think about this one. I’ve been searching for an Iain M. Banks replacement since his death and it’s all been a bit fruitless.

Why do I mention this? Well, this book was recommended to me on this basis.

First, the good. It’s very well written. Not just the vernacular and curious tricks like repetition and disjointed but imaginative and gratifying metaphors that are in abundance, but structurally, too. The tension, reveals and plot are layered on top of each other expertly. There’s no cheap shock or twist, rather, an inevitable but still surprising and satisfying series of conclusions that make the story feel tight and believable, despite its exotic location and characters. Simply, nothing feels forced in at an awkward angle – either character interactions of plot routes. It reads very much as though it was written with a lot of giant storyboards plastered on walls. It’s careful and modulated with extreme skill. This aspect of the book is delightful.

Another great part of this book is the variety of ideas – most of them excellent. There are concepts and consequences of these that light the imagination with possibility, and if they aren’t delved into too deeply in the story, that’s just fine (although one aspect grates, which I will describe later), because it’s a joy to fill in the gaps yourself. Specifically, the writer’s approach to the issue of privacy in an interconnected future is very well thought through and seems entirely plausible, despite the technology required being little different from actual black magic.

However, for all this, there are many faults, and ultimately they are ones that mean I won’t be reading the squeals until well into the future, when I’ve run out of other recommendations to get through.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand this book is packed with some brilliant ideas that can fill many books on what future could hold for humankind. What if we are no longer bound by our mortal bodies and that we can simply live forever by uploading our minds and spreading our consciousness across the galaxy? What if we can share our memories and our most intimate information with others as simply as sending an instant message?

However on the other hand, I felt these ideas are wrapped in what is essentially a weak story, one where I never cared about the characters at all. At certain points, the book has the reader buried in so many unfamiliar concepts and terminologies that makes identifying with the characters less of a concern. Maybe the author wanted to keep the story short and snappy and decided to sacrifice depth for a fast-moving pace?

The problem is that the story doesn't guide you by the hand but rather expect you to figure out everything by yourself. I come from a science background so the concepts weren't that hard for me to figure out but at times you just feel so overwhelmed and lost that you want to give up. Luckily there is also a glossary available on Wikipedia. Even with the glossary at hand, I didn't have much idea of what was happening in the story until I was in the final chapters when everything finally clicked and realised what a clever ending this is. I felt my "Eureka" moment came too late and spoiled my enjoyment of the story.

This is a book that will definitely benefit from rereading. By the second or third time, you will already be familiar enough with the concepts and can just focus tackling the story. I will let you know if my opinion changes if I ever decide to reread this book.

The Quantum Thief is a book full of potential but not quite getting there yet. Let's see how the sequel, The Fractal Prince will do when it comes out in September.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked the idea, I really did, but the author but it unnecessarily complicates things by not giving some background to the races, technologies and politics in the book's universe. As such I needed to scrabble through the story trying to fill in the gaps for what I 'thought' things were, at the same time as keeping up with the plot.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the story-telling which worked well with some interesting zig-zags in the plot.
The tech was a bit laid on with a trowel but didn't seem too distracting.
Very entertaining.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A mind-boggling journey through quantum mechanics, advanced computational constructs and space-time. Such novelty, such adept blending of world views and threads of knowledge. If you like Iain M. Banks, you'll love this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A little difficult to get into, but deeply rewarding. Posthumans, and innovative thought about how societies grow and die. Makes me think of Banks at his best.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tries to be too smart for its own good at time a but the story is compelling and the sci-fi elements are fairly original and fresh.
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Where to begin? This is a book you need to read again and again. Every page, every line drives the story forward - it ought ot be indexed, there's as much reading backwards as as forwards as you have those "Ah!" moments and have to check what you read before. One clue: the "Interludes" are important.

From the opening, in a "dilemma prison" where Jean le Flambeur is condemned to iterate and reiterate his life, to the ending, in a sort-of garden (and with a hint of more to come) the book is chock full of ideas. Somebody wants to Jean to carry out a crime, but who, and what is the crime? Before he can oblige , he needs to recover his memories, and that takes us to the Oubliette, a society on Mars which is a weird blend of advanced quantum cryptography and steampunk. But there are more challenges here. There are Detectives. There are soul-stealers. There is le Roi. And Jean left a girlfriend behind, who wants to get even.

The action takes place against a well realised background - the Protocol wars. The Spike. The Collapse. Revolution. The Kingdom. We are hundreds of years into the future, and minds can inhabit newly made bodies, migrating from one lifetime to the next through different forms, accumulating memories. What happens if someone can hack the memory mechanism - enabling them to, literally, reshape minds? In order to pay his debt to his rescuer, Jean needs to find out - taking him on a journey that reveals the secrets of the Oubliette. As he says, "Fighting a cabal of planetary mind-controlling masterminds with a group of masked vigilantes - that's what life should be all about."

I just can't praise this book too highly. It deserves to be showered with awards, and to sell by the shipload.
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