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Turbulence Paperback – 6 Jul 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; Reprint edition (6 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781161194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781161197
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Turbulence is a helter-skelter superhero novel full of playful postmodern references to superhero fiction and a plethora of captivating characters with extraordinary abilities. --Bookmunch

If you're looking for brilliantly written fun and fast paced action that leaves you wanting more, this is definitely it. One word of warning though, you may ignore your loved ones completely until you've finished it. --The Tattooed Book

The character arcs are satisfyingly wriggly, careful not to jump to obvious conclusions but instead taking a thoughtful, realistic look at what people would actually do if given the ability they most desired. --British Fantasy Society

"Easy and exciting." --Time Out

"Turbulence delivers exactly what it intends: an entertaining, well-written read. In the genre s history it will be seen as an important work, a reflection of the subcontinent s growing self-confidence." --SF World

"The action is fast and full of iconic fight scenes that feel straight out of a comic book...The humour and cultural references are fun and spot on." --Geek Syndicate

"Solid writing, great character development, humor, personal loss, and excellent points to ponder in every chapter." --Wired s Geek Dad

It s like X-Men, but good. --The Sun

A cracking read." --Forbidden Planet

"Part-season-one-Heroes, part-X-Men, and all awesome as the book chugs along with some wild battles, chases, and a truly epic climax." --Fruitless Pursuits

"If you like superhero stories and are looking for some truly unique powers AND a completely new locale, you MUST read Turbulence." --Geek Dad review

This 21st century look at Superheroes is both fun and thoughtful well worth the cover price!" --The Pullbox

"Basu's flair for character extends to a real understanding of what makes each character funny, both intentionally and unintentionally on their part. He s willing to let his characters be both ridiculous and sympathetic, and at his best, that makes for a cast who are a genuine plea. --British Fantasy Society

"Basu did a wonderful job of strategically just the right amount of pop culture references in the just the right places and in the right quantities." --Nerd Trek

The character arcs are satisfyingly wriggly, careful not to jump to obvious conclusions but instead taking a thoughtful, realistic look at what people would actually do if given the ability they most desired. --British Fantasy Society

About the Author

Samit Basu is one of the most talented and prolific young writers of today, with an existing and impressive profile in comics culture, science fiction and fantasy.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On paper, Turbulence by Samit Basu, seems to be directly aimed at me as its target market. Superheroes? I'm there. Ordinary people acquiring super powers? Again up my alley. Similar to the NBC series Heroes? Go on then.

A group of people are on a flight from London to New Delhi - they all have strange dreams, fantasies of who they could be, and when they wake up they have acquired a power which correlates to their fantasy, so Vir the pilot can fly, Uzma the wannabee actress is irresistible to those around her, Aman the computer geek can mentally hack into any computer, the journalist gets premonitions about newsworthy events and so on...

The trouble arises with the structure, we meet our heroes shortly after powers have been acquired and to my mind the huge opportunity of an origin story is missed the chance to build up the scene of all these people before the flight and boarding it, dreaming and disembarking. A chance to build wonder, and mystique. It all seems a bit disjointed somehow.

Additionally the powers they possess are either bog standard powers familiar in most superhero tales (human flight) or a bit naff in terms of their capacity for dramatic impact (mental internet, the power of allurement) And the guy who can control the temperature with his stomach, what's that all about? Useless!

By far the greatest and for me fatal flaw of this piece is the dialogue. It's dialogue heavy, and the dialogue is extremely poor and weak, cringe inducing even. "Hey! we're like the X Men!"
When the writing switches to prose or private thoughts it isn't so bad, but it isn't long before you're hit in the face with yet more cliched conversation of the most contrived, artificial kind.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the past I have certainly enjoyed the story-writing of such comicbook stalwarts are Mike Carey and B H Fingerman (not to mention Neil Gaiman!) and can see that someone able to produce, say, an entertaining graphic novel certainly can have the ability to do the same in the non-graphic form. However, and recognising that I may be doing Samit Basu a disservice, I would imagine that this might have worked better in comicbook form than it did as a novel.

It started out well but, towards the end, I felt that the author was more interested in setting things up for a sequel than with providing a satisfying conclusion. Don't get me wrong, this was certainly an OK read and I enjoyed some of the insights into the tropes and mores of Indian society. But, overall, it seemed to me to be more of a series of episodes rather than a well-balanced whole.

I was certainly swayed by the hype but, as has happened once or twice recently, I don't anticipate investing my time in continuing with the series when I have so much else to read that I think would better reward the time spent. YMMV.
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Format: Paperback
Turbulence is a story about a handful of individuals from different walks of life unknowingly ending up with superpowers after a flight from London to Delhi. It is a story about these very individuals discovering their new identities and coming to terms with their powers and deciding on how to eventually use them. It is a classic tale of Good Vs Evil with emotions and self discovery thrown in as extra measure to give the characters a more human feel which in turn adds to the charm of the book.

It is quite evident that the author Samit Basu is up-to-date with his knowledge about superheroes and the pop culture references are in abundance throughout the book. He is not short on humor either with a number of instances where I did literally laugh-out-loud. Unfortunately, the biggest flaw lies with the powers that are allotted to the characters. Throughout the book I could not help but relate certain aspects to comic books, or TV series like Heroes, or films like X-Men, Avengers, Superman, etc. For example, there is a "suit" that is somewhat on the lines of Iron Man. Moreover, it even folds-up into a briefcase which to me shouted Iron Man 2, the film. There is a character who can bulk himself up and become a tiger faced beast which seemed pretty much like the Hulk without the obvious turmoil that the Hulk/Dr. Banner go through. Even the main villain, Jai, has shades of Magneto, not in terms of power, but in terms of their thought process. So while I tried to enjoy the book, I could not but help draw up these similarities, and there were quite a few, and I am not even a comic book fan.

Having said that, the book does have interesting characters, especially the ones that are regional to India.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed TURBULENCE, but I don't agree with the 5-star reviews that it has received here.

TURBULENCE states its' themes upfront and does an admirable job of exploring them. It has some very memorable scenes. But I found the writing average, especially with regards to dialogue and description.

I'm not going to give a plot summary but will mention specific scenes to illustrate points.

So, TURBULENCE takes the classic superhero scenario (a diverse cast of people receive a diverse range of powers, action ensues) and does two different things with it:
1) uses a novel form, rather than a comic
2) transplants most of the action to India

I think that the novel format worked in giving book greater depth. The book's biggest strength is the in-depth exploration of the implication of powers (especially Aman's) on the real world. Basu breaths life into some of the "B-list" of comic-book powers (e.g. Tia's self-duplication) and there are some very clever moments (again, often involving Tia). The downside is that the format doesn't lend itself to extended descriptions of action - the end fight was especially anemic.

The book is written in the present tense and shifts between character viewpoints many times within a chapter (or even within a conversation). I found this confusing, especially because it became clear halfway through that Aman is the book's focal character.

There is a lot of violence in this book but I am pleased that Basu doesn't possess the fascination with gore and profanity shared by many current genre authors. This is clear from the opening chapter. Scenes like Tia's assualt on the Kashmir base could have been very unpleasant if written by, say, Iain M Banks.
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