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Wolves by [Ings, Simon]
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Wolves Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 303 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Ings' return to full-throttle SF is a cause for celebration. His gift for edgy slipstream fiction makes comparisons with both JG Ballard and William Gibson apposite. Bleak, brutal and uncompromising . If there's any justice in the world it'll win awards."4.5 star review (Jonathan Wright SFX)

a moving take of the movers and shakers of technology. Overall grade: A (Patrick Hayes Sci-fi Pulse.net)

Simon pulls it off to a higher degree, if not quite fully-turning reality into alternative reality through Augmented Reality! (Mark Watkins Blast 1386)

one of the key books of next year...a serious, ambitious and discomforting novel (Christopher Priest)

a murder mystery, with elements of horror, thriller and exploration woven through...Ings creates an incredibly vivid world which leaps out from teh page with shock...I loved this book (Fantasy Book Review)

One of the best books I've read this year...Ings is the sort of stylist who makes other writers touch the peaks of their caps in respect for his technical skill (Sibilant Fricative)

I confidently expect this book to feature on a few best of the year lists this time next year (I certainly expect it to feature on my list) (Paul Kincaid BullSpec.com)

Simon Ings' book is worthy of anybody's shelf especially if your humour level is of a wicked variety (Flickering Myth)

a moving take of the movers and shakers of technology. Overall grade: A (Patrick Hayes Sci-fi Pulse.Net)

Book Description

A chilling literary dystopia for those who love Iain Banks and J.G. Ballard.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 969 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 057511973X
  • Publisher: Gollancz (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E5D5S3W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #175,020 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The world is unfair to Simon Ings.

With his mash-up of multi-layered narrative, cyberpunky characters and deep interest in how technology perverts us, there's a goodish chance that on some alternative planet he's as lauded as JG Ballard and David Mitchell.

`The Weight of Numbers' seemed, for a short while in 2006, on the verge of becoming his breakthrough novel, but the right butterfly didn't flap its wings at the right time. Meanwhile `Wolves' has 7 reviews on Amazon and `The Bone Clocks', 259.

Does Ings care? `Wolves' certainly doesn't chase readers. The novel nods to the ever-popular Dystopian World genre, but refuses to get dramatic in tone or narrative. It's a story of human relationships, but the characters are opaque and diffuse.

The novel starts fantastically well. Conrad, our twenty-something, sexually ambivalent narrator (also known as `Connie'), is in a desultory relationship with a woman who has huge, white, robotic hands. He receives a call from boyhood friend Michel. Thus begins a journey both back into the past and into the future.

The world Ings builds is a singular one. Drab housing estates, floods, a long-standing war that seems to hardly affect the wider population, point to the present. But futuristic image recognition technology comes to play an increasingly important part, reflecting the novel's main theme of appearances and disappearances, the elusive nature of reality.

Conrad has grown up in a roadside hotel with a bipolar mother and a father who runs a side business trying to improve the vision of soldiers blinded in the war. He now works in the field of Augmented Reality (roughly two steps on from VR), bringing two-dimensional advertising to life.
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Format: Paperback
A new breed of postmodern Mad-Men are intent on smearing a commercial veneer across the digital mirror world accessed via our smart glasses, contact lenses, phones and (maybe) even remote nerve stimulation, but one of them has secrets of his own and nowhere real to hide them.

The future here may be augmented, possibly unreal, but Simon Ings has created a compelling truthful sense of the world in his return to science fiction. One that echoes with memories of Iain Banks' The Crow Road, with dark family secrets left unburied, and populated by the kind of restlessly ambivalent anti-heroes you'd expect to find in JG Ballard's contemporary disaster novels.

Fans of Ings' equally excellent Dead Water will find a much more controlled narrative at work here, with a single character perspective proving the best way to navigate (or misdirect) readers through an increasingly uncertain world, while new readers will find plenty of literary meat amidst the technological trappings to get their wolfish teeth into.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wolves is a brilliant novel. Simon Ings creates a world that is both human and stripped of humanity: a bleak vision of an unspecified future where all the human failings are the same as they are now, but the world is a technological nightmare and greed is at the centre of it. This story is part science fiction, part detective, and part horror. I felt wrenched by the end of it. I felt as if I’d been taken on a roller coaster ride blind folded. I’d read it again and again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book in many ways but you feel the character development got in the way of the story development. A lot goes unexplained.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the strength of a review in the Sunday Times which pitched it as a gripping thriller set in a dystopian future. If you squint very, very hard, you could describe it as that, but I wouldn't.

This book is so thoroughly detached from reality that I found nothing to engage with. The future it describes is (one presumes) England, but the writer deliberately removes all traces of the country we live in now. No place-names, no sense of how this near-future is arrived at. There is a war going on (apparently) but he doesn't tell us who's fighting. No war in history has ever had less impact on the country that fought it.

The characters wander round rather aimlessly and there is some very precious writing about their situation but very little sense of what they do, because nothing is named, no places are related to each other and everything just slides away.

Early in the book, there is some quite graphic sexual writing about the main character's girlfriend who has had a traumatic accident. You could say that it is an honest confrontation of the guilt felt when a loved one is disabled. You could also say that it is voyeurism of the worst sort. I'll let you decide.

I stopped reading this book and I've only left this review because I didn't start reading it until after it was too late to get a refund. My bad.

Finally, this book is written in the present tense, for no good reason that I can see. All writers who persist in this affectation should be forced to declare it in their blurb.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Early on while reading this I was tempted to put it to one side and try another book. But I stuck with it and am so glad that I did. It builds wonderfully and has a great ending. But the final third I found it almost impossible to put down.
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