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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2002
This stuff is action packed but its heart is in the speculation: what is necessary to be human? The book never comes out and answers but gives you evidence to judge for yourself. In this universe, the most "human" character turns out to be a stone-cold killer. He retains the primal human responses to threats, honed by science of course, but pure nonetheless. The character is not admirable but at least you can understand him. There is more of him in us than in the Meths of the story, for instance.
I can't believe that this is a first novel; it's written with the confidence and verve of a seasoned professional. I'm looking forward to his next!
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on 27 June 2016
Detective yarn set in the future. It's ok as a holiday read, but didn't grip me
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on 1 November 2003
A fantastic first offering from Richard Morgan. I picked this book on spec for a "holiday read" and was certainly glad that I did. The ideas of the future that are introduced here are at once fantastic, frightening, exciting and also totally believeble - and that is the crux for me. A future that is not so fantastical that it seems inplausible, and with ideas that really made me stop and think, and totally fired my imagination.
Oh, and then of course there's the plot - a kind of almost Mike Hammer type detective tale, set well in the future, with more than a sprinkling of graphic and shocking violence, and even some "love interest" thrown in. And throughout the book, references to other times and other places that left me itching for the sequel. And the sequel to the sequel...
Reading this book actually got me back into reading, something I'd given up on years ago. Thank you Richard Morgan!
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on 8 August 2014
Excellent read. Very imaginative but credible. Now I want more!!
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on 1 April 2005
What can I say, I've read the reviews and I won't bore you with detail excepts to say that this book is one of the best books I've read for a long time. It's like Jason Bourne (Robert Ludlum) mixed with lots of cyberpunk. Very dark and very gripping to read. I've read all of Richards books and I've just bought Woken Furies, and from what I've heard this is excellent as well. Read it or miss out on an extremely well written book.
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on 12 April 2003
The world of cortical (brain memory) "stacks" & supralight needle-beams of data. A vividly-imagined, gritty and oft-times ghoulish yarn, with a super-hero (of course), occasionally over-complex subplots & a fair amount of gangsterised lingo, with Bond-like interludes.
Here's the true offspring of Blade Runner; another grainy & daunting future-world of hi-tech & pirate-tech juxtaposed.
Most SF fans will love it!!!
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on 14 September 2008
I was really enjoying this book until the last third, when it descended into a boys action fantasy, james bond style!!! kovacs was a really good character unitil he became invincible! you let yourself down mr morgan
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on 3 October 2003
This is an excellent novel, all the more so for its grimy and hard-hitting style.
It is violent and sexually explicit, but these elements are used to create a backdrop of an all to possible and human future, a future that is at once readily identifiable with our own time. A future proving that, much as time goes on, the fudnamental flaws and dirt of humanity will always remain.
The plot perhaps lurches along at times -- sometimes too conveniently -- but the quality of writing is incisive, and the dialogue is always, by equal measures, grim, witty and sardonic.
The book explores themes of human psychology and desires, whilst offering plenty of action to keep it gripping and addictive.
Meanwhile, the technological concepts are interesting, albeit not entirely original.
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on 22 April 2002
Richard Morgan's book has several weaknesses. Most of all is the use of violence. The story is set in a violent world, so it was all right to allude to violence. But Morgan went too far, particularly with descriptions of people being tortured. Why was this necessary? What did it add to the book? Nothing. If anything, it pulled the book down, and at times made one feel sick.
A book is supposed to be for enjoyment, so why talk about torture at length? Bad move. Had the torture scenes not been there, I would have given this book four out of five. - If Richard Morgan should read this, perhaps he would consider how much violence he puts into his next book. As it is, it would put me off reading it.
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on 20 October 2003
I was a little bit unsure about this book at first - the 'detective novel' style was a little off-putting. However, the unusual narrative style is soon forgotten as the story gets a grip - and it really does.
The story is wonderfully put together. The characters are strong and complex - Kovacs, the protaganist, is violent and brutal but also compassionate and honorable.
To my mind the science is always plausible - and the social problems it generates are explored - in particular the gap between the super-rich 'Meths' and the rest of society.
This book is sometimes very violent and sexually explicit. These aspects are an important part of the story and of the world in which it is set.
This is really a very good book - read it.
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