We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Altered Carbon | [Richard K. Morgan]

Altered Carbon

In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.
Regular Price:$31.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Hardwire William Gibson into Dashiell Hammett and you get the unique universe that has earned Richard K. Morgan a legion of Audible fans. Todd McLaren wisely taps into the noir undercurrent for his narration - moving the action forward at a steady clip, letting the characterizations do the work, and treating high concepts like "sleeving" (downloading your personality into a new body) with a dead-pan legitimacy that makes them feel all the more real. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched 180 light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats "existence" as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.

Altered Carbon is the first Takeshi Kovacs novel. Don't miss the sequels Broken Angels and Woken Furies.

©2003 Richard K. Morgan; (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This far-future hard-boiled detective story is a lovely virtual-reality romp." (Booklist)
"Fast-paced, densely textured, impressive....Morgan's 25th-century Earth is convincing, while the questions he poses about how much Self is tied to body chemistry and how the rich believe themselves above the law are especially timely." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3704 )
5 star
 (1452)
4 star
 (1265)
3 star
 (622)
2 star
 (223)
1 star
 (142)
Overall
4.1 (1888 )
5 star
 (798)
4 star
 (620)
3 star
 (309)
2 star
 (94)
1 star
 (67)
Story
4.2 (1876 )
5 star
 (855)
4 star
 (655)
3 star
 (258)
2 star
 (74)
1 star
 (34)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    05-24-05
    05-24-05 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Couldn't put it down"

    As one who normally only reads reviews, I would feel remise at not rating this one. Having started the book in it's written incarnation, I expected a pretty good listen. What I found instead was a fantastic listen! The story itself of course holds your attention throughout, but listening to the cool,cynical voice of the reader, I could picture myself there in 25th century Bay City. The presentation reminded me of those hard boiled detective novels read over the radio in the 40's. You gotta get this one! Here's hoping that Audible publishes Takeshi Kovacs's newest adventure (Broken Angel)in the very near future.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beau New Orleans, LA, United States 08-23-12
    Beau New Orleans, LA, United States 08-23-12 Member Since 2015

    Husband. Dad. 3D Nerd. Tech Junkie. Saints fan. Part of the Squid clan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This Book has the Density of a Black Hole!"

    Whoa! Author Richard Morgan has ginned up a massively complex, nuanced future world as well as highly imperfect but incredibly charismatic characters that keep you riveted through this epic story. I have to admit that while I love hard-boiled detective stories as much as anyone, I doubt Altered Carbon could get much more gritty. There is plenty of raw language and imagery (both sex and violence), but I feel it ultimately adds to the story, paints a more vivid picture of characters and isn't provided simply for shock value alone. The only minor complaint I have is that the narrator's voice is SO deep, that it was sometimes hard to understand what he was saying. Not so much as to lose key plot points, but irritating when I was driving and listening. Otherwise, it's s fantastic book and I am looking forward to listening to more from Morgan.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 06-16-08
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 06-16-08 Member Since 2012

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1969
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    395
    289
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    579
    9
    Overall
    "Very good sci-fi detective story"

    This book is a blend of science fiction and a traditional detective story and is very well done. The narrator is fantastic.

    The science fiction part of the story is very original, interesting and just plain cool. (Lots of high-tech - and nearly believeable - concepts of a future where we can store our consciousness in a portable database.)

    The detective part of the story is engaging, surprising and hard to put down.

    It has some swear words that are R rated, is very graphic/gory (detailed blood and guts imagery) and has very (VERY) graphic sex scenes (they are definitely adult only - moderate porn level scenes).

    Don't get me wrong, I don't mind sex scenes and swear words but the sex (a.k.a. porn) is not interesting and doesn't advance the plot and - the worst part - some of the scenes last nearly 15 minutes... I don't want to listen to ANY scene for 15 minutes, but I certainly don't need 15 minutes to get the drift of a sex act.

    If not for the long and uninteresting sex scenes that I ended up fast forwarding through, I would have given this 5 stars and I have already bought the next audiobook in the series.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Woodland Hills, CA, United States 05-03-08
    Kenneth Woodland Hills, CA, United States 05-03-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Inspired. Brilliant. Endlessly Fascinating."

    Richard K Morgan has achieved a near-perfect blend of plausible science, characters devoid of cliches, and a narrative that is tightly woven and intricate--like a hand-made Japanese wall hanging in silk--Altered Carbon is masterful.

    Todd McClaren, the sole narrator, surpasses the challenge of this book, one filled with countless major characters who are all quite varied and distinct human beings. He excels with his multiple voice characterizations, and his performance, too, deserves 4 stars or more, if possible.

    Richard K Morgan describes his people in details both subtle and broad, and motivates them with a story line generously crafted. The author assembles his players complete with all their necessary history, desires, passions, loves, violence, rage, despair, and human compassion.

    Altered Carbon is intricately plotted, which compelled me to follow the narrative very closely; consequently, it necessitated many rewinds.

    In addition to hard Sci-Fi, this story is also a first-rate murder mystery and thriller, with clues foreshadowed most believably and, although set in future Earth, with unusual devices, and digital-human relationships that will blow your mind, the narrative is painstakingly tight, and designed to also sate many devotees of the best mysteries and thrillers.

    Enjoy.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan CA, United States 06-03-13
    Ryan CA, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    289
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    349
    56
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    43
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sci -fi noir worthy of Blade Runner!"

    If you're a lover of the hard boiled private detective tales widely credited to pulp Dashiell Hammett stories, or if you're a lover of Sci-fi, I highly recommend you listen to this audiobook.

    If you're a lover of both, I'm ticked off you didn't recommend this to me sooner.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pope Brownsville, TX, USA 01-21-10
    Pope Brownsville, TX, USA 01-21-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good story with a few unpleasant suprises."

    The human civilization which Mr. Morgan paints in his trilogy is an intriguing place. While the concept of moving personalities body to body is not new, the way he approaches the subject matter is interesting, as are the underlying moral issues that are touched around the edges. I found myself thinking of the film noir genre, complete with the world weary detective who has nothing left but the job. The two jarring notes are the narrator, who makes a valiant effort to characterize, but falls short. The second are the graphic, nearly pornographic sex scenes. While the sex is not gratuitous, the graphic detail using the vulgar speech is jarring in the flow of the novel.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer SILVER SPRING, MD United States 03-06-09
    Amazon Customer SILVER SPRING, MD United States 03-06-09 Member Since 2006

    CYNTHIA THURSTON

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Clever, fast moving but too violent"

    There was much about this fast paced, clever book I really enjoyed but I wish someone had warned me about the explicit torture scenes. I can deal with the pretty explicit sex and action movie-type "normal" fights and violence, but I never would have bought this if I had known how graphic the discriptions of torture were going to be, or at least I would have pulled the plugs out of my ears for a few minutes.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer severna park, MD, United States 10-28-12
    Amazon Customer severna park, MD, United States 10-28-12 Member Since 2014

    I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    446
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    284
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    122
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Everything to love about gritty sci-fi"

    Very gritty hard-boiled film noir sci-fi.
    Todd McLaren's voice has a good vocal range for this book. Strong storyline, and creative ideas about the stacks.
    A very convincing futuristic world, and the psychology behind each character is believable, and interesting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-24-12
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    131
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gamma-Ray-ed into a Cyber-Punk-Hulk"

    Genre: Sci-Fi far future, cyber-punk (anarcho-capitalist themes, mind altering drugs, and artificial consciousness), Murder mystery

    Rated: R Violence, torture, heavy language, graphic sex

    1st or 3rd Person: 1st person Takeshi Kavacs and 4+ characters

    Static or Dynamic: omg dynamic. This story is all over the place and moving there fast

    Art or Entertainment: Both. The story can be read strictly on either it's artistic merritts or it's entertainment value alone respectively. The concepts of digital consciousness and existentialism are INTENSE!!! conversely, our main pro is an ex-envoy. a handful of those guys can bring down a whole government with properly executed Con's and violence.

    Linear or Non-Linear: Linear. It's a murder mystery really.

    Narrator: Todd McLaren is a total bamf. I remember him very well and could listen to the book just because he's reading it.

    Plot Outline: Takeshi Kovacs (ko-vaa-tch) is an ex-super black ops envoy who has been contracted by an obscenely wealthy Meth to figure out who killed him in a previous incarnation. In this world, people exist digitally in a stack at the base of their skull which records their experiences and supplies the decision making of the mind within. You can be saved, uploaded, and downloaded light years away and if you have enough money, you can make an insurance policy to ensure that you always have a backup. The story is fast paced and emotionally hyped. Tak is a seriously awesome protagonist. This book is offensive in many ways so if you are particularly sensitive, you shouldn't buy it. if you don't mind getting your mind dirty though, it's a story you won't forget.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I h8 ppl 05-08-12
    I h8 ppl 05-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "well narrated - good plot"
    Would you listen to Altered Carbon again? Why?

    yes, I'll keep on my i touch and recommend


    What about Todd McLaren???s performance did you like?

    narration was very good - even though only one voice - nuances in the tone and delivery kept the story lively and interesting.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 233 results PREVIOUS12324NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.