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.
©2003 Richard K. Morgan; (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.
"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)
This first book follows in the tradition of early William Gibson (Neuromancer) and the line of cyberpunk fiction. Good stuff! And the reading is excellent with quality voice acting performed by Todd McLaren. Todd may actually even make the words better than they'd read on a page! I just downloaded the sequels to complete the trilogy. Hopefully they hold up.
This book is depressing, mind numbing and stupid.
The characters are all dark, twisted and unlikable. No one character has any redeeming qualities and the ending is so dumb it's strains credulity.
Altered Carbon turns out to be an excellent and thoughtful sci-fi book, well deserving of its Hugo nomination. Thought provoking themes suddenly emerge out of the film noire/Bladerunner genre to make this more than an action tale.
Don't let the a bit over-the-top noir first chapter or the truly awful narration scare you off (listen for Mr. Burnes, Principal Skinner, and other voices from the Simpsons being channeled here!). The book quickly settles down and eventually you get used to the narrator. The material is fine and actually sheds light on the appeal of the whole noir genre-- the protagonist is hard-boiled but still at some level innocent.
Morgan's first two Takeshi books are great on audio, even better than reading the hard copy. However, when you get to Woken Furies, buy the hard copy, while the story is good as the others, the narration is so bad that I would never have bought his other books if I'd heard that one first.
A classic science fiction novel that stand along side the masters like Asimov, F. Herbert and Kevin Anderson. Richard Morgan's characters are well developed and interesting. The lead is like a Bogart of the stars. This is a fast paced story that keeps your interest through out and has an innovative story line that holds up and grows from beginning to end.
I think I would have enjoyed this more as a book. The biggest problem I had with this was the narrator - some people have complained about his "lisp", but that wasn't the issue with me. The fact that his character voices WERE distracting was the problem. The main character was fine...but his employer?! Sounded like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. Dead on. And the women...yikes! I know this is a gritty, edgy book - but EVERY woman sounded like they came straight off a 1-900 number! Even the female cop, who sounded somewhat normal most of the time, would sometimes "revert" back (of course, usually right after she had sex) to this generic, throaty nonsense. Good story, but bad reading!
A great cyberpunk novel equal to anything by Neal Stephenson or William Gibson. A little more graphic though, definitely for mature audiences. Plays with questions of the nature of self and how much we are tied to our bodies. What would it be like to be in someone elses skin? Against your will? Great story, but no surprises or twists. Follows a film noir story arc . Sam spade taking on the rich and powerful in a dystopian future. Also takes some cheap anti-catholic shots, making them a lunatic fringe in the story. Otherwise highly recommended.
If you like sci fi with interesting, plausible and new science and a story that makes you think about what that technology might mean and you like a story that is riveting and has sex, violence and good character development without spending endless words telling us inane things then this book is for you.
I've read both the Altered Carbon series books and love the character and the storytelling. I think you will too as long as you are not put off by the sometimes extreme violence and graphic sexual descriptions.
The science fiction part of the book which centers mainly around the ability of people to be "backed up" to a solid state memory and uploaded into another brain is truly interesting with many implications (especially for a murder mystery) for society and to think about morally. Although he doesn't go deeply into the science of how such a thing might be possible it is not entirely bizarre to imagine this is a lot more feasible than space travel or teleportation or many other technologies routinely described in other science fiction books.
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