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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.
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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 (3488 )
5 star
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4.0 (1692 )
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4.2 (1682 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ken 07-25-05
    Ken 07-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    "What a Let Down"

    This book doesn't live up to the hype.
    By the second hour I was drifting.
    Like why did the author use planet earth as his backdrop and what ever happended to Global Warming, and the San Andreas Fault?
    By the sex scene with the client's wife I had enough.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kev 06-29-05
    Kev 06-29-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sci-Fi Boilerplate"

    If you need a handy compendium of all the hoariest sci-fi cliches of the last fifty years, then you might want to check out Altered Carbon. If you think that yet another pastiche of Raymond Chandler's classic detective stories is the last word in originality, you might want to check out Altered Carbon. If you believe that the U.N. will last another four decades, never mind another four centuries, then this book is for you. This weary bit of sci-fi retread is strictly for those SF enthusiasts (God bless 'em) who think Esperanto will soon be the new world language. All others might want to avoid it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug 06-21-05
    Doug 06-21-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "refreshing sf"

    This was my first Richard Morgan book. What a great story! Tremendous wordcraft. Impressive first novel. While the reader had limited range for other characters I thought he was perfect for Takeshi and I'm glad they had him do Broken Angels, my next listen. Morgan crafts a "just over the horizon future" that is fantastic and yet very believable with just the right amount of technical detail. I like varied genres so I can't compare it to other SF fare but this one was great.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Dallas, TX, USA 06-15-05
    Chris Dallas, TX, USA 06-15-05 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    5
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    "Unique Listen"

    This is a spectacular book to listen to. The narrator is a little monotone at times, but the book, plot, sci fi and mystery are wonderfully unique and more than make up for that weakness. I'd love to listen to the sequels. I've never taken time to give a positive review (I believe in warning folks on the dogs) until this one.

    This has been one of my greatest listening experiences.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron USA 08-07-05
    Aaron USA 08-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    "Sophomoric entertainment"

    As reviewer "Ken from Portland" wrote: "If you like a gritty, get down and stay down murder mystery tempered with big hits of sex, violence, and bottles of testosterone, then this is the book for you."

    What more can I add? No doubt you'll want a few tattoos and piercings to go along with your experience. Oh, and some metallica techno-rock music might get you in the mood, too. Have fun.

    6 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Snyder 01-23-10
    M. Snyder 01-23-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting idea, Vile language."

    The plot was interesting, but Iwish I had been warned of the overuse of swearing. Also needs a M rating for how much sex was in it.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David flagstaff, AZ, United States 04-22-09
    David flagstaff, AZ, United States 04-22-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Sexually explicit"

    The plot was interesting and writing was engaging. The book was too sexually explicit so I did not finish.

    3 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Palmer SLC, UT USA 12-19-08
    R. Palmer SLC, UT USA 12-19-08 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "great story"

    This is a great detective story, expertly narrated. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David INDIAN LAND, SC, United States 03-14-09
    David INDIAN LAND, SC, United States 03-14-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    "A Good story ruined by the narrator"

    The story seemed interesting, but I was continually distracted by the horrible narration of Todd McLaren. This is the second book I have tried that he has read, and he is, frankly quite annoying. He tries WAY too hard to do voices & accents and he never gets them right. It totally distracts from what would, otherwise have been an enjoyable listen. I will never buy another book read by him. Sigh.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-14-09
    03-14-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Imaginative"

    I liked the story and the future world it describes. Death is not death, but living forever is not what you think. A good old fashioned "shoot-em-up" story sometimes, it kept my interest throughout. I first thought the reader sounded a little disinterested or sarcastic, but in time it seemed to suit the main character. The story is full of interesting developments and did not disappoint at the end

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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