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 Audiobook

Altered Carbon

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 -

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

4.1 (5179 )
5 star
 (2176)
4 star
 (1767)
3 star
 (796)
2 star
 (265)
1 star
 (175)
Overall
4.1 (3296 )
5 star
 (1515)
4 star
 (1039)
3 star
 (495)
2 star
 (147)
1 star
 (100)
Story
4.2 (3285 )
5 star
 (1594)
4 star
 (1120)
3 star
 (411)
2 star
 (109)
1 star
 (51)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ken Mercadante Bedford, TX United States 11-02-12
    Ken Mercadante Bedford, TX United States 11-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    202
    44
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Sci-Fi Noir"

    I'm always fascinated when I read an author's view of the future that's original, well-conceived, and completely plausible. The society and culture of this world are worth the visit, even if the characters are straight out of a Raymond Chandler hard-boiled detective novel. It's one of those books where the setting is integral to the story, and vice versa. You can't have one without the other.

    But despite what I would consider two-dimentional characters, the overall experience was good. I wouldn't give it my highest recommendation, but I would recommend it for Sci-Fi fans and detective fiction fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 10-21-12
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 10-21-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worst narration - could not get past 30 mins."
    Would you try another book from Richard K. Morgan and/or Todd McLaren?

    RKM - Yes
    TM - No. Not in this format


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Todd McLaren?

    Dick Hill, Dennis Boutsikaris, John Lee,


    Any additional comments?

    I could not get past the lofty. fluffy British accent which is the same for different characters.
    Too bad, because good Sci Fi is hard to come by. Could not listen past 30 mins.

    Likely a case of "It's not you,..It's me" as the book has a high average rating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Fort Wayne, IN 10-08-12
    Scott Fort Wayne, IN 10-08-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you like sex, swearing, and violence"
    Would you try another book from Richard K. Morgan and/or Todd McLaren?

    The story is fascinating and only this kept me reading. There is an exceptional amount of graphic violence, sex and foul language in the book as well, so if you dislike this "baser" side then I do not recommend this series


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tod Greensboro, GA 10-08-12
    Tod Greensboro, GA 10-08-12 Member Since 2012

    tgettysatl

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A smart, thought-provoking adult sci-fi story"

    Really enjoyed the story and the setting. Reminded me of a cross between Blade Runner and the 7th Son books by J.C. Hutchins. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Portage, MI, United States 10-01-12
    Donald Portage, MI, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Plenty of action"
    What did you love best about Altered Carbon?

    Different than most Sci-Fi - forced me to think of things never considered


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Trep (sp?) - Love/hate kind of thing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patty 09-22-12
    Patty 09-22-12 Member Since 2015

    reader in florida

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the perfect science fiction novel"
    Any additional comments?

    Richard Morgan created a futuristic, action packed novel with a twisting and turning plot that kept me on the edge of my seat!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CJinMD 09-10-12
    CJinMD 09-10-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    101
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't expect it to wait for you to catch up."
    Where does Altered Carbon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Altered Carbon is different than most of the books I've listened to so far combining a futuristic view of humanity while still maintaining the age old faults and vices. For me it was a nice listen for three main reasons: 1. I couldn't always predict where the story was leading 2. when you were introduced with something that seemed insubstantial, it would rear it's head later being an integral part of the story and 3. despite it's grimy beginning, Takeshi Kovacs seemed to have some redeeming qualities after all.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There is only one character (Kovacs) to really appreciate here as a favorite while other characters were interesting in their detail.


    Have you listened to any of Todd McLaren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've listened to Altered Carbon and Broken Angels. Todd's narration spoiled me for when I listened to the third book, Woken Furies, it was hard to stay interested in the story missing the narrator from the previous two books.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction just a continued level of interest throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the listen in my opinion but be warned, some of the sex scenes are very graphic but still didn't take away from the overall story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D Wood Chicago, IL United States 09-07-12
    D Wood Chicago, IL United States 09-07-12 Member Since 2014

    Something about myself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Genre fun, wish I had taken the 3 book deal."

    An excellent genre-crossing potboiler. McLaren does a great job of bringing it to life, phrasing things differently than I would have in my head which added depth of character I might have missed with a dead tree read. This was one of my favorite Audible performances.

    If you like old, black and white, Noir movies, you'll recognize the tropes as they click in one after the other, but I mean that as a compliment. It was great fun having it all laid out and the world Morgan creates is interesting to learn about.
    Does anyone use the term "Cyberpunk" anymore? The setting is on the line between that and more traditional sci-fi.
    I'd highly recommend this and am actually on the audible site here to grab the next one in the series. As I said in the headline, the trilogy is available for two credits and I wish now I would have done that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth R Litko Indiana 08-27-12
    Kenneth R Litko Indiana 08-27-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stands out among typical sci-fi"
    What made the experience of listening to Altered Carbon the most enjoyable?

    Very good performance by the reader.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Doesn't "focus" on the sci-fi... it focuses on the story.


    What does Todd McLaren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Does a very good job of setting the tone.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 08-27-12
    Todd 08-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great concept story -- well told"

    This story is what SF is supposed to be -- a novel central technology that spins out multiple effects on society and the individuals swiming in this new world.

    The story opens with an action scene written for the movies and continues to have enough techno-pop action to keep the adrenelin part of the story moving. The central premise of essential immortality is explored from several characters viewpoints -- a cop, ex-military, everyday joe & jane, powerful industrialists, the religous devout. So if it is possible to transfer your essence from one body/sleeve to another, what genies are released. The author avoids demonizing the concept and his characters don't go into long introspective rants; you get to do that yourself based on your reading of the book.

    My only complaint is that it took me more than a couple chapters to orient myself to this world and the characters in it -- there is complexity and then there is just being adrift.

    The narration was good -- enough voice variation to differentiate the characters and good pacing (I'm getting tired of running stories at 1.5x to keep the actors from overacting).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.