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Bioshock: Rapture: Bioshock, Book 1 | [John Shirley]

Bioshock: Rapture: Bioshock, Book 1

It was the end of World War II. FDR's New Deal had redefined American politics. Taxes were at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had created a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business had many watching their backs. America's sense of freedom was diminishing... and many were desperate to take that freedom back.
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Publisher's Summary

It was the end of World War II. FDR's New Deal had redefined American politics. Taxes were at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had created a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business had many watching their backs. America's sense of freedom was diminishing... and many were desperate to take that freedom back.

Among them was a great dreamer, an immigrant who'd pulled himself from the depths of poverty to become one of the wealthiest and most admired men in the world. That man was Andrew Ryan, and he believed that great men and women deserved better. So he set out to create the impossible: a utopia free from government, from censorship, and from moral restrictions on science, where what you gave was what you got. He created Rapture - the shining city below the sea. But this utopia suffered a great tragedy. This is the story of how it all came to be... and how it all ended.

©2011 Take-Two Interactive Software, Incorporated (P)2012 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (261 )
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Overall
3.7 (248 )
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Story
3.9 (248 )
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  •  
    Jason PICKERINGTON, OHIO, United States 06-29-12
    Jason PICKERINGTON, OHIO, United States 06-29-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "YAAY! Finally . . . Wait, What!?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, for those who played the game it is essentially the prequel.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bioshock: Rapture?

    Unfortunately, the ending. I don't do spoilers.


    What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

    solid and consistent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it is vast, deep and sometimes cumbersome. The characters and happenings are so vast that there may be times you want to shut it off to try to absorb it.


    Any additional comments?

    I have waited for this book for years, since the first game came out. This is not a direct translation of the game. It is entirely the prequel. It describes the origins of Rapture and all of the major players.

    It left me feeling empty. I can't see to play the game and I was hoping it was the direct game translation and would bring some of that excitement, it wasn't and really didn't. That is not to say it wasn't good. For those who played the game it will add depth and explanation. For those that won't play it, it is a foray into strange political intrigue.

    The main character Andrew Ryan is obsessed with building a "utopian" world underwater to escape the dangers of living on the land post WWII. Once this is done, hIs failed leadership decisions turn the world into chaos and destruction worse than anything happening on land. A power struggle ensues and between Ryan and his two antagonists, Dr. Lamb and Fontaine, they provide an all-encompassing view of three types of societal living without regulation. Capitalism, Communism, and Anarchy are explored and it turns into an underwater hell that threatens to kill them all slowly.

    In many ways this could be taken more like critical literature than just an entertaining novel about a video game story. Don't be fooled by the game or the title this subject matter is deep, no pun intended. If you are into political theory, sociology, psychology or just want to know how Bioshcok began, this is a very interesting read and you MUST read it to fully understand it.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sean Carthage, NY, United States 11-01-13
    sean Carthage, NY, United States 11-01-13 Member Since 2012

    Steampunk/sci-fi/IT nerd with a penchant for humor and atheism. History texts get equal time with webcomics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fine and exciting return to Rapture."
    What did you love best about Bioshock: Rapture?

    An exciting prequel to the Bioshock games, really filled in some of back stories I never knew I needed, but am super excited to now retain.


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

    The voice work doesn't feel phony or forced, cleanly providing emotion and separate characters and accents in a way that makes you feel like there were multiple talents working on it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I drove around, and around, and sat in my driveway, and extended my listens out as much as possible.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kamal Brampton, Ontario, Canada 08-08-12
    Kamal Brampton, Ontario, Canada 08-08-12 Member Since 2001

    Management consultant, video game player, avid reader of all types of books, and happily married father of four. I'll read just about anything, from Fantasy and SciFi, to mysteries and ChickLit.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ties in nicely with the games"

    The book fills in much of the backstory that was just hinted at in the games, and serves to tie together the plot from both Bioshock games. No real surprises, but it did make me want to go back and replay the first game, and finally finish the second. If you were a fan of the Bioshock games, then you'll want to buy this book. If you were not, its still a good read, though not very subtle or particularly well-written. That's not really a knock against the author - the story had enough twists on its own, but he's working within a very rigid framework, more so than other works set in rich IPs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew Colorado Springs, CO, United States 04-16-13
    matthew Colorado Springs, CO, United States 04-16-13

    still waiting for audible to sell me Metro 2033

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The book the fans have been waiting for"
    What disappointed you about Bioshock: Rapture?

    It was kinda of dull at points. and if you havn't played the game you are kinda left out.


    What was most disappointing about John Shirley’s story?

    At points you kinda forgot it's in Rapture it could be any big city. He needed to go into more of building the world of Rapture


    Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

    good reader I will be picking up more of his work


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Professor United States 08-14-12
    Professor United States 08-14-12

    1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Play the videogame, it's better."

    Despite great perfomance, I consider this book to be below my standarts.
    I understand that Sci-fi mustn't always have logic to it, but this book goes overboard.
    The only reason I rated Overall with 3 stars is that I still have favourable impressions about videogame.

    10 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Militant Ginger 05-30-14 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Fascinating peek into a fantasy world"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Being a big fan of the BioShock franchise, I was eager to listen to this book - which tells the tale of the iconic "city under the sea" in which BioShock takes place. If my friend was interested in learning more about Bioshock and the world of Rapture, I'd have no hesitation in recommending it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of the characters in this book are familiar to players of BioShock, but it focuses on a more little-known character who actually played a big part in the construction of the city - Bill McDonagh. This allows the other interesting characters, obviously the iconic Andrew Ryan and his nemesis Frank Fontaine, to get painted from a new perspective. I liked the portrayal of Andrew Ryan especially - a deeply fascinating character.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Learning about the construction of Rapture and reading about the city at its height was the highlight of the book for me - although it painted a vivid portait of its collapse.


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

    The book's rather tragic ending left me feeling a little hollow inside; but that's kind of the theme of the entire franchise. One man's dream destroyed by his own foibles, and how many people who believed in that dream can be brought down with it.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall, this is a fantastic recording of a great book. The narrator does a servicable job - he really brings certain characters to life. As a Brit, I'll admit his dire British, Scottish and Irish accents pulled me out of the fantasy a little - but overall a worthy job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reuel South Bend, IN, United States 02-22-14
    Reuel South Bend, IN, United States 02-22-14 Member Since 2010

    drj

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    "Mix of retro politics, fantasy"

    Rich Russian émigré in 1946 fears creeping socialism and atomic war, so he builds a city on the sea bottom off Iceland. Remarkable in the beginning for making Ayn Rand's screeds seem relatively well written. Mercifully, this author is not so long-winded, nor as monomaniacal, and is much more creative. Subversive doubts, greed, cynicism, and good old-fashioned criminality enter the picture. DNA and genes in 1950 is about 30 years ahead of history, the plasmids conferring superpowers (fire balls from fingers, telekinesis) is of course ridiculous. Weird mix of retro politics and super-powers fascination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Gordon Austin, TX United States 02-11-14
    S. Gordon Austin, TX United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2013

    All Around Awesome :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "loved it! but disappointed there is no series"
    Any additional comments?

    LOVED this book, so good, so twisted, but devastated to discover there is no series in existence!! just the one book!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Temporal Singularity Lompoc, CA, United States 06-25-13
    Temporal Singularity Lompoc, CA, United States 06-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This needs to be a movie."

    I bought this book on a lark. I have heard of the game, but never played it. I quickly however enjoyed the story. The whole time that I was listening to it, I was envisioning this as a movie. It is a bit twisted and gory at times, but I still liked it.

    I liked the narrator a lot. I have not listened to him before, and I have about 160 books. The only issue I had with him is his accents. One of the main characters, Bill, was supposed to have a cockney accent. Bill however sounded more like a Vermonter than a Brit. He also could not do a Brooklyn accent very well either. But I loved his voice and cadence. He kept me interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Pedersen NJ, USA 06-19-13
    A. Pedersen NJ, USA 06-19-13 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    10
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    "The backstory adds a lot of enjoyment to the games"

    The narrator wasn't the best I've heard, though he gets more appropriately animated over time and the story itself isn't going to be winning awards, but if you are the slightest bit interested in Bioshock 1 and 2, then this will fill in some gaps in the game's story and enrich your understanding and enjoyment of both games. This doesn't discuss anything from Bioshock Infinite. After reading this book, I went back to play the game and really found that I appreciated a lot of the nuances quite a bit more.

    If you haven't yet played the games, play at least the first one before reading this book, as it does contain "spoilers" for both games.

    It's definitely worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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