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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

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3.8 (289 )
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Story
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Performance
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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.

    16 of 16 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.

    1 of 1 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.

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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
  •  
    Temporal Singularity 06-25-13
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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.

    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
  •  
    A. Ferguson Albuquerque, NM 02-20-13
    A. Ferguson Albuquerque, NM 02-20-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highly Recommend for Rand Fans Like Myself"
    Would you listen to Bioshock: Rapture again? Why?

    Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is one of my favorite books of all time. The philosophy and story are at once complex and exhilarating, and have managed to inspire not only fans but generations of 'believers'. As an accompaniment to that book, I cannot recommend Bioshock: Rapture highly enough.Bioshock: Rapture has similar characters and themes to Rand's classic, albeit the author attempts to illustrate the dark side of how it would be possible for Rand's utopia, if it actually existed, to not work as she so eloquently depicts. And he provides many believable storylines and character developments to illustrate this.The story AS WELL AS the philosophy are very, very good. I will add that the first half was the best part, in my opinion, as the second half seemed to lose momentum and focus. But it was still a great ride.And I'll add that this book did not make me resign all of my affection for Rand's writings, rather, it provided a smart balance to the worldview. Yes, the book is based on a video game, and yes, it has some eccentric sci-fi elements as well, but what the author did with the material is just a few hairs short of what Rand did with books like Atlas Shrugged, and I consider that a surprising and wonderful achievement.The narrator was pretty good, he adopted a "film noir" tone that works for the material and the time period in which the material takes place.


    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Professor 08-14-12
    Professor 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)

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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
  •  
    Benjamin McLean 09-11-14
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    "Rapture comes alive"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dr. Steinman is a FREAK!!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The early scenes in which Rapture is first established are the coolest.


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

    It's BioShock, so it's a somewhat unfair, overblown and totally distorted attack on Ayn Rand, but competently executed by people who really love the time period and setting so much that their enthusiasm makes you almost want to join the crazy Ayn Rand cultists, kind of like how Shinra was responsible for making all of the stuff that is cool in Final Fantasy VII despite being the villains. Just as Plasmids are what drove Rapture crazy but you get to use them all day long with no side effects, the mechanics of both the game and the story of this book completely contradict the message.


    Any additional comments?

    I played all the BioShock games but Rapture never really came alive for me until I experienced it in book form. Now when I load up Burial At Sea, I get that Myst-inspired feel like I'm entering a real place for the first time thanks to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Guyer 08-15-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Narrator has no clue who these characters are!"

    Kafer narrates this books as if he's recording a piece for Nightline. Every word has a phony breathy affectation that is obviously beyond his natural range. Perhaps Mr. Kafer has been watching too much Twilight Zone episodes as he sounds like a pale imitation of Rod Serling. More importantly, he has taken the central character of Andrew Ryan and turned him into a boring and uninteresting dullard with the exuberance of a signpost instead of the stern and impactful 1930's newsreel voice that we have all come to know from the games. His accents are god awful as Bill McDonough sounds like the spawn of a beleaguered cockney Brit that mated with a hillbilly Irishman. Then to make matters worse, he takes the tortured character of Sander Cohen and turns him into a 21st century joy boy instead of the early 20th century dark eccentric that he was intended to be. His sexuality was never discussed and it should remain ambiguous, but Mr. Kafer's voice work has left no doubt that Sander is floating a solid foot off the ground, quite contrary to the character's intended presence.

    Did this narrator consult any of the source material before recording this? There are literally hours of voice recordings available online for free that he could have used as reference for this project. It's this type of lazy work that gives me pause before buying audiobooks from new narrators. I would give the narration 0 stars if that were possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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