In a perilous future where disposable duplicate bodies fulfill every legal and illicit whim of their decadent masters, life is cheap. No one knows that better than Albert Morris, a brash investigator with a knack for trouble, who has sent his own duplicates into deadly peril more times than he cares to remember. But when Morris takes on a ring of bootleggers making illegal copies of a famous actress, he stumbles upon a secret so explosive it has incited open warfare on the streets of Dittotown.
Dr. Yosil Maharal, a brilliant researcher in artificial intelligence, has suddenly vanished, just as he is on the verge of a revolutionary scientific breakthrough. Maharal's daughter, Ritu, believes he has been kidnapped - or worse. Aeneas Polom, a reclusive trillionaire who appears in public only through his high-priced platinum duplicates, offers Morris unlimited resources to locate Maharal before his awesome discovery falls into the wrong hands.To uncover the truth, Morris must enter a shadowy nightmare world of ghosts and golems where nothing -and no one - is what they seem, memory itself is suspect, and the line between life and death may no longer exist.
Kiln People is a 2003 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.
©2002 David Brin (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I only read this book once, but I really enjoyed the audiobook version. The reader had good voice separation between characters, and didn't make the female characters sound like a whispering truck driver.
The only thing you might want to do for optimum enjoyment is consider running the playback at 1.25x speed. I started it at 1x and increased it within 10 minutes -- the default speed just seems to drag. At 1.25x, I found it just about perfect.
Very interesting setup and playing out of the implications of cloning. However, it seemed to me that it was too committed to making a quite engaging story into some fundamental question about life and the universe and so became way too grandiose.
Could have been quite a bit shorter without losing much of interest. The first quarter of the book sets up some interesting possibilities, but it starts losing steam and re-re-retreading the same ground. By the end, the only way to change things up is to go completely off the rails.
The reading really through me off at first, though I eventually got used to it. Very little flow between sentences, which occasionally took me out of the story. There was very little vocal range beyond "gruff man", and occasionally "whiny man". To be fair, much of the running monologue would have been tough to pull off convincingly for 20+ hours.
Much of the metaphysically-focused climax should have been cut, and replaced with something that played more to the author's strengths and detective story tradition.
I had high hopes going into this book, and for three quarters through, I was able to say that, while it wasn't great, it wasn't bad either. Unfortunately, the last parts were particularly weak, and ended up souring what seemed to be at least somewhat interesting thought experiments from the beginning.
Total waste of money. I've listened to the uplift series and thought it would was quite good. This was awful.
Not a one.
"Very very good"
Loved this book. Good story, clever plot, good characters, great sci-fi, lots of twists. The narrator was brilliant - took a bit of getting used to but really liked his style. Probably the best book I have ever listened to. quite stunning. won loads of awards for scifi as well.
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