Sex, violence and drugs become a strange brew in this futuristic novel with the premise that what we are can be contained in a small device implanted ..Show More »into any body. The hero, Takashi Kovacs, is a detective (of sorts). His neural systems are enhanced.
When people die in this future, except for Catholics, they can be brought back in another body if their device (called a stack) is not destroyed. Catholics do not have stacks.
So Kovacs, who is disliked by almost everyone in the novel, is called by a rich man, who believes his suicide was murder.
With more plot twists than a tub full of snakes, the story unfolds complete with some of the nastiest villans around.
If you like plenty of violence and strange machinations, read this novel. The writing is colorful and interesting and the plot moves along wihtout undue burdening by explantion of the science, politics and culutres involved.
The ending has a twisted nobility that I found appealing.
This is not high art, but it is darn good listening.
I also listened to Altered Carbon (first book in the series). This one is slightly better in some way - it seems more smooth or something, les..Show More »s time spent explaining the backdrop perhaps. The story is independent of the first book so you don't have to read them in order (but Altered Carbon is good enough that you should anyway)
Same narrator as the first book and he is terrific! Probably one of the best readers I've heard: his women's voices don't sound absurd, and you can tell who's talking from his intonation.
It is graphic, with detailed (and very long) sex scenes which are gratuitous in nature - i.e. they don't advance the plot in any significant way. I'm not a prude and I don't mind listening to sex, but be forewarned that it is adult in nature, a.k.a pornographic, no two ways about it. I would have taken off a star for this but it's such a good story otherwise and there's always a fast forward button.
And, of course, it is violent and gory and has a dim view of the value of human life...
... Kovacs is quite a common name. Everyone knows how to pronounce it. This guy didn't."
First, let me say that my problem is not th..Show More »at there is a different narrator for this last book in the series, so much as it is that this narrator is terrible, and apparently didn't do a lick of research. Clearly he didn't even read or listen to the first book, or he would have known how to pronounce "Takeshi Kovacs." (Not with the 'k' sound, but with a 'ch' sound).
Even if I didn't have the previous narration to draw on, or narration from any of the dozens of other books I've listened to, I would say that this narrator is terrible. To me, there is no differentiation between characters except male or female, or the echo versions of each. There was also no nuance to the voice that would give you the sense, which we tend to take for granted, that a character is going from a thought, to speaking. I kept wondering when he was going to say "did I just say that, or think it?"
I've listened to about 20 minutes of this book, but I cannot imagine putting myself through listening to the rest. I would suggest that anyone who values the quality of narration in an audio book just plain avoid this one.