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Publisher's Summary

The Unincorporated Man is a provocative social/political/economic novel that takes place in the future, after civilization has fallen into complete economic collapse. This reborn civilization is one in which every individual is incorporated at birth and spends many years trying to attain control over his or her own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares. Life extension has made life very long indeed. Now the incredible has happened: a billionaire businessman from our time, frozen in secret in the early 21st century, is discovered and resurrected, given health and a vigorous younger body.

Justin Cord is the only unincorporated man in the world, a true stranger in this strange land. Justin survived because he is tough and smart. He cannot accept only part ownership of himself, even if that places him in conflict with a civilization that extends outside the solar system to the Oort Cloud. People will be arguing about this novel and this world for decades.

©2009 Dani and Eytan Kollin; (P)2009 Tantor

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Hmm

This is a difficult book to quantify.

Generally, when I'm listening to an audiobook and still find myself reaching for a magazine to read, it means that I'm finding the audiobook kind of dull. I found myself doing that a lot during this book, but I don't know if dull is exactly the right word.

The book is mostly exposition. There are characters, and it's a work of fiction, but most of the book isn't about telling the story of the characters, it's about describing how and why everything in the fictional world is the way it is.

If you've ever read State of Fear by Michael Crichton, you'll understand what I mean; essentially, you don't feel like you're being told a story about characters; you feel like you're being given a political/social/cultural message that has some characters added in an attempt to make the subject matter seem a bit less dry.

Given that the world the authors have created is kind of interesting, all the exposition isn't really 'dull', but it IS monotonous.

I liked the characters, liked technology, and enjoyed the idea of this future world, but I kind of wish I'd been shown rather than told. Still, it's not a waste of a credit, unless you're looking for an action-packed sf book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very Political

Any additional comments?

I must admit I was unable to really finish the book. It just got too bogged down in moralizing and utopian tracts such that the central story seemed to be pushed to the side. The main character seems a bit too perfect and lacks much depth, and the villain is practically twirling his mustache with evil.<br/><br/>I think my biggest problem is that he seems to rage against the society so much, but really nothing about the society he opposes seems all that bad. It seems fine, if a little dull, but fine. The biggest thing the book lacks, is any real criticism of this utopian future. If it was a more balanced utopian distopian society his opposition to it would make more sense.<br/><br/>I may finish the book at some point, but I just found it wasn't for me. Although I think others could really enjoy it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Good, albeit predictable

If you can make your way through the initial implausibility of the main character's ability to adapt to his new environs, and how he matter-of-factly handles his situation, then you are in for a compelling sci-fi/social commentary.
It's definitely not the greatest audiobook I've listened to in this category, but it's not bad, either. If you're familiar with the works of Robert J. Sawyer, you would feel right at home here. Dani and Eytan Kollin bring out that same kind of sci-fi folksiness as Sawyer does, which is good if you're not in the mood to have your mind totally blown but still want a compelling story.
When I read or listen to books about the future, I pay special attention to the uses and abuses of technology, and how probable the author's vision is in comparison with current technologies and trends. I would say that this book does a good job describing a nonotech-dominant future in great detail.
The human side of the story is unfortunately lacking in originality, but that shouldn't dissuade you from giving it a listen. Most sci-fi stories are inept at character development anyway ;)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic

I rarely ever write reviews for books because most people usually say what I want to say. I felt I needed to comment on this book.

Simply put, it was fantastic! Character development was well thought out, and well balanced. The story line was suspenseful and kept me engrossed. One of the best parts about this story was not only was I able to sympathize with the protagonist (a given) but at many times I also could sympathize with the antagonist. It's one of the few times that I've read/listened to a book and have actually wavered as to whether I wanted the protagonist to change his beliefs.

There are some unanswered questions but not anything that needed to be wrapped up by this book. I can't wait to see some of those questions answered.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Angus
  • Fort Collins, CO, United States
  • 08-01-15

How many shares are too many?

Justin Cord has been awakened from his hidden suspension unit approximately three hundred years after being stored. His cancer is gone, the world he knew is gone and the one he has woken to, though much better, is painfully flawed to his world view. Everyone owns shares of people and thinks that is an acceptable practice.
You might consider this story to be rather slow moving and dull. That would be a wrong assumption. Hector Sambianco, a constitutional law attorney on special assignment for GCI, is a first class Dill-hole. He knows what shares of Justin Cord would be worth and he is constantly angling to get him to incorporate though any means available.
Action includes neurolyzers, 24th century taser, that disrupt a person’s brain for permanent death; membrane walls that part to let you through instead of doors, until you walk into one that dissolves your body; security robots that have no mercy; psyche audits were nanites are injected into your brain to rewrite aberrant behavior pathways. That’s enough spoilers to whet your appetite.
The version I consumed was an audio book from audible. The product was excellent and the narrator did a superb job on gender voices. Story and delivery get a thumbs up.

I like to maintain some consistency in these reviews so this work is getting a five out of five on entertainment points. Some might think that five out of five is a masterpiece. I am not that snobby. Five out of five to me means that I enjoyed it, recommend it and found nothing to detract from it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • J
  • 10-31-09

Bullwinkle the Moose in space, good stuff

great concept, good listen. lead character misses here and there, some plot lines implausible...has a little Bullwinkle the Moose in space feel with all the dastardly characters and do-gooders but lots of fun. If describing this world takes over in place of a legit plot line that's ok by me. Really interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

One Of the Best "New Author" books EVER

I believe it was Lois McMaster Bujold that pointed out that Science Fiction should make you think - this title not only accomplishes that but gives you a full set of questions to think ABOUT.

The basic premise? In the future (350 years +) every human born is his own corporation - from birth. Into this cultural matrix comes a man from the present day - complete with all our culture's hangups and virtues - including a horror of having someone owning a part of them. While the book DOES give a logical reason for the custom to have arisen, this means that without ever attempting to be an irritant - he becomes a rallying point for the discontented. Since he's foresighted enough to have brought along items to give him a financial base - the corporations running things have a real problem. Especially since some highly placed anonymous person seems to be supporting his bid for independence . . .
No. I won't tell you what happens next - that's the narrator's job - but this book really is worth your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A thinking person's read

This book takes an unashamed look at two very different ways of life. One of our current world system, and the new future of the world. It doesn't shy from the short comings or the benefits of either and while the new "Unincorporated" man slowly learns about his new world we live on a precipice of uncertainty. Which is the better society? The characters could have been flushed a little better, and some loose ends are left unattended at the end. However as with many great books this is one of the journey. Not the destination. We are voyeurs through Justin Cord's eyes as we explore the what if of this brave new world.

This book doesn't make you feel comfortable, it is brutal in its portrayal of both worlds. Scars and all. It is very easy to see some serious correlations to our emerging corporate influenced world as well. If you want to put the book down it isn't because it will bore you... it will be because you might not like what you see in yourself.

Brilliantly written, and one of my favorite narrators (Todd McLaren) who narrated some of Richard K Morgan's books as well as S.M. Stirling. This book does have a Market Forces world feel with more of an Altered Carbon technology.

This is true SciFi, and quite a trip down the yellow brick road. If it isn't too much to ask "Might we have some more?"

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Poor Writhing

Preachy, Rife with excessive explanations, cliches, random changes in point of view, and misapplication of detail to less important story elements - these will greatly vex experienced readers. The conflicts come late, fail to build upon one another, and end almost befire we're aware of them. The futire is an intriguing one, but this story could be told in a third as many words.

See many arguments about which system is "best", without any definition of metrics. Find yourself convinced of a point of view, inly to discover that you're wrong (in the authors' eyes). Be very aware of the color of the fire hydrants, without knowing the hair color of the main characters. Mainly, experience at least four explanations of "nanites," each many paragraghs long, only to find that they are exactly what they sound like, and do just what you'd imagine them to do. The payoff definitely is not worth it.

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  • Performance
  • Story

a book on the future

a grate book its boy as good as the next book but still a very good read