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Human [Kindle Edition]

Robert Berke
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Elijah Smith's mind has been replaced, piece-by-piece, with virtual counterparts. His transformation thrusts his survivors into a maelstrom of violence, danger, and intrigue. Only Smith has the power to save them -- provided that he is still human.

Mankind has been merging with his technology since the first time a caveman picked up a walking stick. We easily accept the fact that eyeglasses, pacemakers, and prosthetic limbs improve or replace human biology. Soon we will have to accept the fact that the human mind can also be improved or replaced by the addition of technological components.

HUMAN combines elements of a spy thriller with a cautionary tale about man's quest to use technology to escape death. The heart-racing climax leads to a haunting conclusion will make you question everything you think you know about what it actually means to be human.

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Elijah Smith, the founder of the scientific company SmithCorp, appears to have crested in old age and begun his descent into death. With the help of the precocious but scarred Dr. Bayron and Hermelinda, Smith's nurse and lover, death isn't the only option for Smith. Using materials imported from a Russian researcher who attempted to recreate the mind of a deceased government agent, Bayron sets out to reconstruct a digital model of Smith's brain that effectively preserves his consciousness in a "prosthetic mind." Though the experiment accomplishes its goal, both Smith and Bayron soon discover the dangerous knowledge contained in Smith's hybrid mind: The Russian operative, whose memories Smith inherited, was one of three individuals who knew a code necessary to unlock an extensive nuclear warhead arsenal. What follows is a rollicking traipse through espionage stings, gunfights, and meetings between friends and enemies as two covert units, one American and one Russian, go to great lengths to protect their national, and, as it turns out, personal, interests. Despite the violence and manpower, however, it is the disembodied Smith who plays the biggest role, in a way that makes a strong claim about the potential drawbacks of immortality in a world where "once you are quantifiable, you aren't human anymore." Berke's prose alternates between straightforwardness and meditation; in spite of its clockworklike plot, the novel manages to speak directly to the philosophical, theological, and biological paradoxes inherent in the idea of a human living past physical death. By the end of the novel, it's clear that, at least for Smith, being human is not merely a matter of chemical processes, but a matter of doing the right thing.

A rough-and-tumble combination of science fiction, crime and romance that ultimately succeeds in salvaging the best from each genre to comment meaningfully on the perplexing, and often uncertain, nature of human identity.


This book took a long time to get rolling, but when it did it really took off. I was never quite sure where the story was heading until almost two-thirds of the way through when everything started to come together. This book gets a little lecture-like at times, but those lectury parts actually are even more memorable than the story. This is the first 99¢ Kindle Book I've read and I was kind of pleasantly surprised. --Amazon (Kindle Edition)

I didn't find this book slow going at the beginning at all. I thought it was very well-paced, and its true that by the end the pace is almost frenetic. The book twists and turns in all kinds of directions that you just don't see coming, but the writer was pretty good at tying it all together. I do have to agree that some of the more philosophical points seem forced, but its clear that the author had some kind of point to make. --Amazon (Kindle Edition)

Do we want to live forever? Interesting concept backed by intense research and page turning plot makes this book a really good read --Amazon (paperback)

Product Details

  • File Size: 431 KB
  • Print Length: 346 pages
  • Publisher: MultiModoMedia (December 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NTV4IO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,056 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human is a Great Book February 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a futuristic Story which has never been told ... It is about a genius and his genius team whom have managed to map the entire brain ... But it is the Brain of the Creator of a fantastic computer enterprise ... kind of like Bill Gates ... or the great Steve Jobs ...

Whose brain they have mapped ... they slowly transfer the operation of the brain bit by bit
to a super computer ... and continue the procedures ... surprising themselves all of the way ...
only to discover what is really happening ...

This is a book which will keep you on the edge of your seat ...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent read, needs editing November 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Probably most of us fantasize about how we might survive as sentient beings after our body has been laid in the ground. This book creates a fascinating scenario and that makes it a good read. BUT--the story itself suffers badly from poor (if any) editing. The author needlessly repeats minor phrases as if trying to pound them into the reader's mind, repeats or misuses words (on one page, he uses "effects" for "affects" no fewer than three times!), and creates some fairly convoluted action scenes. As a professional editor, I'd love to take my "blue pencil" to this book. I could tighten it up by 25 percent or more without losing anything at all. On the other hand, the author does develop his characters pretty well, and some of the time his dialogue is quite good. The story spans genres and fits into science fiction, mystery (you might call it a "techno-thriller"), spy-thriller, and even romance categories, sort of, although that last is a bit of a stretch. But most of the characters are fairly human and the reader is interested in what may happen to them. I recommend the book for someone who has a few evenings free, enough patience to skim over the repetitious phrases and details, and a nature forgiving enough to ignore the grammatical gaffs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous science fiction February 26, 2012
By Carolyn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow, this book is so well-written that I found myself for the first time in a long while unable to put a book down. It appealed to my analytic nature AND my desire for action and adventure. All facets of the book are artfully woven to create a solid entertaining story. A must-read for anyone who wants to think and be entertained at the same time. I am gifting it to my daughter who just happens to be working the field of cognitive research.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good read February 8, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Do we want to live forever? Interesting concept backed by intense research and page turning plot makes this book a really good read
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad editing, good content April 18, 2012
By marlie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the subject of this book and the characters to be interesting, but the editing was so poor that I was distracted from the content and almost quit reading several times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Human November 3, 2012
By Doc S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Far fetched but interesting plot. It kept me engaged. The editing was awful. I would most probably read more by him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept - but too many editng errors! August 5, 2012
Like many have written, the concept of this book makes it worth the read. I enjoyed it.

But one can only take so many "your" where "you're" should have been used to take the author and his publisher less seriously. Too many punctuation errors, too many times when Random words suddenly had a Capital letter (like, really, when did we start saying a person was an Assassin)?

Error-free this is a 3 1/2 to 4 star book, but the readability suffers so much from the poor editing that 3 stars is the best I could Give it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a Hollywood movie April 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Requires suspension of judgement...well, that is what fiction is, isn't it? The overall concept is appealing enough, but the juxtaposition of the often convenient coincidences mars the execution. I hoped it would have been at least twice as long with a deeper discussion of the philosophical questions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Human
Human by Robert b e r k e is a work of science fiction. The premise is, can the body die but the mind remain?
Published 8 days ago by Harriet J. Brown
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Science, Bad Editing, Derivative, but fun
Author definitely knows how to tell a story. It is a re-birth of pulp science fiction of the 50s and 60s. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Human is very different.
Awesome story - so different from anything I had read before. Complex story line and even though it involves a lot of computer talk, the reader does not have to understand... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
If you're a scyfy nut but like substance this is the book for you. though at times some of the tech jargon may elude less computer savvy people, it never distracts from the plot. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Vincent Tilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good read
Overall I really liked this book! Great concept, and entertaining, and enterataining. Looking forward to a seeing a continuation of this book!
Published 6 months ago by Like it
5.0 out of 5 stars This book got me thinking...
This is one of those books you will think about way after you have finished reading it. I could definitely see this happening, and the resulting consequences. Read more
Published 7 months ago by NCSTec
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome...
This is the first book that I have read in over a year. Thank you for reminding me of how wonderful it is to become completely entranced by stories and characters!
Published 8 months ago by Railey Eastwood
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty decent book
This book was a fairly decent read. There were some slow parts that made it a little hard to get through. So, it took awhile to read.
Published 8 months ago by Steph
4.0 out of 5 stars Where we're headed???
Human is an interesting collection of "What Ifs" and "Is that really where we're headed"??? Berke writes beautifully, and in such a way, to give you believable details, inside a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Linda Fish
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Ok
Some potential for a more interesting story, but felt too rushed and tidy at the end. Obviously set up for a sequel, however, I wouldn't choose another trip down this road.
Published 9 months ago by Blue
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More About the Author

Robert G. Berke was born in New York, New York, but raised in the Town of Niskayuna in Upstate New York's Schenectady County. He presently lives near Los Angeles, California with his wife and two daughters. His first novel, "Human", was published by MultiModoMedia Press to critical acclaim. His second novel, tentatively titled "Artist", has been accepted for publication and is due to be released in summer 2012.

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