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Market Forces Paperback – March 1, 2005
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Morgan's conflicted protagonist, Chris Faulkner, is a comer known for one spectacular kill that shot him to the top of mid-range global capital firm. He parlays his reputation and skills as a driver into a job in the emerging field of "Conflict Investment" at the world's hottest and hardest firm. Soon he finds himself running with the big dogs and rises to the top of a brutal realm, but his ascent is quickly threatened by vicious senior partners, gold-digging suitors, fame, fair-weather friends, and his own nagging conscience.
Market Forces is at once an anti-globalization treatise and anime fantasy meets The Road Warrior. Morgan employs the graphic-novel imagery of his two previous novels to create a disturbingly brutal picture of slash-and-burn capitalism run amok. There are times when Faulker's moral quandries seem hollow in the face of his actions but this isn't Crime and Punishment. Enjoy the ride and "come back with blood on your wheels or don't come back at all." --Jeremy Pugh
Amazon.com Exclusive Content
His novels may paint a bleak picture of the future, but Richard Morgan has a great attitude toward language, and one word in particular. Read his Amazon.com exclusive essay and find out why he'll never consider himself, or anyone else, anything worse than an occasional non-winner.
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Top Customer Reviews
The premise is an eye catcher: corporations rule the world, funding, starting and stopping wars based on economic prospects only, and the way you work your way up in the corporation is by performance and road raging. Yup. It's Mad Max meets Wall Street. When I read the back cover, I laughed out loud, and I knew I had to read it.
The book starts out.... feh. It's crude. Too crude, especially in the graphic soft core sex descriptions, foul language and violence. And if you're too offended by the first few pages, it only gets worse. It's simplistic. The characters are typical and predictable, the movement of the book, in spite of the crudeness, is rather dull. The world the book paints is typical of so many bleak future books. Class disparity, no ethics, ultra violent.
But then, much earlier than the Joseph Heller book, something happened.
Morgan has used the first part of the book to build up the characters, (unfortunately through long drawn out dialogue, though one wonders if the effect would have been as strong without it) to make a basis for the development he's about to write. The protagonist, Chris Faulkner, is a gem of character development. Young and up and coming in the beginning. An idealist thrown in among sharks, yet determined to succeed on his own terms. His wife, his new best friend, his father in law....all very real.
The book suddenly becomes very very good. The interpersonal conflicts become idealistic battles and I found myself choosing sides rather quickly as the story moves on.Read more ›
Despite the ideological chest-thumping, "Market Forces" is not just a wisp of a story wrapped around a shrill anti-capitalist polemic. It's actually a rollicking good read that doesn't get swamped by the author's ideological crusade, except perhaps near the end. But more on that later.
The setting is deliciously twisted. Fifty years from now, the world is run by a handful of financial houses that deal in "conflict investment" -- giving financial assistance to tinpot dictators in exchange for a cut of the country's GDP if they stay in power. Executives vie for promotion or contract tenders by staging highway duels in armored cars. It's a bizzare mixture -- "Liar's Poker" meets "Mad Max" -- but Morgan deftly pulls it off.
Morgan's first novel proved that he is adept at drawing imperfect characters, and here he serves up a whole cast of scummy anti-heros and scummier villians. Chris Faulkner fought his way up from the slums and is a new hotshot executive. His wife, Carla, is a mechanic who keeps his sedan in prime dueling condition. Her father is an idealistic outcast whose socialist views are a constant source of tension in the family.Read more ›
The backdrop of this comparatively near-future tale owes a lot (as Morgan himself tells us in his Acknowledgements) to _Mad Max_ and _Rollerball_. In fact the tone of the whole thing is rather like a screenplay or a graphic novel (and it's probably not a coincidence that Morgan has also written a series of Black Widow comics for Marvel). But hoo-boy, it's a good 'un.
Yuppie road warrior ('Blaaaaade runner -- coyote's after you . . . ') Chris Faulkner is the hero(?) this time out. He's just recently joined the Conflict Investments division of Shorn Associates, see . . .
But enough. You can read the other reviews and the Amazon summary if you want to know more. Better yet, you can read the book.
Other reviewers are correct: this one may take you a bit longer to get into than Morgan's previous two books. But keep going; it's worth the wait. (Actually I didn't find the first portion hard to get through, but I can understand why some readers might, especially after Morgan's first two constant slam-bang page-turners.) It's got the trademark Morgan oomph, as well as his wicked sense of humor; for example, Morgan's own _Altered Carbon_ makes an uncredited cameo appearance near the end. (And a paradoxical one if this is, as it appears to be, Takeshi Kovacs's own universe. Or isn't Shorn Associates a corporate ancestor of Shorn Biotech? [Later note: Morgan says it's not; he just likes to reuse the name 'Shorn'.])
Although it's fiction, it's got a bit of an agenda: a short bibliography lists works by e.g.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not my favorite, but entertaining and thought provoking in its own way. Eight more words required huh? Makes me not want to leave a review.Published 2 months ago by Daniel Hemmert
Struggling to finish it. Too blatent a screed on capitalism,and a little too much posturing.Published 3 months ago by Mad Dog
Best damn book I've ever read. Do you want some theoretical economist a world away with a quant model he says define your reality? Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ryan Purcell
An exercise in style, Market Forces provides a new twist on the dog-run-over-dog world of corporate finance.Published 8 months ago by Thomas Beagle
I really liked Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies. Also liked Th1rte3n. However, this one was unlikeable from beginning to end. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Scott Haram
A bit of a let down actually, I was expecting something similar to the Takeshi Kovacs books. But found the characters and background lacking. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kwaij
Generally I am drawn to Morgan because he can write...his prose is original and direct. In this book he takes a story line which initallly seemed somewhat twisted and not quite... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Taken to its logical conclusion, the dream of capitalism as a meritocracy is shown with all its warty glory in this violent but entertaining novel. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
Picks up pace as you go, couldn't put it down. To be or not to be, that is the message.Published 19 months ago by Steve Gillman