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Neuropath Mass Market Paperback – August 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765361574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765361578
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,670,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Terrifying and brilliant… challenges our most basic ideas of who and what we are.”—Whitley Strieber, New York Times bestselling author of Critical Mass

“This book blew me away!  Neuropath is the thinking man's thriller, a dark, insightful, and deeply disturbing tale that will make you question everything you knew—or thought you knew—about yourself.” --Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Keepsake

“An outstanding read, as fascinating as it is original, with real science, real characters, and a relentless plot. On top of that, it raises some big, big questions about free will and the nature of the human mind.” --Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Blasphemy

“Has all the nastiness of the current fashion for gruesome thrillers, one very good late plot twist, and—what gives it a kind of SF sensibility—intelligent debates about the nature of consciousness, autonomy, identity, desire and the degree to which the mind is no more than a manipulating machine.”—The Daily Telegraph (UK)      

“This book has emotionally hurt and disturbed me in a way none has done in many years. You should think twice before reading this - there could be some scientific and philosophical possibilities you don't want to know!” --Thomas Metzinger, author of Being No One

About the Author

R. SCOTT BAKKER is the author of The Darkness That Came Before, The Warrior Prophet, The Thousandfold Thought, and Neuropath. He lives in London, Ontario with his wife, Sharon, and their cat Scully.


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Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this book almost to the last page.
Corbycat
Content: If you are at all offended by sex, violence, language, or character stupidity as a plot device, you should avoid this novel.
Steven Diamond
There is much more that could be said about the philosophical issues raised within this book.
Brian C.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Steven Diamond on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sometimes, no matter how much I like an author, their latest book ends up being a disappointment. NEUROPATH, by R. Scott Bakker, fit that description for me. I love Bakker's Prince of Nothing series, and I firmly believe his writing--in terms of quality--is some of the best in the fantasy genre. With NEUROPATH, Bakker attempts to put his spin on the thriller genre.

I really wanted to like this book. Seriously, I tried hard. It just didn't happen.

NEUROPATH follows the PoV of Tom Bible, a psychologist. If you have read Bakker before, the profession of the PoV should come as no surprise. Tom is divorced with two kids, and his relationship with his ex-wife is seriously strained. The main plot of the story focuses on Tom helping the FBI find his friend Neil, who has been working with the NSA on the study and implementation of manipulating people's brains. Neil has apparently gone off the deep-end, and is abducting and torturing people by messing with their cerebral functions.

Yeah, it's a cool concept. The novel's tag-line, "You are not what you think you are," serves as the central theme of the novel, and is also its greatest flaw. Half of the novel involves near maid-and-butler scenes where one character spends pages explaining a concept to another character. The first time it happened, I could forgive it, because it was well written. After happening a few dozen times, however, it tended to rub me wrong. Essentially, it's as if we the readers are reading a transcribed conversation between a psychology professor and his unconvinced student. The concepts are explained well, and the writing is fantastic, but the simple fact that Bakker is "telling vs. showing" is extremely problematic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian C. on December 30, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book. It is a thriller, but there is a great deal of philosophy in the book. I have broken up my review into two sections. In the first I simply review the book, and explain, to some degree, who I think would benefit from reading it, and why I think it is a worthwhile book to read. In the second section I offer a few thoughts on the philosophy of the book. The second section is really a response to the ideas raised within the book, and is not about the book per se, so it can safely be skipped by anyone who is uninterested. I have tried to keep things as short as possible. This was a very thought provoking book, it raises a number of extremely interesting and important philosophical questions, and I had to resist the urge to try to express every thought I had about the book, in order to keep my review to a manageable length.

FIRST SECTION

This is a very disturbing book in at least two senses. First, the subject matter is inherently disturbing. As the back blurb makes clear the novel is about a psychopath who abducts people, opens up their brains and makes adjustments, and then forces them to kill themselves or commit horrifying acts by manipulating their brains. The second reason the book is disturbing is that it raises some frightening existential questions about personal identity and free will. The book takes reductionism to an absolute extreme, reducing our personal identities, and our supposedly free choices, to nothing but the firing of neurons. The book outlines a "semantic apocalypse" which is the very height of nihilism.

I would say that the book is a success as a thriller. The story is compelling enough that I think most thriller fans will be more than satisfied. However, the book is very philosophical (R. Scott Bakker was a Ph.D.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.A.B. on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should have been written 10 years ago, when neuroscience started its slow but inescapable destruction of pop-psychological concepts like "free will" and "consciousness". Fortunately, Bakker's attempt at combining the frightening new vistas of brain science with a psychological thriller is a fairly good read.

You'll see in a lot of the customer reviews that the book is bleak and unrelenting; this is accurate for the most part. Astute readers won't mind though, as Bakker's writing is skilled enough to draw interest in the face of horror.

The book has two flaws however. One, which the author himself addressed on his blog, is that it breaks genre convention during a key scene where it should not have. The other, which the author has not addressed, is that it is overly preachy at times. An author trying to make a philosophical point has to balance plot with rhetoric, and Bakker tries too hard by reiterating the same ideas several times. It gets tiring, even if one is on the wagon already.

The really interesting thing, which I think a lot of people miss, are the subtle new ideas hidden amongst more familiar arguments. (The "semantic apocalypse" is particularly interesting)

This book will make a good movie some day, with some judicious editing and rewriting to suit the genre and a more general audience.

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a psychological thriller, and is interested in encountering frightening new ideas.

-JAB
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Kenyon on October 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This should be made into a movie, although I doubt it could remain faithful to the book and still maintain a PG-13 rating. Anyway, it's fast paced, full of ideas that will give you pause, and grips you right from the start and doesn't let go. Fans of his other work will enjoy Neil, or the idea of Neil, if they enjoyed Kellhus, Conphas (my fav), or even Aurax/Aurang.

The book will play tricks on you too, even if you consider yourself a "second level reader." I found myself inwardly groaning at one point thinking the author had colossally screwed up by making the motives of one of the characters too similar to Iago, only to find out that I'm not quite as smart as I think I am.

As much as I enjoyed the book--it will probably be reread annually--I was still left wondering at the end how in the beginning it was even possible for Neil to have a brief flash of anger.

Bottom line: add to cart now and be glad you did later.
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