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Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Smart Pop series) Paperback – March 11, 2003


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Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Smart Pop series) + The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Popular Culture and Philosophy) + Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy
Price for all three: $50.04

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Product Details

  • Series: Smart Pop series
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop; First Trade Paper Edition edition (March 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932100024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932100020
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Glenn Yeffeth is a writer, editor, and columnist. He is the editor of a biography of Joss Whedon and a nonfiction anthology of essays about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

More About the Author

I spent fifteen years consulting and running management consultancies in Chicago, Dallas and London. In a burst of mid-life crisis, I chucked it to start BenBella Books, a traditional publishing house. Starting a old-fashioned publishing firm in the 21st century is crazy, I know, but it's turned out to be one of the best things I ever did.

Customer Reviews

As far as this complex subjet is concerned, it is discussed from different interesting viewpoints and with an accessible language.
Briona
Yet science fiction shows that, even in the face of this unholy trinity - passion, power and death - the existence of body, mind and soul will fight to live.
Chaos
All a brain is, is a very slow bio-computer that is wired in parallel to give a very powerful bio-computer that we have yet to duplicate in speed.
Jimi Michalscheck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Derek on July 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Lets face it. If you're reading this review, The Matrix was more than just a movie to you. Something that you saw in it made you question, if even for a moment, the nature of reality as you have always understood it. And if you're willing to entertain that tantalizing 'splinter in your mind' awhile longer, you need to read this book.
All of the essays in this book are thought-provoking and well written, with authors ranging from prominent members of the science fiction community, to theologians, to computer scientists. All have been similarly affected by this truly remarkable movie, and all take you on their own personal tour of The Wachowski's mindbending dystopia.
Essay content ranges from comparisons of Neo with Christ and Buddha, to whether we are in fact living inside a simulated world. The two finest essays in this book (in my opinion) are by techologists themselves, one by Ray Kurzweil and another by Sun Microsystems' Bill Joy, each with a very in-depth examination of the technology behind The matrix, albeit with two very different visions of humanity's future once our technology catches up with that depicted in the movie.
If The Matrix made you question the nature of the world around you, even a little, you need to read this book. You may not like it when you discover just how far down the rabbit hole goes, but at least you might be on the right track to freeing your mind.
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Huntress Reviews on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
THE MATRIX is arguably one of the best done, most profound movies of our time, conveying concepts of depth and wisdom in a format that appeals to a broad range of fans, and entertains as well. Only a few films manage to do this, STAR WARS, CHARIOTS OF FIRE, and LORD OF THE RINGS are among the scant examples. There is so much packed into this movie that many viewers might miss what is really there, only having fun and enjoying the spectacular FX work.
While that is not a bad thing, it would be a shame to miss all the depths hidden behind the fun, so the authors in this book have analyzed it on several levels. On a scientific front, the hows of THE MATRIX are examined, explaining the mind boggling concepts that when probed can be seen as frightening possibilities, even probabilities. However, the book's real impact is when it gets into the philosophy and religious aspects of the whole thing. It is shown to be parabolic to not only the Christian religion, but to Jews and Buddists as well. Allegories are explained and critiqued in depth.
***** If you have never seen the movie, like me, you will be prompted automatically to go out and rent it. Much of the book, despite the helpful glossary in the back, will make little sense without having seen MATRIX. After seeing it, and reading the book, learning how plausible it might be, then you will wonder about what is real. Isn't that a question that has tormented the greatest thinkers of time? This is a book not to be missed if you have a critical, yet open mind. *****
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Taking the Red Pill" is, as its title implies, a collection of essays that explore the scientific, philosophical, and religious content of the groundbreaking science fiction film "The Matrix". There are fourteen essays, each by a different author, and a glossary of Matrix terms as well as short bios of the contributing authors in the back of the book. The essays address a wide range of topics as they relate directly to the film: the nature of reality, the evolution of artificial intelligence, postmodern theory, Judeo-Christian symbolism, Buddhist metaphors, and the science behind the Matrix' technology. The last three essays don't discuss the film itself, but express ideas about emerging technologies which may make a Matrix-like world of human-machine interdependence a reality in our future. Editor Glenn Yeffeth has given us contributors with opposing views in many cases, so many of the essays are grouped in pairs so that we can read them in a point-counterpoint style. The very fact that "The Matrix" can be interpreted as representing both Socialist and Capitalist, Monotheist and Pantheist, Postmodernist and Crass Commercial ideals may provide the greatest insight into the film's genius and staying power. My only criticism of the book is that, among its many interesting essays, there are none that analyze the film's meaning in and of itself, as opposed to discussing its relationship to various external religious and philosophical doctrines. "The Matrix" borrows from and alludes to numerous esteemed schools of thought, but it is the film's own fascinating, complex, and thought-provoking conditions that make "The Matrix" resonate so powerfully with its audience. "The Matrix" has a philosophical identity of its own. That said, the essays that are included in this collection are thoughtful and enlightening. I recommend "Taking the Red Pill" to fans of "The Matrix " who would like to delve further into the film's iconography and implications.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful By scaughey9 on April 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
There was a reason that cyberpunk's quick-paced revival resonated with audiences, something more than Neo and Trinity's sexy androgyny, the cool effects and apocalyptic story. Audiences left the theater literally blown away; people heatedly discussed "The Matrix" in the car on their way home.
As I sat in the theater seat nearly four years ago, the screen flashing before me, I got the sense that I was on to something big. There's so much going on, so much packed into the film -- how can you even begin to address it, compartmentalize, etc?
Taking the Red Pill picks up all the threads woven into the film and gives them a good tug. The result? A vibrant plentitude of interpretation springs to view. The book is accessible. It's funny and riveting, and filled to the brim with a diversity of approaches. The intellectual vigorous debate renewed my excitement for "The Matrix."
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