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The Unincorporated Man Paperback – April 27, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: The Unincorporated Man (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765327244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765327246
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of SF as a vehicle for ideas will devour this intriguing debut. Brilliant 21st-century tycoon Justin Cord is brought from cryogenic storage into a 24th-century society where people own stock in one another, safeguarding each other's welfare only out of economic self-interest. This is anathema to the defiantly individualistic Cord, who soon becomes a danger to the corporations that control the world and a symbol of freedom to the downtrodden penny-stock people. Cord's conversations with friends and enemies fill most of the book, alongside lectures on the mechanisms of the incorporated culture. The Kollin brothers keep the plot moving briskly despite the high proportion of talk to action. Their cerebral style will especially appeal to readers nostalgic for science fiction's early years. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Story lines involving a contemporary protagonist’s displacement to a distant future via time machines or suspended animation have been a genre staple since H. G. Wells. In this striking variation from first-time novelists Dani and Eytan Kollin, the clash between today’s cultural values and those of a vividly imagined future has never been more compelling. Justin Cord is a twenty-first-century multibillionaire who uses his fortune to cheat death by building his own suspension unit. Three centuries later, after reanimation technicians discover the unit and restore his body to pristine health, Cord awakens to a world transformed in ways he could never have imagined. As the only surviving member of civilization before the Grand Collapse, not only is he an instant celebrity, but he quickly learns that everyone is a minicorporation unto themselves. Unfortunately, there are also forces at work that will stop at nothing to make sure Cord incorporates or dies yet again—this time, permanently. The Kollin brothers’ debut captivates with unforgettable characters and an ingenious vision of the economic future. --Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

At times the character's dialog and the plot would be very predictable.
Joel Pomales
They have deftly designed a book that will have you questioning the economic principles and the very nature of personal freedom and individuality.
Bookreporter
They have a very clear idea of what this future might look like... and they apparently feel compelled to tell us about it in incredible detail.
Esther Schindler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gallagher HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Even though this is one book, this is really a tale of two books combined into one big offering so, in essence, this review is really two reviews combined into one just like the book.

If I lost you with that opener, let me explain: the first half of the book was really compelling and I had a hard time of putting this one down as my being tired from a late night reading session can attest. We have a Walter Mitty "what if" kind of situation where a rich guy cheats death by suspending himself for a couple of hundred years and wakes up to a brand new world. The perceived technology of the future wasn't over the top and very believable, and I could also conceptualize the idea of every person ebing a publicly-traded entity with fluctuating values based on market dynamics, your own current and perceived future earning capacity, and whims in the market. Throw in a David vs. Goliath scene where David beats Goliath and you have a winner of a book and I could not put the book down because I was so engrossed into the story. The author and publisher could have ended the book right there for a "to be continued" moment and I would have been happy, and this hypothetical book would have earned a 4 star review from me.

But wait, there's more to the book....a whole heck of a lot more that just kept going and going and going. It is almost like a morality police talking about the evils of our society today, the hypothetical evils of our future society, and how the future government and interpersonal interactions are so much better. There really wasn't much structure to this part and I kept struggling with (a) where is the author trying to take me, and, (b) my mind kept wandering as I was plodding along to the next page.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Briana on May 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I wanted so badly to like this book. I read more than 200 pages of this thing before giving up on it, because the idea behind the book is just so great. But at this point, there are just too many flaws for me to waste any more of my time. The writing style is boring, the characters have no personality, the dialogue is painfully stilted, and the plot seems to have degenerated into court proceedings. Not at all what I was hoping for, so I'm done.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tuscan Bill on July 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because the basic premise seemed interesting. In addition there were many positive reviews. Unfortunately for me this book fails. The characters are flat, uni-demensional and do not evolve as the story progresses. The prose is largely uninspired and there are long sections that devolve into what can only be described as "preachy" and extremely boring. On top of that, the world the authors create is neither appealing nor realistic. It is as though the laws of human nature have been repealed. It is so bad that even the sex scenes are boring. A little over half way through I just gave up. Sorry but this is, in the end, a simpleminded Libertarian wet dream. Very disappointing.
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30 of 41 people found the following review helpful By William Sargent on January 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are several things wrong with this book, but the first one is that it commits the unforgivable sin of bad writing. Omniscient authorial voice? Check. Characters changing their firmly held principles to meet the needs of the plot? Check. Multiple pages used to describe events off stage? Check.

When you get to the point where you realize that the protagonist -- who of course is an entirely blameless, kind and heroic multimillionare industrialist who had himself frozen and sent down a mineshaft for hundreds of years and comes back surrounded by the beautiful nurse who is secretly in love with him, the wise elder who has bowed out of a career as a cutthroat executive, and the wisecracking salt of the earth miner -- when you realize that this guy is going to win and topple the system, then the book is over. It happens a third of the way through the book. At that point, you're treated to all the various actors getting up and giving their say. But they're wrong, of course, because they're standing against the protagonist.

It is that bad. It's not even as though it's entertainingly bad. At least with Ayn Rand, you could count on the protagonist being a total misanthropic bastard who would leave his own children in the woods if it would build self-sufficiency. At least with Heinlein, you had characterization and a sense of wonder and fun that made the plot and the sexism bearable. But this is just awful. I'm actually angry that I read this, even for a book club.
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Sitting in Seattle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The reviews are obviously polarized for this book, so I'll do what I can to give a bit of guidance from my perspective. The book features a single idea, developed superficially yet at great length. The story props up the idea but is predictable and uninteresting, featuring data dumps and flat characters. The science is mostly missing, and silly when it appears (avatars! elevator tubes! phone implants!)

If you like idea stories and are not particularly interested in plots, characters, or writing style, then it might work for you. For instance, if you like Jack McDevitt, late-series Asimov (e.g., Prelude to Foundation), or Geoffrey Landis then you might tolerate it. To be sure, they are all much better writers, but are not masters of character or style. (I suppose that's why the authors here are compared to Heinlein, but I expect Heinlein would have a short story of this one.)

However, if you want a compelling *story* or stylistic writing, I expect you will hate it. China Mieville comes to mind as someone at the polar end of the writing spectrum: chock full of ideas, sometimes maddening, but a beautiful stylist and never plodding.

Here's a simple excerpt (from p. 60) that pretty much shows every problem in a single paragraph: "Justin, the odds of the 'crash' event as you describe it are 349,120,004 to one. You have a better chance of winning the lottery ... three times in a row."

Points: (1) this comes from an exchange that does nothing to advance either the plot or the characters. (2) how can a device (who is the speaker here) communicate quotation marks ("'crash'") and why is that even necessary? (read Strunk and White) (3) why does the lottery still exist in this future? or does it? why does it matter?
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