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Beowulf: A Bloody Calculus Kindle Edition
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|Length: 198 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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The good news is this is an appetizer, an origin story, a tale to whet your appetite. You don't know what it is, but you can tell you'll be biting into something meaty next time. On the other hand, it fully stands on its own, and you won't be left hanging when you get to the last page.
Worth your time and money.
Beowulf is a different kind of superhero. It’s the kind of superhero that people of a highly technologized 22nd century need to assure them that they’re still in control of their own lives and what happens out there, in the world, when their implants allow them to experience anything they want from the comfort of their home. Together with Booth, the host of the most popular variety show, Beowulf tracks down outlaws and punishes them for their crimes live, at the public’s request. Sometimes, this means killing them. So, yes, Milo Behr’s novella is dark, gritty, and it explores a possible outcome of allowing technology to take over our lives. The enhancements do make things easier, but they also make people vulnerable, as it happens to the victims in “Beowulf”. Also, they may give a truly smart hacker the possibility of playing God.
The author starts from an interesting premise, which, of course, has been present before in cyberpunk works, and delivers an action-packed story that keeps readers guessing. The characters are well defined, and by the end of the novella I found myself liking a character that I initially disliked. And I’m talking here about Booth, who seems to be only interested in the rankings of his show, and not about morality and justice. The final scenes, however, put him in a different light, and I started to see that he does care about the people’s safety and freedom. I think Booth is a good example of character development done well in the limited space given by a novella.
“Beowulf: A Bloody Calculus” is a must-read for all fans of science-fiction and cyberpunk. The author’s original writing style is immersive, and the action scenes have just enough details to give you a clear view of what is happening and how. Bottom line: it was a fun and intense read that got me thinking about how it would be if we had everything we needed – information, medicines, entertainment –, just a thought away, and how much we’d have to pay for this comfort.
Yes, Beowulf is scary, but not because of the villains the eponymous protagonist battles throughout the work. With every page I further questioned my own relationship with digital entertainment, gonzo journalism, smart phones, video games, and the router under my desk pumping a wireless signal to a dozen devices in my home. Simultaneously outlandish yet all too real, Behr has laid out a near future that kept me tossing under my covers, and not in the figurative sense. Beowulf kept me awake at night. I can't stop thinking about it.
The writing and prose come across as a digital drug. Behr's successful experiment with punctuation paired with masterful word choice remind me of my first experience with hospital-grade nitrous oxide. When you read Behr's writing you are transported, instantly engrossed, the prose itself an extension of the setting and themes of the work. You are in the story, a part of it. You are next to Beowulf.
Behr's is a cyberpunk tale for the person that wants more from their reading. Beowulf is for the thinkers, the self-reflective, the kind of person more interested in answers than being mollycoddled in the comfort and safety of convenience and popular perception. Beowulf is a return to the themes and ideas that led to the creation of science fiction in the first place.
Beowulf: A Bloody Calculus is one hell of an awesome book. Don't miss it.
The book is fast-paced, yet a quality read. Every main character is well fleshed out. I was surprised the concise, intriguing descriptions of situations and complex technology do not slow the pace down. The dialogues are entertaining, I laughed a lot at some of the comebacks. The plot, however, is a bit linear, and there isn't anything unexpected about the twists.
All the while reading the novel I was thinking it is definitely movie material, as it has thrilling action sequences and a few sensual scenes on top of the interesting basic premise. I will definitely check out the follow-up.
Most recent customer reviews
This book delivers on the promise made on the cover and delivers in a stunning way that is both...Read more