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The Flicker Men: A Novel Kindle Edition
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If Stephen Hawking and Stephen King wrote a novel together, you'd get The Flicker Men. Brilliant, disturbing, and beautifully told.-- "Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author"
A high-speed thriller...The pages turn rapidly with well-orchestrated suspense.-- "New York Times"
An original, smart physics thriller...Kosmatka writes with great skill and...sells his concepts so well that it's hard to pinpoint where the real science ends...A fun, exciting read.-- "Missourian"
Kosmatka has taken a complex scientific paradox and turned it into a rapid race against time.-- "Shelf Awareness"
So intriguing that I was able to enjoy the book even though I personally didn't understand all the aspects of the experiment...The story walked a fine line between science and science-fiction, and should please fans of both.-- "Mystery Scene Magazine"
The most interesting science thriller I've read this year...The Flicker Men twists the weird implications of the [double-slit] experiment into a narrative that is both surprising and philosophically rich...A five-star read.-- "Science Thrillers"
Kosmatka effectively harnesses his impressive imagination in the service of a mind-blowing plot in this outstanding SF thriller...Ingenious plot twists, well-realized characters, and superior prose elevate this above similar books.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Brilliant...This well-written and fast-paced scientific thriller builds into beautiful and suspenseful crescendo.-- "Library Journal (starred review)"
A first-rate thriller.-- "Booklist"
Kosmatka's novel delivers a number of thrills, along with believable science and ominous themes.-- "Kirkus Reviews" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Ted Kosmatka was born and raised in Chesterton, Indiana. He is the author of Prophet of Bones and The Games, a finalist for the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2012. His short fiction has been nominated for both the Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and has appeared in numerous Year's Best Science Fiction anthologies. He now lives in the Pacific Northwest and works as a writer in the video game industry.
Keith Szarabajka has appeared in many films, including The Dark Knight, Missing, and A Perfect World, and on such television shows as The Equalizer, Angel, Cold Case, Golden Years, and Profit. Szarabajka has also appeared in several episodes of Selected Shorts for National Public Radio. He won the 2001 Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction for his reading of Tom Robbins' Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates and has won several Earphones Awards.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00S54VT76
- Publisher : Henry Holt and Co.; First edition (July 21, 2015)
- Publication date : July 21, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 1132 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 352 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #280,614 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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After that third, the book takes a turn into a full-blown thriller, which I found much less engaging than the interplay of quantum mechanics, psychology and chemical dependency that marks the beginning. It's not a BAD thriller by any stretch, but the beginning of this book had primed me to have my mind blown, and I didn't feel the end delivered on that promise.
The thriller portion itself is also heavily influenced by quantum mechanics, and accompanying philosophical discursions. The paranoia that arises from not knowing what layer of reality the narrative occupies reminded me of the films Inception and Pi.
Kosmatka is a much, much better prose stylist than most writers of thrillers. And he's basically on a par with Neal Stephenson in terms of integrating geek concepts with thriller plotlines, while showing a broader range of emotional expression than Stephenson demonstrates. But I got the impression that once he finally let the bullets start to fly, he got impatient to finish, and nearly abandoned all the brooding, uncertain, brilliant character development that could have made this book that rarest of gems: a genuinely literary thriller.
I'm keeping my eye out for more of his titles, though. He's got tremendous, tremendous talent.
You science purists out there may choke apoplectically over some of the author's uses of the science in the novel but in the areas covered there is enough room for the story if you can acept that, "We don't really know as much about the quantum universe as we like to pretend" (and we really don't). The author spends a lot of time without wasting dialogue educating the reader through the character on the twists and turns of quantum mechanics.
It's great foundational book for reading other novels in this particular genre and style and is as entertaining in the suspense and action as it is in the science realm.
Eventually, though, your head starts to throb, and you just kinda give up trying to grasp all of the Science subtleties, and you just start to take Kosmatka’s word for it - strange, strange stuff happens when you get really, really small. Besides, if you wanna do the research on your own, Kosmatka provides a very nice bibliography in the back of the novel.
The real triumph of the book, however, is the fact that despite the brain-melting science, the book is still very readable and enjoyable (a feat that not all uber-hard science fiction novelists can pull off).
If there’s one area that could have been more (much more) it was the plot. The ethical dilemmas raised by the novel are touched on, but never focused on the way you sorta expect them to be. The book could have gone in several directions, but it seemed that Kosmatka really wanted to just look at the Science. It’s too bad, because there is a lot of plot that could have been created, but the book just doesn’t go there. The Science always came first, the plot a distant second. But the book was short enough and written well enough that it still worked.
Read this book for the Science - it’ll make either make you feel really smart or make you throw the book across the room in total frustration. The writing is very good, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character (this is how you write the drunken, broken protagonist, btw), and the action and intrigue is very engaging. I just wish he had spent another hundred pages or so fleshing out a more meaningful plot.
This book belongs on the shelf next to other novels with insane amounts of science such as Tau Zero, Blindsight, and The Quantum Thief - though The Flicker Men is much more approachable than all of them. If you liked any of these books, then The Flicker Men should be right up your alley.
Not sure what I expected, but once I started I had a very tough time putting it down. A really great ride that makes you think hard about the human perception of the universe and reality as we know it.
Would maybe have liked a deeper set of answers and resolution at the end, but it was still a very good end. And wanting the answers is kinda part of the whole issue, isn't it? And does the wanting itself affect the answer?
A great read.
It was slow going at first, as I started just with audible at bed time and kept having to go back because I would fall asleep (because I was tired and the guys voice was so darn soothing, not because it was boring)
A really great story. A lot of science that I had a bit of a struggle woth when it seemed to get technical but that no way took away from the writer making me understand what was happening. I really liked the characters and I was really sad at one point,for one in particular. I think this book would make a great movie, but that's just my opinion. I will definitely be checking out other work from Ted Kosmatka
Top reviews from other countries
The Flicker Men just manages to be fun and readable. An interesting premise that dissolves into farce and parody: Characters introduced as nothing more than info dumps, gung-ho Die Hard set pieces, Baddies that explain themselves JUST long enough for the hero to escape, plot lines and back stories that fade away without resolution. All its missing is Blofeld stroking his cat saying " Frankly Mr Bond I expect you to die", and an ending of: "then they wake up and it's all a dream...but is it..."....or is it...
Just because The Flicker Men deals with "Hard" science, doesn't mean it should take itself quite so seriously, because the overall plot is too far fetched for that.
That being said, despite those "you are kidding me" facepalm moments I read it all and despite myself, kinda enjoyed it.