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The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed: Computer Prose and Poetry by Racter- The First Book Ever Wrritten by a Computer Paperback – September, 1984

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Software/Warner Books (September 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446380512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446380515
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,199,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert Carlberg on January 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
The "first book written by a computer" won't win any awards for insight or style, but it certainly will make you smile.
Racter seems to have a predilection for lettuce, and for using a plethora of florid adjectives. Some of the jumps in logic (or are they disconnected ideas jammed together?) will have you scratching your head. His poetry is startling and full of gunshots of imagination. But don't blame him -- it's the way he was programmed.
Even so, Racter may make more sense than "Finnegans Wake"....
Computer-authored books and computer-composed music are in their infancy, but you can be sure there will be more (and better) to come.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is funny and at the same time disturbingly insightful to the way that humans perceive the world, even though this book was written by a computer. The computer was created by man and so was language and both came together to embody Racter. Through this combination you get a work that plays with language in a way not quite human. This book is often very funny at just how strange the combination of words Racter, the "author" creates. Racter even has insight into his own existence like this poem "A tree or shrub can grow and bloom. I am always the same. But I am clever". In the book he also creates several conversations which are inquisitive and strange as he works around the ideas the words portray to create a strange message. And here's one last example of a really funny poem he wrote: "Bill sings to Sarah. Sarah sings to Bill. Perhaps they will do other dangerous things together. They may eat lamb or stroke each other. They may chant of their difficulties and their happiness. They have love but they also have typewriters. That is interesting." And this book is also filled with amazing art by Joan Hall inspired by Racter's poems. This is now one of my favorite books!
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