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Thirteen Hardcover – June 26, 2007
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Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Hardcover : 560 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345485250
- Product dimensions : 6.34 x 1.67 x 9.5 inches
- Publisher : Del Rey; First American Edition (June 26, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,569,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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the takeshi kovacs books were pretty good (also listened on audiobooks) with it peaking with the second book (woken furies?). the first one was a bit grating because of how blatant the "active verbs" were.... EVERYTHING was doing SOMETHING.... and it almost felt like a student work or something. but morgan's world building was cool and the books were loaded with tons of neat concepts.
but here, this is basically the premise of the new blade runner movie - a "replicant" hunting other "replicants". i would imagine this book predates the movie but it's basically the genetically modified take of blade runner 2049 or whatever it is.
the plot is okay but extremely convoluted and thereis some nice dovetailing that happens with the themes at the end... but holy crap it felt like morgan took a GIGANTIC LEAP BACKWARDS when it came to characters in general and DIALOG in particular. the conversations in this book just made me want to rip my hair out by the roots and strangle silent every speaker.... it is all just LENGTHY, DOMESTIC, PETTY, TEDIOUS... **BICKERING**.... i know you're supposed to amp up conflict but holy crap, let's try to keep things interesting and not at the level of arguing about who takes out the trash. and there's just so much of it! things like petty jealousies might be realistic but holy crap do i not want to see it in a sci fi neo-noir book for heaven's sake.
and while the noir posturing of the kovacs books were serviceable, here it feels kind of forced. the protagonist just mostly seemed like an irredeemable dick. i really didn't like or care about anybody.
i think there is some kind of attempt at social commentary too but i really didn't care about anything enough for such things to register in a coherent way.
The world he has created is fully realized. You'll be sucked into it for the duration, your daily worries and boredom forgotten.
As with many of his protagonists, Morgan's Carl Masalis is an extremely sympathetic, three-dimensional character, someone you'll root for as he navigates a harsh, dystopic future peppered with corrupt politicians, profit-hungry corporations, gritty cops, street thugs, Bible-thumpers, and genetically engineered prostitutes and super soldiers.
This novel screams out for a sequel.
Classic science fiction - golden age, science fiction, the Heinlin's, the Vonnegut's - they wrote stories that had meaning. they delivered great stories, interesting characters and served up valid and thought provoking social commentary. Great sci fi - Jules Verne upwards, has always posed the question - "What if?", and entertained us at the same time. Well done to Richard Morgan, because that is exactly what he has done!
One of his best. Don't miss it.
Top reviews from other countries
It is obvious that Morgan's preoccupation was not so much the plot, but the nature of thirteens and the problems and prejudices they face in normal society, and how they are different from the average man in the 'devirilised' street. It becomes the dominant topic of conversation between the characters, repeating itself endlessly, so much so that I was practically screaming at the self pitying Carl to stop talking about himself and go kill someone already. There is not much back story, so we never really get to know how Carl came to be Carl. The identikit plot rambles along in a string of familiar set pieces and there is no surprise when it finally ends.
So, it was a bit by chance that I tried a Richard Morgan SF novel and found myself back in a world of technoir, complete with fast paced, interlaced stories and badder-than-bad anti-heroes. Yay!
No spoilers as to the plot, other than to say that Black Man works really well. Super-slick, fast-paced story, generously littered with the emotive language that has come to characterise the Richard Morgan stories I’ve read. Awesome!
Why? Let me count the ways. The writing is terrific - sharp, intelligent, a pleasure in itself, and that is by no means usual in this genre. It engages directly with a number of political issues that are pressing today, including race (and its intellectual substrate, genetics), gender, globalisation and multinationals, weaving them together. The conclusion does what Morgan does best, reflects the themes that permeate the entire piece, so that there is a satisfying circularity and right-ness at the finish ('We're the real humans' - you'll understand when you get there). Yes, it does work as a hard-boiled thriller, but that is an asset, driving the story through, adding an extra layer of pleasure. And yes, it is kind of cyberpunk - but it's sharper, more engaged, better written than any cyberpunk I have ever read, including He Who Must Not Be Named. And - let's say it again - it is satisfyingly intelligent. This is an overtly political novel that nevertheless refuses to be preachy, for it doesn't tell you about its politics so much as embed them in its invented world and its action. Buy this.