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Truth Machine Mass Market Paperback – June 29, 1997
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Imagine a world in which no one can lie. Now try to imagine the consequences. Halperin has written this generation's 1984, and rarely have our customers praised a book more highly. (Click on the title, and find out what they have to say ... assuming they are telling the truth!) And only time will tell whether Halperin's book is speculative fiction, or inverse history. Very Highly Recommended. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
What would the world be like if scientists developed the perfect lie detector? How would it change our criminal justice system? Psychiatric practice? International diplomacy? In his first novel, Halperin argues that such an invention could lead humanity into an era of unequaled prosperity, one in which crime is virtually unknown and true democracy is possible. A professional numismatist and a member of the World Future Society, Halperin is a relatively unskilled novelist. His prose is at best workmanlike, and his plotting and character development tend toward the simplistic. Nearly all of his major characters, from millionaire-genius protagonist Pete Armstrong on down, seem to be either the smartest, the richest, the most respected or the most influential people in the world. The traditional qualities of fiction are apparently of only secondary interest to the author, however. As a futurist, Halperin seems primarily concerned with suggesting innovations and then working out their implications over half a century. Heavily didactic, but supporting positions across the political spectrum, the book argues in favor of mandatory capital punishment for certain crimes, the privatization of schools, strict limits on insurance settlements, the elimination of the FAA, the legalization of assisted suicide, parental licensing and the establishment of a world government. Although crude from a literary point of view, Halperin's novel is not without strengths. His speculations about the next 50 years are fascinating, and the consequences of the truth machine are well worked out. In the final analysis, it's hard to believe that Halperin's near-utopian future could be so easily attained, but it would be nice to live there. 150,000 first printing; six-figure ad/promo; author tour; U.K. rights sold.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
It is a remarkable first novel. The characterization is excellent and compelling. The story is an equal partner to the ideas that abound. There are several sub-plots that are almost as satisfying as the major theme about the societal impact of a device that compells truthfulness in all aspects of human interaction. Pete's complex character and his relationships with women and with his life long friends David and Diana West are well portrayed as are his relationships and interaction with his demons Reece and Scoggins. I even enjoyed the character of 22g CP-TLMos, the super computer reporter who relates the major part of this work.
My great regret is that we don't have our own phenomenally gifted Pete Robinson to create a Truth Machine for us and to usher in the new era of world wide understanding and communication.
This is a thoughtful, absorbing, highly readable and most important statement about our possible future or lack thereof.
Very highly recommended.
All in all, I kept finding myself turning the pages, but I started to get antsy about halfway through, already guessing where it was headed. It wasn't bad by any means, and Halperin is obviously very smart. If he starts writing full time, I think his writing will become better rounded. In hindsight, I think the mechanism where most of the book is supposedly written by an intelligent computer was added in after the fact to apologize for the dry language. Just a hunch.
Maybe the ideas are interesting, but if you love the English language at all, you will absolutely hate this book.