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The Unincorporated Man Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 2015
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of SF as a vehicle for ideas will devour this intriguing debut. Brilliant 21st-century tycoon Justin Cord is brought from cryogenic storage into a 24th-century society where people own stock in one another, safeguarding each other's welfare only out of economic self-interest. This is anathema to the defiantly individualistic Cord, who soon becomes a danger to the corporations that control the world and a symbol of freedom to the downtrodden penny-stock people. Cord's conversations with friends and enemies fill most of the book, alongside lectures on the mechanisms of the incorporated culture. The Kollin brothers keep the plot moving briskly despite the high proportion of talk to action. Their cerebral style will especially appeal to readers nostalgic for science fiction's early years. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Story lines involving a contemporary protagonist’s displacement to a distant future via time machines or suspended animation have been a genre staple since H. G. Wells. In this striking variation from first-time novelists Dani and Eytan Kollin, the clash between today’s cultural values and those of a vividly imagined future has never been more compelling. Justin Cord is a twenty-first-century multibillionaire who uses his fortune to cheat death by building his own suspension unit. Three centuries later, after reanimation technicians discover the unit and restore his body to pristine health, Cord awakens to a world transformed in ways he could never have imagined. As the only surviving member of civilization before the Grand Collapse, not only is he an instant celebrity, but he quickly learns that everyone is a minicorporation unto themselves. Unfortunately, there are also forces at work that will stop at nothing to make sure Cord incorporates or dies yet again—this time, permanently. The Kollin brothers’ debut captivates with unforgettable characters and an ingenious vision of the economic future. --Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The brothers are not facile wordsmiths and some of their characters have a kind of Ayn Randian woodenness. But the authors have a riveting concept and loads of exciting plot twists. Their villain is awesome. And there are some really amazing set pieces, like the scene in a kind of virtual reality haunted house. Unfortunately they get too deeply bogged down in things like the nuances of how this futuristic society works, which really drags the story down.
I think a really adept film director backed up by a strong scriptwriter could turn this into one H of a cool movie. And I would definitely pay to see that.
Ultimately, what hurt the story was the writing. The writer constantly jumped between characters making this feel like bad fan-fiction in its comprehensibility. As such, I cannot recommend it as highly as I would like for the story. This book is still worth reading if you enjoy schemes, plots, nostalgia, and new worlds.
Beyond that, the writing is not evocative or expressive -- the fact that two people wrote this book makes me wonder what their individual work reads like. There is no weight to the words in this book, nothing to give you anything more than the most bare image of what this world and its inhabitants are like. Overall, I'd say the writing style is rather dated, reading like something written for the juvenile market in the 1950's.
If I didn't know that Tor had released it, I would have thought that the Unincorporated Man was self-published. Surprising, as well, are the positive reviews. Some of the praise I've seen doesn't seem to accurately describe it at all.
If I lost you with that opener, let me explain: the first half of the book was really compelling and I had a hard time of putting this one down as my being tired from a late night reading session can attest. We have a Walter Mitty "what if" kind of situation where a rich guy cheats death by suspending himself for a couple of hundred years and wakes up to a brand new world. The perceived technology of the future wasn't over the top and very believable, and I could also conceptualize the idea of every person ebing a publicly-traded entity with fluctuating values based on market dynamics, your own current and perceived future earning capacity, and whims in the market. Throw in a David vs. Goliath scene where David beats Goliath and you have a winner of a book and I could not put the book down because I was so engrossed into the story. The author and publisher could have ended the book right there for a "to be continued" moment and I would have been happy, and this hypothetical book would have earned a 4 star review from me.
But wait, there's more to the book....a whole heck of a lot more that just kept going and going and going. It is almost like a morality police talking about the evils of our society today, the hypothetical evils of our future society, and how the future government and interpersonal interactions are so much better. There really wasn't much structure to this part and I kept struggling with (a) where is the author trying to take me, and, (b) my mind kept wandering as I was plodding along to the next page. Finally, about 58% into the Kindle version of the book I stopped completely and deleted the book. This was such a letdown after my great experience with the first half of the book and ruined it for me. This hypothetical second book would have earned a 1 or 2 star review from me because it was so bad - it was almost as if there was a different author writing this section.
I originally purchased the Kindle version of this book for $2.99 and, as I type this review, I see the author has jacked up the price to $9.99; as this is an agency book the price would go up even more due to sales tax on the transaction. At $9.99 this would be a waste of money and I would not recommend it to my friends and family - at $2.99, I would say take a shot and stop reading immediately after the trial and it would be money well spent.