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Altered CarbonAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what I expected when I decided to read this book. I honestly don't remember why I put it on the shelf, or what mood I was in when I picked it off the shelf. I remember not being all that happy with the beginning scene. That scene felt tired, and cliche, and hackneyed.

And then the book actually started.

This was a strange ride, in a future universe where the roots in our own are clear, but where the unintended consequences of our technology and philosophies have led to a world that never entered my mind, yet now, having read this book, will never leave it.

This is a futuristic noir detective novel, and I figured out the central "whodunnit" very early, but that doesn't matter, because in the scheme of enjoying the novel that is as ultimately irrelevant as it is to the larger plot itself. This book is about the nature of "self," the value of the individual human life, and the limits of longevity. It is compelling, and complex, and has some very memorable characters. I am immensely glad I read it.

There are more books with this protagonist, but I'm not sure I'll read them. I want this book to stand alone in my memory--a perfectly cut diamond solitaire of a book.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2013 02:24 am (UTC)
The other ones were very good, too, if a bit odd.

Jan. 6th, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
I felt much the same way about this book...and while I've read the others, and they didn't ruin it, they didn't help. This one kind of stands by itself, and the others are...good, but very, very different. You're certainly not missing anything essential if you decide not to read on.
Jan. 9th, 2013 09:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. I recently found some other writings by him, set in a different world, so I might try those.
Jan. 9th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
My evaluation agrees with Alethea's - the other books are good, but they neither add to nor detract from this one. They are very different, while still using the main character. I like them all, but I find I return to this one more often.
Jan. 9th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, for some reason, the comment I just sent went out under "anonymous" rather than my User ID. It was from Maggie.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )