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Machine Man (Vintage Contemporaries)

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Machine Man (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307476890
ISBN10: 0307476898
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.

Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon.

A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.

Review:

"RoboCop meets Nathanael West's A Cool Million in Barry's cautionary satire of the future of bio-augmentation. Dr. Charlie Neumann (get it?), an employee at the bioengineering company Better Future, loses his leg in an industrial accident and has it replaced with a prosthesis. After tinkering with and improving his artificial leg, Charlie loses his remaining good leg, but this time it's no accident; he likes being able to make artificial upgrades to his body. So do his employers, who see the military applications of Charlie's fixation and put him in charge of a project to modify the human body with mil-spec prostheses. When one of the other test subjects, a security guard who has had his arms replaced, goes rogue and kidnaps Lola Shanks, the prosthetics expert who has become the object of Charlie's affection, Charlie sets off to hunt down the monster he has helped to create. Like Mary Shelley's famous creation, this story and character are rather stitched together, and doesn't achieve a life or identity of its own. The result is a pastiche that, like Charlie, stays too wrapped up in its own head to grip the reader on a more emotional level. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Max Barry began removing parts at an early age. In 1999, he successfully excised a steady job at tech giant HP in order to upgrade to the more compatible alternative of manufacturing fiction. While producing three novels, he developed the online nation simulation game NationStates, as well as contributing to various open source software projects and developing religious views on operating systems. He did not leave the house much. For Machine Man, Max wrote a website to deliver pages of fiction to readers via email and RSS. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters, and is 38 years old. He uses vi.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

ryan stuart, August 11, 2011 (view all comments by ryan stuart)
Nobody knows how to take a what-if to the very furthest point of its logical conclusion better than Max Barry.

In this book, the question begins with a dissatisfaction: the flawed engineering of the human body. Then it asks: what if we could re-engineer it? Via mechanical and computer engineering, not nano- or biotech. Max Barry's answer to that question will undoubtedly surprise you.

This book is both thoroughly outrageous and logically relentless. The main character is a nerd on nerd steroids: ruthless, addicted to logic, emotionally AWOL. He lives for the puzzle--how to improve things. When he is injured in an accident, he turns this tunnel-vision attention to improving the human body.

You won't believe how often you'll be saying: I want that feature. If you are old enough to have arthritic knees and trifocals, you'll be drooling over the possibilities.

But all these improvements come with a price, often paid in blood and pain. In Barry's book, the escalating consequences of re-engineering the body start out horrible and end up unspeakably gruesome. But through it all, the voice of our narrator-engineer is just sublimely funny. He is SUCH a geek. An absolutely unforgettable, oddly tender, emotionally tone-deaf geek.

The book also features a wonderful send-up of corporations (of course, does anybody do that better than Max?) and some inspired character names (really, you should read it just for the character names). Give this one a chance, and I promise you'll never look at your body the same again.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307476890
Author:
Barry, Max
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Original
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 in 0.6375 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Cyberpunk

Machine Man (Vintage Contemporaries) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Vintage Books - English 9780307476890 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "RoboCop meets Nathanael West's A Cool Million in Barry's cautionary satire of the future of bio-augmentation. Dr. Charlie Neumann (get it?), an employee at the bioengineering company Better Future, loses his leg in an industrial accident and has it replaced with a prosthesis. After tinkering with and improving his artificial leg, Charlie loses his remaining good leg, but this time it's no accident; he likes being able to make artificial upgrades to his body. So do his employers, who see the military applications of Charlie's fixation and put him in charge of a project to modify the human body with mil-spec prostheses. When one of the other test subjects, a security guard who has had his arms replaced, goes rogue and kidnaps Lola Shanks, the prosthetics expert who has become the object of Charlie's affection, Charlie sets off to hunt down the monster he has helped to create. Like Mary Shelley's famous creation, this story and character are rather stitched together, and doesn't achieve a life or identity of its own. The result is a pastiche that, like Charlie, stays too wrapped up in its own head to grip the reader on a more emotional level. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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