Leaving for work today was very difficult…

May 5, 2009 at 7:33 pm (Reviews) (, , )

As I only had about 75 pages left in my book.

Black Man. Wow. Fantastic book. As good or maybe even a bit better than Altered Carbon, in my opinion. One of the things that I love about these books by Richard Morgan is that he doesn’t immediately begin with the idea that the reader is stupid and that everything must be explained in words of one syllable or less. For example, in Altered Carbon you don’t actually find out what altered carbon means until at least halfway through the book.

Like the movie “Blade Runner”, Black Man is a detective thriller that just happens to be set in the future. Morgan does a very good job of marrying the technical requirements of future life with the story. Everything is just so logical that it doesn’t seem at all out of place that Mars is colonized, that the United States has split into two nations-almost along the red state/blue state lines, or that genetic traits have been manipulated to create perfect soldiers, or prostitutes, or what have you. Black Man is violent, sexually explicit in spots, and almost impossible to put down. It is also a not too subtle condemnation of those who would judge a person by the colour of their skin-a genetic quality-instead of by their personality and actions.  Our hero is all but unlikable, and leaves a wide path of destruction wherever he goes. He is the product of both nature and nurture, and yet I still found myself both sympathizing with him and hurting for his past and present pain.

Jane would not approve of the violence, to be sure. But I feel she would appreciate a gripping story that doesn’t talk down to its readers. If you are a fan of hardboiled detective fiction, read this book. Read Altered Carbon too-it is a great book as well.

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