Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Neuropath by Scott Bakker

The frontpage of SFFWorld was just rejiggered, with the lead item being the tag-team review Mark/Hobbit and I did for Scott Bakker's intense and scary Neuropath.
Here's a snippet:
With Neuropath Scott turns to a contemporary thriller, a CSI-style novel with an SF edge. And from his previous work, as you might expect, it is a stylish, taut, intellectual treatise on the misuse of science and its consequences. As he says in his afterword, (page 302) ‘I wanted Neuropath to be a thriller, one that strives intellectually as well as viscerally disturbing…’

It is also very, very scary.

The story is mainly written from the perspective of Tom Bible, a psychologist and university instructor coping with the divorce from his wife Nora and the pain and difficulty of limited visitations with his children. Much to Tom’s his surprise, his friend Neil Cassidy shows up one night to catch up and reignite their ongoing debate, or rather Argument. This Argument has been a highlight of their friendship for many years and the crux of it is whether or not we have choices in what we do. At the outset, Tom thinks this visit from Neil is just a friendly, if oddly timed, hang-out session. Tom soon learns the meeting is not what he thought it was, a theme that Bakker returns to throughout the novel.

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