ISBN is

978-0-446-61095-7 / 9780446610957

Killing Time

by

Publisher:Grand Central Publishing

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

It's 2023, and the Web has almost destroyed the world. While cyberspace's early pioneers promoted the Net as a revolution in human communication, America has instead become a society of desk-bound introverts who believe everything they read. The federal government has been "bought" by a Microsoft-style corporation. Any semblance of central authority has vanished. As the Net infiltrates India and Pakistan, fevered nationalists and terrorists find one more medium through which to spread the word.

With Killing Time, Caleb Carr (The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness) manages to create a future that's both frightening and nostalgic. The novel's narrator, Dr. Gideon Wolfe, longs for a world before technology swallowed people's minds and imaginations. Through a series of complex misadventures, beginning with the murder of his best friend, Gideon finds himself joining a ragtag army of scientists and inventors who hope to take it back. Heading up this '60s-style revolutionary cell is a brother-sister team--genetically engineered geniuses with silver hair and shining eyes. Aboard their ultramodern ship, Gideon learns the extent of the damage done. When they dive below the surface of the Atlantic, he looks out the window and sees

not an idyllic scene of aquatic wonder such as childhood stories might have led me to expect but rather a horrifying expanse of brown water filled with human and animal waste, all of it endlessly roiled but never cleansed by the steady pulse of the offshore currents.
Carr's future is suffused with regret. It's also rife with mystery and suspense; in every chapter the stakes are raised a little higher, the apocalypse hovers a little closer. This author is a master of the cliffhanger, of cryptic warnings that return to haunt our hero later in the text. Occasional flashes of humor relieve the prevailing ominousness, and a beautiful girl with a huge gun appears at regular intervals to keep things humming. Fans of Steve Erickson's end-of-the-world novels will likely enjoy this adventure in the Internet age, where the sheer amount of information has induced not quantitative changes in the human psyche, but qualitative ones. --Ellen Williams

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