Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

I bought this book from Audible and listened to it using the Audible app on my iPhone. Todd McLaren does a fine job in narrating the audiobook.

This is a solid science fiction who-done-it story. I enjoyed the lead character Takeshi Kovacs and his loose morals and ethics. I look forward to reading the other books soon.

The publisher appears to not have read the story, in the summary it says "assuming one can afford the expensive procedure" while in the story everyone has their mind stored as part of basic healthcare that everyone receives, but the wealthy are able to update what is stored more often so that if they die they will loose a lot fewer memories. Also the wealthy are able to have clones of themselves available so they may transfer themselves to a younger body on a whim and be perpetually young.

I enjoyed the exploration of what a culture would be like when the death of a physical body held very little negative consequences and how terrible a true death, where a persons mind and all backups are destroyed, really is.

From the publisher:

In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched 180 light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats "existence" as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.

Altered Carbon is the first Takeshi Kovacs novel. Don’t miss the sequels Broken Angels and Woken Furies.

©2003 Richard K. Morgan; (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

I rate this book an 8 out of 10 and recommend it to people who enjoy science fiction and crime books.

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