Book Review – Machine Man

Machine Man
Max Barry
2011
Paperback

Okay, so, I love Max Barry. One of his books, Jennifer Government, spawned one of my favorite games, Nation States. He is probably the only Australian author I read (or the only one I can name, for that matter) and his stuff is a little aloof, just like I am. So when I heard (okay, okay, I realized it a bit late, but still) that there was another book out, I jumped at the chance and didn’t put it down until it was done.

And then I read this book.

In Machine Man, the main character is a research scientist who loses a leg in an accident with a large piece of equipment. He then sets out to build himself a better leg… After building himself one leg, he realizes that it is superior to his other leg, and it can’t reach its full potential unless he has a matching set.

The book then goes into the morality of building a better person. When do you stop? How far do you progress the technology? Who do you apply it to? When the company he works for starts secretly sealing his technology to make super soldiers, he gets justifiably upset and his company tries to take him out. In other words, a typical Max Barry story line – he is, after all, the king of

I liked the concept of the book. I like the main character and several of the secondary characters related to him. I liked the development of the PR people. But there’s a point in the story where the story line goes so far over the top that it gets… silly. [Side note, Iron Man 3 sort of did a few similar things…]

And the last third or so of the book sort of lost it for me.
The end was okay.

So as far as rating this book goes…
If you’ve never read Max Barry, I’d suggest starting with a different book. Jennifer Government are Company are my favorites. If you love everything he’s written and “OMG! Another Max Barry book!” then pick it up. But I really don’t suggest starting with this book. And because of that, I’m only giving it a three.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Lexicon just came out and I’m the first person who gets to crack the cover of the library’s copy…

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