Machine Man (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Barry expertly captures the voice of Charlie, his single-minded, anti-social, obsessively left-brained protagonist in his newest, highly readable, speculative novel. Although it’s a quick, action-packed read, Machine Man explores meaty issues such as the metaphysical definition of the self and the philosophical mind-body duality (or lack thereof). Through characters with vastly different, and sometimes morally abhorrent, viewpoints, Barry leaves the reader with more questions than answers—a hallmark of satisfying speculative fiction. Highly recommended to sci-fi fans looking for a fun summer read, or anyone looking for a novel that revels in the gray areas of ethics and leaves you not a small bit disconcerted.



Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.

Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon.

A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.

About the Author

Max Barry began removing parts at an early age. In 1999, he successfully excised a steady job at tech giant HP in order to upgrade to the more compatible alternative of manufacturing fiction. While producing three novels, he developed the online nation simulation game NationStates, as well as contributing to various open source software projects and developing religious views on operating systems. He did not leave the house much. For Machine Man, Max wrote a website to deliver pages of fiction to readers via email and RSS. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters, and is 38 years old. He uses vi.

Praise For…

"Wickedly entertaining, a brilliant book: caustically funny, and-by its closing chapter-surprisingly moving." --Scott Smith, author of The Ruins

"Using precision-engineered prose, Max Barry has built a gleaming, terrifying device: part love story, part horror story, part thought experiment, all entertaining." --Charles Yu, author of How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

"A meticulously devised, deviant little parable--once it starts, you can't look away." --Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible
Product Details
ISBN: 9780307476890
ISBN-10: 0307476898
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: August 9th, 2011
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries