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The Quantum Thief

Lu par : Rupert Degas
Durée : 10 h et 6 min
5,0 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut. Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen.

©2010 Hannu Rajaniemi (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

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Notations
Global
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Interprétation
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Sumit G.
  • Sumit G.
  • 18/03/2012

Fast Paced Innovative Sci Fi

Good Novel. Really really interesting - but the first 1/3rd of the novel wasn't quite as much fun as the rest of it. I kept thinking - if the author would focus on the human elements more than the sci fi bit - the novel would become so much better. That first one third did very little scene setting and context/character development.

To his credit, the novel started developing characters more after the first 1/3, but to me, it left some dissatisfaction for me towards the end of the book (hence the lower overall score of 4 rather than 5).


The book itself is about a thief who is in a jail, escapes with help to do another heist. However, instead of heading towards the final heist, it goes on to do a sidequest on a futuristic Mars colony which forms the remaining 2/3rd of the book. It has to do with games, memories, technological manipulation, etc. all done in a very cool way. The author's key writing gift is to continually shift one gear up in the storyline right to the end.

The novel is part of the trilogy and I will definitely look forward to the next book. My only point is that I hope the author doesn't make the start so obscure and without any scene setting the next time.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hossein
  • 07/03/2012

A Perfect Story! A magnificent Performance!!

If you could sum up The Quantum Thief in three words, what would they be?

Thinking Out of the BOX!

Very Creative; Something like 'The Matrix' or 'Inception'

What other book might you compare The Quantum Thief to and why?

'The Matrix' or 'Inception'

What about Rupert Degas’s performance did you like?

It connects to you .... Especially during '1st person' lines...

Multiple [believable] voices!!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me say:

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 23/07/2015

Poor recording quality

The volume changes throughout, representing different speakers, made it impossible to listen to in the car without missing half the dialogue.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Utilisateur anonyme
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 21/04/2018

Very bad narration.

As many people have commented the narration is absolutely terrible. At first I thought I would try it out however it's barely understandable. You need to make a conscious effort and focus on the narrator in order to make sense of what his saying and when he switch between characters. Honestly it's a waste of money/credit.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Christian
  • 24/07/2020

Voice effects destroys the experience

The chorus like talk is nearly impossible to hear. Did not manage to understand even a fragment of what they said with electronically distorted voices, thereby missing a lot of key information. So sad to destroy a novel with such a performance effect.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Jefferson
  • Jefferson
  • 27/02/2016

Quantum Space Opera with Attitude

"As always, before the warmind and I shoot each other, I try to make small talk." Jean le Flambeur, centuries-old "criminal mastermind" for whom thieving is both instinct and art and who has pulled off myriad legendary heists, has been incarcerated in a Dilemma Prison run by immortal Archons who want to teach him cooperation via an endless game involving pistols. Despite his repartee, Jean has been shot in the head 14,000 times. Thus he is not unwilling when a beautiful, scar-faced woman called Mieli and her sentient spaceship Perhonen break him out of prison. His liberators are not altruists, for Mieli is under the thumb of a "goddess" who wants to use Jean for some unspecified plan. For his part, Jean needs to return to Mars and the scene of his last big scheme to regain his memories (for some reason, he cannot recall most of his past, including why a master thief like him ended up in prison). On Mars Jean and Mieli enter the Oubliette (deriving from the French word for "forget" and meaning "secret dungeon" in English), a gradually moving city whose denizens wear Watches that measure out their remaining time before they must die and be resurrected as "Quiet" laborers, communicate by sharing co-memories from their exomemory storages, and use a privacy screening "gevulot" to determine what of their experiences they remember and what of their experiences that other people who interact with them remember. Living in the Oubliette is Isidore, a genius detective armed with a smartmatter magnifying glass, a keen mind, and an affinity for mysteries.

In The Quantum Thief (2010), first book in Hannu Rajaniemi's trilogy, all the above (and much more) is possible due to the advanced technology of the future post-human, post-computer, post-science world in which everything is sentient and fractal and nano and quantum: spaceships, bullets, data spheres, clothes, memories, bodies, machines, weapons, smartmatter, q-matter, and so on. Gods are uploaded consciousnesses. Death is temporary. Life is virtual. The lines between human/alien, machine/computer, organic/inorganic, reality/unreality, etc. are all blurry. The body is mutable, disposable, renewable. The mind may be removed from ones "body" and put into another or a "machine" or a "bullet." Memory is uploadable, downloadable, transferable, and malleable.

This is quantum space opera with a delirious vengeance, and the SF sublime is everywhere: "They fall through the wound in the flesh of the city. Synthbio solutions rain around them like blood. And then they are outside in the middle of the forest of the city legs, blinking at the bright daylight." And moments of weird beauty: "The memories are pressed flat like a butterfly beneath the centuries, fragile, and fall apart when I touch them." And catchy defamiliarizing chapter first lines: "Raymonde is having her lunch near the playground when we meet again for the first time."

At his best, Rajaniemi uses the sublime defamiliarizing science fiction future science and technology to explore time, memory, reality, love, games, mysteries, art, and, of course, what is human, as when Mieli is approached by a Time Beggar desperately asking her for a few seconds of her Time (Time is literally money in the Oubliette), or when Isidore visits his Quiet father, whose mind has been put into a giant insectoid body so he can drill rocks with his mouth, consume them, and excrete a cement with which to build a protective city wall he decorates with faces and figures in relief only to have the other Quiet workers smooth them down.

At the same time there are many familiarizing references to old Earth culture: e.g., otaku, Peter Lorre, Lemuel Gulliver, John Carter, Sherlock Holmes, Wells, Proust, Borges, and Gogol. And the novel partly follows a familiar mystery/espionage/superhero plot: "Fighting a cabal of planetary mind-controlling masterminds with a group of masked vigilantes--that's what life should be all about." Along with his usually witty dialogue, Rajaniemi also writes some banal lines, like "you did good" (twice).

I like Jean, Mieli, Perhonen, Raymonde, and Isidore, and Pixil. Each has a different agenda, background, and personality, and each is enjoyable to spend time with. Lots of cool girl power in the novel--Mieli tends to swoop in on her wings when Jean is in a pinch. There are plenty of exciting action scenes featuring a variety of weapons and enhancements put to creative and destructive use: ghost guns, sentient "gogol" bullets, nano missiles, bioorganic killing machines, combat autism programs, smartmatter armor, Q-guns, quantum swords, and so on. At times Rajaniemi may use the tech to do-whatever-he-wants-whenever-he-wants, like many a fantasy author with magic. . . I also think the novel could be clearer about what finally happens, and nearly suspect Rajaniemi of making it seem opaque to seem cool.

A few words on the audiobook production. Cool SF synth music opens the chapters. Rupert Degas reads the novel with aplomb and enthusiasm. Audio effects assist his "raspy, chorus-like voice" of the Gentleman and his mind to mind communication (the equivalent of italics). And Degas does fine machine voices and varied accents (British, American, French) and a neat quantum pixie Pixil. The problem is that his echoey mind to mind communication voice is often too muffled or quiet to hear. I had a devil of a time with the word panopticon.

The Quantum Thief reminds me of Zelazny's first Amber novel crossed with Peter Hamilton's The Dreaming Void by way of Iain Banks' Culture. Although it is compact and clever, and the ending resolves the current situation while pointing ahead to the next book without recourse to a tawdry cliffhanger, I am sorry it is the first book in the trilogy, because I don't know if I have the energy or desire or time to read the other two books.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Jay Han
  • Jay Han
  • 13/01/2015

Terrible narration, didn't finish

All I could understand about one hour into the book is the surreal setting and the many nonhuman protagonist. I couldn't understand any of the distorted voices, and only half the normal ones. I'm giving up.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour A reader of fact and fiction
  • A reader of fact and fiction
  • 20/12/2013

good story, horrible quality of sound

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rupert Degas?

There is a problem with the quality of recording: the different voices are played with so much difference on volume, that listening the book in car is impossible.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour David Andersson
  • David Andersson
  • 19/09/2018

Couldn't finish

The narrator whispers certain voices, making them very difficult to hear. The writing is also hard to follow, because of pretty weird and abstract similes and comparisons. I think this book would be a lot better read than listened to.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Damien Callan
  • Damien Callan
  • 09/06/2016

Wonderfully read but hard to get through.

The story from the beginning could do with a more in depth overview of the universe the writer has created. The book is wonderfully read and produced.