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Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan
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Market Forces (edition 2005)

by Richard K. Morgan

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1,115257,401 (3.4)34
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Title:Market Forces
Authors:Richard K. Morgan
Info:Ballantine Books (2005), Paperback, 464 pages
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Market Forces by Richard Morgan

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Reading this book is like being struck repeatedly over the head with a hammer-- both refreshing and unusual in a genre that tends to lean more on the side of entertainment (not a bad thing, necessarily) than issues. ( )
  eaterofwords | Nov 16, 2014 |
I'm torn between the fact that I like Morgan's writing -- it's slick, tight, packs a punch -- and the fact that his world is just too ridiculously ultra-violent for me, and the characters I like don't come out well. I liked Chris' wife Carla, but of course, she loses her husband in the worst of way: he's not dead, but he's thrown himself into a life she hates, and refused to accept her help in getting him out of it. And he's cheated on her, of course: let's not forget that.

I find the world-building interesting, though in this case not entirely convincing (duels in cars? how does that really come about? it doesn't sound like something top executives would realistically end up doing), but of course all of it is a way of examining capitalism and the free market, of making brutally clear the way that competition can ruin lives.

If the point then is to take a guy who seems decent at the beginning, like Chris, and watch as that competition warps him, then Morgan does a great job -- but it's hard to enjoy it as a story, particularly given the bodycount. Very much a case of not-really-my-thing, though, and I'm sure that people who're less squicked out by violence will enjoy this a lot more than me, assuming our tastes are otherwise the same. ( )
  shanaqui | May 1, 2014 |
Market Forces offers a near future ruled de facto by corporations, where international geopolitics are no longer the arena of national governments as a means for dominance in long term, but instead a tool for corporate profits - cold, efficient and brutal battleground for money and nothing else. This has given a rise to a deadly competition between mega-companies, often expressed by permitted firefight/races to beat another to a deal.
Interesting ideas, reflecting some of the fears of our times.
I did find the world-building, set-up and description a bit lacking, and the action and fights are not on par with other works in the Altered Carbon series.
Otherwise a decent book with enough action but most importantly, with key intriguing ideas that do strike some raw nerve, especially for those interested in current worldwide geopolitics and economy. For the latter alone - highly recommend it.
P.S. I only gave a relatively low rating due to somewhat awkward execution, since the author did change gears and style from his established skill in high-tech mid-far future action. Would be cool to see him give something like this another go - I would read that. ( )
  Vvolodymyr | Jun 13, 2013 |
like reading brin's "kiln people" only with less connection with reality. despite the fact that the whole premise of the book is untenable, i found myself finishing the book. this is a different morgan, less profane, less angry, ultimately more charming. ( )
  ricaustria | Apr 5, 2013 |
Morgan came so close to pulling this off, but fell at the final hurdle.
Set in the 2050s this book tells of the rise of globalisation to such an extent that individual companies pout in rival bids to control politically or militarily sensitive areas in the world. The senior executives of these companies gain advancement by duelling with their colleagues, usually through the medium of car-borne dogfights.
However, the characterisation was very weak - in fact, there wasn't one character for whom I felt any empathy - and stretched credibility beyond breaking point. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Sep 13, 2012 |
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Epigraph
I know-  that the cannibals wear smart suits and ties
And I know - they arm-wrestle on the altar
And I say - don't leave your heart in a hard place


Midnight Oil - Sometimes
If (I asked) the commercial banks, the official creditors, the Bank, the IMF, the TNCs, the money managers and the global elites were happy, who were we to complain?

Susan George - The Lugano Report
Dedication
Market Forces is dedicated, with love, to my earliest fan, my sister Caroline - because she's waited long enough
It's also dedicated to all those, globally, whose lives have been wrecked or snuffed out by the Great Neoliberal Dream and Slash-and-Burn Globalisation.
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Checkout. The shiny black plastic swipes through. Nothing.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345457749, Paperback)

Richard Morgan, the award-winning author of Altered Carbon and Broken Angels, strikes out into new territory with Market Forces, leaving behind the farflung battlegrounds of Takeshi Kovacs for the not-so-distant future of corporate Earth. Here, Morgan extrapolates a world where commodities trading reaches a brutal pitch and the outcomes of banana republic uprisings are the new market. Now, on the road to success, the brokers of the new economy compete for status and promotions via road rage on the freeways of new London.

Morgan's conflicted protagonist, Chris Faulkner, is a comer known for one spectacular kill that shot him to the top of mid-range global capital firm. He parlays his reputation and skills as a driver into a job in the emerging field of "Conflict Investment" at the world's hottest and hardest firm. Soon he finds himself running with the big dogs and rises to the top of a brutal realm, but his ascent is quickly threatened by vicious senior partners, gold-digging suitors, fame, fair-weather friends, and his own nagging conscience.

Market Forces is at once an anti-globalization treatise and anime fantasy meets The Road Warrior. Morgan employs the graphic-novel imagery of his two previous novels to create a disturbingly brutal picture of slash-and-burn capitalism run amok. There are times when Faulker's moral quandries seem hollow in the face of his actions but this isn't Crime and Punishment. Enjoy the ride and "come back with blood on your wheels or don't come back at all." --Jeremy Pugh

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

A Winning Translation: An Exclusive Essay by Richard Morgan

His novels may paint a bleak picture of the future, but Richard Morgan has a great attitude toward language, and one word in particular. Read his Amazon.com exclusive essay and find out why he'll never consider himself, or anyone else, anything worse than an occasional non-winner.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:40 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Chris Faulkner has just landed the job of his life. But Shorn Associates are market leaders in Conflict Investment. They expect results, they expect the best. Chris has one very high-profile kill to his credit already, but he will have to drive hard and go for kill after kill if he's to keep his bosses happy. All he has to do in the meantime is keep his marriage alive. And himself..." "Thirty years from now the big movers in global capitalism have moved on from commodities. The big money is in Conflict Investment. And that's where Shorn Associates comes in. They keep a careful watch on the wars of liberation and revolution that burn constantly around the world. They gauge who the winners will be and sell them arms, intelligence and power. In return for a slice of the action when the war is won. The reward for the investors? A stake in the new nation." "It's cynical, brutal and it has nothing to do with democracy and the rule of law. So what else is new?" "The executives in this lethal game bid for contracts, fight for promotion, secure their lives on the roads. Fighting lethal duels in souped-up, heavily armoured cars on the empty motorways of the future." "Has Chris Faulkner got what it takes to make a real killing?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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