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Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan

Market Forces (edition 2004)

by Richard K. Morgan

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1,187266,765 (3.42)35
Title:Market Forces
Authors:Richard K. Morgan
Info:GOLLANCZ (ORIO) (2004), Hardcover, 441 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:science fiction

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Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan



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When Chris Faulkner first arrives at Shorn Associates, he meets and befriends Mike Bryant, a fellow executive. After his initial project, Faulkner works on shoring up an aging Colombian dictator, General Hernan Echevarria. Colombia is called the North Andean Monitored Economy (NAME) by the conflict investors and other western powers. The Shorn contract is up for renewal and the General is also likely to die soon, leaving his regime in the hands of his son Francisco Echevarria. Initially, Faulkner attempts to get a better deal by playing the regime against several active rebel groups, but ends up actually supporting the Popular Revolutionary Brigade, led by Vincente Barranco, to depose the General. After meeting with Barranco in person, Faulkner becomes convinced that he can both win a revolution and make NAME a better place, as well as making a profit.

Eventually, both the General and Barranco are invited to Shorn headquarters in London. Faulkner becomes more convinced that backing Barranco is the correct decision. When Barranco finds out Shorn is playing both sides, Faulkner beats the aging General to death in order to convince him of Shorn's support.

After the killing of the General, elements of Shorn still want to support the regime, with Francisco Echevarria as the General's replacement. The final decision comes down to a duel between Faulkner and Bryant. Faulkner kills Bryant, and the novel concludes with Faulkner informing Francisco Echevarria that he will be executed if he does not leave NAME within 48 hours.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
In a surprisingly plausible near-future Britain corporate finance executives engineer "small wars" for the profit of their investors. The business is fiercely competitive, and often results in automobile race fights to the death.

Chris Faulkner is a conflicted antihero, uncertain whether he can maintain his life of a corporate warrior. Chris remains a compelling and unpredictable character, even as the reader becomes more intimately familiar with his life. His relationships with his wife, clients, friends, and enemies slowly tear Chris apart and restitch him together as a different man.

This book consistently describes brutally violence and personal dysfunction in a way that never becomes comfortable or casual to read. ( )
1 vote wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
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 |
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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
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:01 -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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