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Buyout

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  17 reviews
From acclaimed author Alexander C. Irvine comes a gritty near-future thriller in the paranoid, prophetic vein of Philip K. Dick and Richard K. Morgan.


One hundred years from now, with Americans hooked into an Internet far more expansive and intrusive than today’s, the world has become a seamless market-driven experience. In this culture of capitalism run amok, entrepreneurs
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Paperback, 319 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2009)
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Classic Science Fiction - 2000-2009
46th out of 149 books — 56 voters
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Best books of March, 2009
5th out of 17 books — 18 voters


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Community Reviews

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Karina
The premise of this book sounded interesting, but I'm having a hard time getting into it. The main character isn't sympathetic to me, and the way he goes about thinking of ethical issues - err, or not thinking about them... I was thinking of how this relates to assisted suicide and then someone in the book just came out and said, "Assisted suicide has been legal for what, like 20 years?" Ouch! But I can see how it may come to that, and after all I'm interested in all sorts of dystopias that I vi ...more
Steve
Mar 25, 2011 Steve rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
With great characters and a makes-ya-think central idea in a very viable near-future, Alex Irvine has written a book that caught me off guard. I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this title by an author I'd sadly never heard of. My thanks to Spectra for sending me the book in a giveaway that I won on their Facebook page.

I see Buyout as two types of books at once. First, it's an idea book. In the year 2040, the company Nautilus has pioneered a radical and controversial new way to deal
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Christina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marvin
I'd give the book a fair rating. The first half was extremely slow and boring. The story was nominally science fiction, but sf had really nothing to do with the plot. The story centered on the ethical considerations of allowing someone in prison with life without parole to be given the option of agreeing to be executed and part of the money the state saved by this be given to him to distribute as "retribution" to those he harmed (or anyone else for that matter). I don't believe the book comes to ...more
Dave
In "Buyout" Alexander Irvine presents a pretty fascinating future world. It's a noir drenched dystopia where radical, unchecked climate change have resulted in people fighting wars for things as simple as clean water, a new dust bowl devastates parts of America and Las Vegas has been reclaimed by the desert. Americans seem not bothered and almost fatalistic because they live in a culture connected by a vast communications network that offers countless distractions and illicit pleasures via virtu ...more
Ariel
This science fiction novel, Buyout, was a lot better than I expected. The what-if question driving this book's premise: what if a prisoner with a life sentence could volunteer to be executed and give the money that would have been spent on his incarceration to his family and community instead? I use the pronoun "he" intentionally because this book only addresses male prisoners.

The main characters are Martin and Charlie, best friends who work for the Nautilus corporation. Martin is sort of the PR
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Ryun
Alexander Irvine is an absolutely unique voice in speculative fiction. So many of the great voices in the genre are rooted in the action/adventure mold that the few who dare not to have sexy cyborgs or interplanetary warfare or awesome time travel tend to get lost on book shelves. Irvine’s latest, BUYOUT, even has a cover reminiscent of Richard K. Morgan’s MARKET FORCES, even though murderous car-to-car combat is about the furthest thing from what BUYOUT’s about.

Like THE NARROWS before it and, r
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James
Apr 23, 2013 James added it
At first I really liked the book, then about halfway through I began wishing it would be over. There are no likable characters in this book. It's an interesting premise, paying a prisoner a buyout for his death, but I think it would have made a better novella or short story. I felt no empathy for any of the characters, based on this book I probably won't read any of his other works.
Steven
It was more interesting to me as 1) a meditation on principles versus humanity and 2) a warning not to ignore the present in favor of a possible future (the warnings for writing SF are obvious here). Irvine chooses to write omniscient 3rd person, which allows him to have some good one-liners and turns of phrase but also feels oddly disconnected. So mixed emotions on this one.
Jason Miller
An interesting premise, instead of letting people die of old age on death row, you offer them the chance to give out a sum of cash, which is the present day value of what it would cost to feed and house them until they die. In exchange they die now. Wasn't too happy what happened to the main character at the end of the story, but sometimes Justice is messed up.
Angie
The concept is very interesting and thought-provoking, and the author weaves in a nice subplot about the protagonist's personal life, but some of the details do not quite seem to come together, as in "Huh? Why would THIS make him conclude THAT?"
Cathleen
A provocative premise, but over one hundred pages in (for weeks now), I just keep choosing to go to other books. Several sources mention a change in tone half-way through, so perhaps I'll try again during a less chaotic time.
Victoria Gaile
Oct 08, 2013 Victoria Gaile rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Victoria by: ?
Ugh. Depressing story, unlikeable characters. I'd give it an extra half star for the occasional well-worded bit of social commentary, but that was sure not worth the price of admission. Ugh.
Alan Zendell
This book is too seriously awful to finish.
Teresa O'meara
not as SF as i hoped.
Josh
Jan 30, 2013 Josh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: future
Nothing too inspired.
Jenn Graham
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Nov 28, 2014
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Alexander C. Irvine is an American fantasist and science fiction writer. Many of his works have appeared under the simple moniker "Alex Irvine." He first gained attention with his novel A Scattering of Jades and the stories that would form the collection Unintended Consequences. He has also published the Grail quest novel One King, One Soldier, and the World War II-era historical fantasy The Narro ...more
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