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Metrophage

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Welcome to Los Angeles...where anger, hunger and disease run rampant, and life and hope are strictly rationed. This is Jonny's world. He's a street-wise hustler, a black-market dealer in drugs that heal the body and cool the mind. All he cares about is his own survival. Until a strange plague turns L.A. into a city of death--and Jonny is forced to put everything on the lin ...more
256 pages
Published February 1st 1988 by Hardwired
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Neuromancer by William GibsonSnow Crash by Neal StephensonThe Diamond Age by Neal StephensonDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best of Cyberpunk
118th out of 213 books — 864 voters
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Tattooed Authors
17th out of 38 books — 4 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,425)
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Simon Mcleish


The problem with cyberpunk as a subgenre of science fiction is that there were too few top class writers involved. Apart from William Gibson and Bruce Sterling (and perhaps K.W. Jeter), it would be hard now to name another cyberpunk writer from its heyday, the mid eighties. The influence of the genre - which is considerable - is really the influence of Gibson and Sterling, together with that of the film Bladerunner.

Kadrey's first novel is one of the forgotten cyberpunk also-rans. It is told from
...more
Danigerous
I started this with a little bit of apprehension. It said it was the first published novel of Richard Kadrey's. Not that there is anything bad about it, and I'm not implying that being the first one it's supposed to be bad, but sometimes when you have read some of the more famous works of a certain author, the earlier not so popular ones somehow pale in comparison.

It's interesting how all the earlier pre-Sandman Slim novels all seem to be evolutionary steps towards the development of the James S
...more
Mark
I've been reading and enjoying Kadrey's Sandman Slim novels recently, but I wasn't familiar with any of his earlier books. To my surprise, this book was sitting on a shelf in my office. I must have bought it years ago with several other New Ace Science Fiction Specials. Published in 1988, Metrophage is set in a hellish 21st century Los Angeles. With Japanese, Mexican and Middle Eastern corporations and oil cartels in control of a drug-addicted, modified populace, nearly every character is thinki ...more
AH
*You can read this book online on Goodreads. This is a re-release of Richard Kadrey's first book.
Claire
I really enjoyed the Sandman Slim series and picked this up because I thought it might be along the same lines- to some extent it was, set in a dystopian LA but it lacked the subtlety, humour and depth of the Sandman Slim novels.

There doesn't seem to be much point to Johnny's existence, he's not driven by anything and seems to look down on those who are motivated, he drifts though most the book causing chaos and choosing the actions on the basis of what would annoy someone the most at that mome
...more
Colin Murtagh
I've read all the Sandman Slim books so the idea of an early stand alone novel rather intrigued me. Coming away from the urban fantasy he's perhaps better known for, this is, for lack of a better term an old school cyberpunk novel.
Based in LA, following a near cataclysmic break down in society, the book follows a drug runner called Jonny and his interactions with the gangs, authorities, and power brokers in the city. He finds himself caught up in a web of trouble and intrigue which has more twis
...more
Christopher Beck
I absolutely love Richard Kadrey's writing. His creativity and worldbuilding were as fantastic in Metrophage as ever, turning Last Ass into a futuristic Los Angeles I felt truly immersed in, and I was thrilled every time Johnny ended up in a new location for me to experience. The wide cast of characters felt universally deep, even the ones who made only brief appearances. Man Ray especially was a fantastic side character whom I felt I knew well despite very little dialogue from the character. Th ...more
Bruce Baugh
This is a story about Los Angeles in the middle of the 21st century, about a young man's search for some justice or at least some revenge as everyone with authority busily screws over everyone they can reach, and about keeping the spirit alive in spite of everything. Jonny Qabbala is at the center of things here, a street guy drifting and dealing his way as best he can, doing a bit of good sometimes, trying to care for the people he loves, and out to avenge a friend's execution.His LA is not qui ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Metrophage by Richard Kadrey is a recommended cyber-punk classic that is being re-released.

Metrophage is set in a future LA that is harshly divided into those who have wealth and those who don't. LA itself has been partially destroyed. Now the city is populated by hustlers of various ilk and specialties. Jonny Qabbala is a street hustler who sells drugs, but right now he's out looking for Easy Money, another dealer who killed one of his friends. Circumstances send Jonny on the run. While he's tr
...more
DJ
What was that? Seriously, I'm asking...

Someone is going to have to tell me how to put images in my reviews because this one needs an image of Doc at the white board explaining to Marty that if you go into the future from this alternate 1985 we would be in the future of this crazy alternate 1985...Back to the Future II.

Which is why I added a star. For Michael J Fox and the ten year old me...

So this is supposed to be a punk dystopian story from 1989. And while a few things were brought up like the
...more
Karissa
I got a copy of this novel to review through NetGalley. This was a well done and gritty cyberpunk novel. Previously I have read a variety of cyberpunk, mostly books by William Gibson and some of Neal Stephenson's earlier works (Diamond Age and Snow Crash). I didn’t like this book quite as much as those books, but I still thought it was a fun read.

The story is set in future a Los Angeles where everything has pretty much gone to the dogs. Our “hero” (actually more of an anti-hero) is Johnny. He’s
...more
Tonya
I was given a promotional/free copy by Harper Voyager U.S.

This is my second book by Richard Kadrey, the first being his YA novel Dead Set (which I was also given a free copy by Harper Voyager U.S). He's a good writer, but it's not my style.
From what I understand his Sandman series is very good and he has a huge fan base.

So if you are a fan, then I will say you will like this book. It's a fun read. Parts of it pull you along and give you a good ride. There were a few times I got bogged down in de
...more
Christina
What the freakin heck is this? I don't even... Okay seriously this was awful. There was a plot in here but in the end it didn't feel like it mattered one bit. Strike one. I certainly hope he writes better stuff than this.
Mason Jones
Given that this was published in 1988, it's interesting to compare the book's political predictions with today's situation. The Arab-versus-U.S. prediction is eerily accurate, though in the book the U.S. economy failed and was bought for a song by the Japanese, creating an essentially two-cartel battle. Back then many of the cyberpunk books ran with the notion that Japan would win economically. In any case, the Los Angeles portrayed here is a good one, a winning combination of noir-dark grime, f ...more
Olethros
-Más que propiamente Cyberpunk, noir futurista.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. En Los Ángeles, en el futuro, Jonny Qabbala (en otros tiempos conocido como Gordon), es un buscavidas que se dirige hacia el Pozo de Carnaby en busca de Dinero Fácil, otro pequeño delincuente al que considera culpable de la muerte de su casi amigo Raquin, para acabar con él. Un hombrecito llamado Bender Cyrano, que trabaja para el jefe del fallecido Raquin, el señor Conover, le explica que casualmente su e
...more
Robin Edman
Great world-building, though the story itself was so episodic that it felt like a mere vehicle for the setting. Reasonably comprehensible action scenes. You like the characters just enough to want them to win, but that's mainly because the antagonists are so very unlikable. Too nihilistic for me to say I liked it. The author seems to have done some extensive reading on pharmacology.
Sarah
Finding this was a bit of treat, since I had no idea it even existed. It reads as an early novel -- its a bit choppy in places, but it certainly has his love for violence and blood that comes through in his Sandman Slim novels. The setting - a post- apocalypse LA with a very cyperpunk vibe, rife with Japanese influences - is so very 1980s, but has stood up fairly well.
Pagetranquillity
I'm sorry Richard Kadrey, you are my favorite author, but this first book I could not follow. Maybe it's the genre, yet I've enjoyed short stories that were similar in a way. I tried, and my issue is signed, so that will be a reminder to me of how far you've come in my eyes. (Imagining he's getting this by osmosis, sigh.)
Tyler
May 19, 2008 Tyler rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
If you have reached the end of your cyber-punk bookshelf and need something properly irradiated to take the edge off THIS is one seriously under-represented book.

It looks like Richard Kadrey has gone into the fetish photography business in his spare time: (http://www.kaosbeautyklinik.com/) And who can blame him!

This book reads like some Sci-Fi Channel show that never was (because they're never as good as you want them to be!), and it delivers like a fully loaded clip of hot lead:

Good action, sc
...more
Jim
While the "stoic hardboiled guy who is really good at violence" trope is one of the guilty favorites of cyberpunk/noir, I keep wishing the cliche would end more creatively than multiple girlfriends being fridged for manpain.
Harris
Oof. I like Richard Kadrey's other works but this one just didn't work for me. When I realize I'm grasping around for things to do OTHER than keep reading, it's time for me to call it quits.

Just not for me.
Geoffrey
For some reason, I was expecting this one to be more of a tech-geek cyberpunk novel but it's really more of the Post-American era/dystopian cyberpunk novel. It's very good and for being written 22 years ago, the historical and technological extrapolations aren't completely off base yet. I like that it didn't end up with an 'and they all lived happily ever after' ending - that would have killed the book's overall ambiance.

I would have given it 5 stars, but it had a couple of formatting errors in
...more
Marianne Jones
The best cyberpunk novel of the 80s.
Rather buried by all of the fuss over lesser works by more popular writers, but everybody should read, admire and praise this.
Erin Gilmore
A solid 3.5 - 4 stars. Well written, especially for a first novel. I was even more impressed once I realized it was written in 1988 - way ahead of its time.
Kate
Kadrey's first novel is rough around the edges, but shows the promise he later delivers on with the excellent Sandman Slim series. You can see the early foundations for Stark being laid here with Jonny, as well as the viscerally descriptive writing style of his later works.
Saint Lart
Fun book - I have a signed first edition of the second printing... Just can't get too excited by that somehow...
M
loved it
amazing sex drugs n rock n roll scifi
not sure why many reviewers rate this low, I think it it ranks among the best cyberpunk novels.
If I had to put Kadrey into the pantheon of cyberpunk writers I'd say he's the grunge poet of it:
- gibson had great ides, but his writing from a poetic perspective is poor
- shiner and shirley are very visual and their (short)stories are full of meaning
- kadrey is maybe not that academically deep but approaches it from a down to earth, normal man-on-the-stree
...more
Al
I am a fan of cyber punk, the William Gibson strain of wasted people and wasted actions and this is very much of that same line. I found it easy to get into and it does move at a good pace, but it felt to me as if there were so many ideas that could have been expanded on in their own right.

Also felt that after a while the main character was just too cool, too tough and was having to face too many life and death situations, he is the saviour of mankind and nothing can kill him... and I couldn't s
...more
Zac
Kadrey's work clearly improved greatly between 1988 & 2005.
Myk
I really liked this, it was a great first book for Kadrey. I could see some where he was starting to get his voice.
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Richard Kadrey is a freelance photographer and writer living in San Francisco. He photographs under the name Kaos Beauty Klinik. His new novel is Sandman Slim (Eos, 2009).
More about Richard Kadrey...
Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1) Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim, #2) Aloha from Hell (Sandman Slim, #3) Devil Said Bang (Sandman Slim, #4) Kill City Blues (Sandman Slim, #5)

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