Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Neuropath” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,398 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Tom's life is not what it once was. His marriage to the beautiful Nora is on the rocks and he now sees his two young children only on her say-so. His best friend Neil has moved to California to teach neurology. He has one success - a book on human psychology. Tom wiles away the time trying to teach bored grad students. But that all changes when Neil comes back into his lif ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Orion (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Neuropath, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Neuropath

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,398 ratings  ·  156 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Neuropath
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christophers-rec
Neuropath is a book that is labeled as "Suspense", however in my humble opinion it is a far cry from suspense. It blew me away. Yes it has the brilliant serial killer playing games with the world as well as the FBI chasing down the bad, but brilliant villain, murder and mayhem, graphic scenes etc; however it is "The Argument" that was the most intriguing part of the book and what this review focuses on.

A Columbia University psychology professor Thomas Bible is approached in his office by a pair
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review is pointless; it is deceptive, illusory and filled with meaningless rationalizations. Yet I’ve become conscious to the fact that I am writing it. Or I believe at least that writing it is an act of my own volition. Now that I’ve lost my entire audience with my incoherent ramblings, I can assure you that I haven’t descended into philosophical lunacy or decided to embrace my inner nihilist. (I’m all for spanking one’s inner nihilist, by the way.) Instead, I find myself slowly coming to ...more
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, no matter how much I like an author, their latest book ends up being a disappointment. NEUROPATH, by R. Scott Bakker, fit that description for me. I love Bakker’s Prince of Nothing series, and I firmly believe his writing--in terms of quality--is some of the best in the fantasy genre. With NEUROPATH, Bakker attempts to put his spin on the thriller genre.

I really wanted to like this book. Seriously, I tried hard. It just didn't happen.

NEUROPATH follows the PoV of Tom Bible, a psycholog
Luther Wilson
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Semantic Apocalypse... If this book doesn't freak you out I don't know what will. Seriously: reader beware. Go look on the internet, you'll find reviewers who recommend against reading it... not because it's a bad book (I read it compulsively)...but because it cuts the legs out from under our most cherished notions of what it means to be a person. On the surface it's a thriller about a divorced psychologist and a serial killer. And on that level, it's compelling and disturbing. But its "Argu ...more
Neil Pearson
Sep 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is a good example of how authors can be great in one genre and terrible in another. I'm a massive fan of Bakker's "second apocalypse" fantasy series and thought I may as well check out his other work. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have. This is his take on a blockbuster thriller and in that sense it almost works - especially the cringe-worthy elements that he later reveals are intentional. There are also some horrific scenes, the type you could imagine David Fincher would love to adapt. ...more
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Soundbyte: Read Peter Watts's Blindsight instead.

Psychology professor is drawn into the FBI pursuit of his best friend, the sociopath who tortures through neurosurgery. It's a thriller about the implications of the brain as a physical substrate, how love for one's offspring, friendship, empathy are all physical processes that can be hacked and repurposed. It always surprises me how few people really know these facts, and are disturbed by them, because to me they are both obvious and kind of reas
"Have you an arm like God?"

This was not as big of a mindfuck as I thought it'd be.

In the not-so distant, but slightly vague future Tom is tasked with helping the FBI apprehend his best friend Neil, who's started brutally murdering people to prove that meaning and love aren't real and only illusions of the brain.

'Neuropath' is extra interesting because it's based on actual research about the brain - Neil's fantasies about consciousness aren't as fantastical and fake as you'd like to believe as
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2008
My pre-ordering and reading "Neuropath" was a result of my following the hype behind it on a few book blogs and deciding to jump on early. Ever since I worked at a used bookstore (back in high school: it was my dream job at the time), I've tried to keep up with new books and new authors. Book blogs such as Fantasy Book Critic are, of course, great for this kind of thing, and once I started reading them I was hooked. It was only a matter of time before some of the mania that precedes some release ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy, sci-fi
I have to admit, I was one of the people lured in by how depressing Neuropath is supposed to be and how ruthlessly it makes its case. My expectation was that I wouldn't want to like this book, but end up doing so anyway. Take a look at my rating; I obviously didn't do the latter.

The first problem with this book is that both setting and characters are dull. The setting is pretty much the world during the time the book was written, except that climate change ruined the world, the US law enforcemen
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that's not nearly so clever as it thinks it is. The debate about freedom and determinism is one that everyone seems to have an opinion about, but this doesn't mean that all of those opinions are well thought-out. I was hoping for a thriller with some interesting neuroscience and philosophy mixed in, but the positions on the debate presented in Bakker's book aren't very interesting or philosophically sophisticated (I'm not sure about the neuroscience, since that's not m ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
If you've never heard of the consciousness is fake debate, it might be interesting for some of the science behind it, but if you have, then there's no good reason to read this book. Read Blindsight by Peter Watts instead. This book is more poorly plotted and characterized, has way more misogyny, and does the opposite of justice to the genre style (for a sci-fi/fantasy author going out-genre check out Melville's hardboiled "The City and the City"). It is also contains faaaar too much science as a ...more
Nov 10, 2009 rated it liked it
You will be enthralled with this book or disgusted by it. It is sensational, and I can see where it could be very gripping to some people. It is certainly not just a thriller, as advertised. It is a philosophical discussion of whether or not we are just a bundle of neurocircuitry with brains acting as the controlling station for signals, or whether we trylu have minds and emotions. Much of it reminds me of philosophy, I field I abandoned in sophomore year of college in favor of more data driven ...more
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
As far as psycho thrillers go, I feel like I grew out of the genre years ago, but I picked this up because I had faith that Bakker would deliver something worthwhile. After all, this is the man who gave me the "The Prince of Nothing" trilogy.

While "Neuropath" isn't near as compelling and awe-inspiring as those three books, it's certainly well-written and throughly thought provoking. A lot of it follows typical, well-worn patterns in the genre -- a little "Silence of the Lambs," a little "Seven.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2016
This was...words on pages and little more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neuropath is a work of futuristic serial killer fiction that ignores all moral limits in order to propose some disturbing hypotheses about the nature of human consciousness and the limits of free will.

I was not enamored by the style or prose. The plot mechanics are straight out of a movie or a tv show and the characterizations are awkwardly broad (I guess there's a logic to that). The attractions here are the core ideas that propel the story and the numerous philosophical ruminations-or digress
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
On the one hand, this is a real 2-star dog of a book, on the other hand it is exactly the sort of book I would be apt to write, and if there’s anything Jess, the vegan yogi from Palm Beach has taught me, it’s to love myself, and that chakra-balancing hippie sure does know her psychology, unlike Scott Bakker, so I’ll follow her advice and give his, my, really low-quality book 4 stars just for the experience of looking at a mirror aimed at my process of converting thoughts to words. The science is ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
When I started to read this book, I hesitated between giving it 1 or 5 stars.

1 because obviously I didn't like this book.
5 because it's certainly... an experience.

I actually bought that book because people kept raving about this author and his Prince of Nothing's series... which I've yet to read.

I wish I had read the reviews before buying it. It's been years since I've read a book so disturbing... and not in a good sense. I'm familiar on the debate on consciousness and will. We've got lots of sc
Tim Sharp
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
A grimly depressing read, hampered by a rote thriller narrative, with some long sections where it felt more like Bakker was, in a Randian/Stephensonesque fashion, just spouting his perspective verbatim rather than inhabiting the perspective of his characters.

Whether one subscribes to Bakker's conception of human consciousness or not seems to largely determine how most people have responded to the work, but my issues are more with the book itself, which seemed to me to somewhat needlessly cruel,
Eva Labancová
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I feel utterly fooled. When I read the reviews at the beginning I thought that they were exaggerated, that the book was really not as bad ad people had written. And this was actually true, the first 200 pages were really interesting. The questions about human mind, consciousness and free will were interestingly incorporated in the story and even though I disliked the main character I could somehow understand where he was standing in the story. Many reviewers said that the second half of the book ...more
Gregor Xane
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This book was built on the typical serial killer story engine and was suitably fast-paced and exciting. The protagonist made some crazy dumb choices in the book and this wasn't necessary to advance the plot, considering the resourcefulness and brilliance of the bad guys. It seemed that Bakker just didn't want to re-write scenes, instead choosing to try and justify the protagonist's bad choices later in the text. Yes, the book was flawed, but it was still extremely entertaining, and thought-provo ...more
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I have to say I really liked it, though not in the conventional sense of enjoying it. First, my husband gave this to me as a gift as he was leaving for an extended vacation. This means lots of lights on at night as it was truly scary. Then I found myself thinking about the discussions and arguments in the book and having to remind myself that I had already had many of those discussions and could let them go.

That said, the book is well written, good plot that carries you along and many s
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say about this book that has not been said already?

I found the story to be intriguing and ‘The Argument’ unsettling because it is phrased and articulated so well. I personally have had the same thoughts at times but never taken it to this depth (does that mean my brain is hiding?) before.

The workings of our mind and the differences between our mind and our brain have, of course, been explored for millennia and will continue to be; but I have never seen it woven so wonderfully into a
Oct 10, 2009 rated it liked it
From 50 pages in...

So far it seems to be a SF/thriller exploring some of the concepts of "The darkness that comes before" in greater detail. Heavy on the "lectures" but very fascinating subject matter (if the science of consciousness interests you at all)

At the end...

It pretty much continues in the same way it starts - the actual "plot" feels like something bolted on to the author's musings on consciousness.

Fortunately those musings are compelling enough that I immediately ordered some of the r
Jun 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate this book. It's complicated beyond what is useful and in the end it felt like a student in psychology wrote a bad story about cops and bad guys and tried to make it interesting with an awful plot twist. It was painful to read, slow and the little action there is falls flat. None of the characters were credible. And starting from chapter 24 or something it just goes everywhere and nowhere. It completely loses the little sense it had. It was sooo painful to read I don't know why I finished ...more
Vagabond of Letters, DLitt

Bakker knocks it out of the park again.
Bob McCabe
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Neuropath is a psychological thriller/police procedural.

The story follows Thomas Bible, a psychologist who is divorced with two kids. His estranged best friend, Neil, shows up out of the blue, revealing that he had been employed by the NSA and, under their direction, had been performing groundbreaking-but-horrific experiments.

The next day, Neil vanishes. Meanwhile, the FBI arrive, demanding that Thomas work with them as a profiler to find Neil, cited as responsible for some twisted criminal abus
Geoff Battle
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
After finding Bakker's fantasy works rather long winded and dry, Neuropath begins at a refreshingly brisk pace. The scenes of horror portrayed by Bakker's neuropath are gruesome indeed, going that one step further than expected. The science (neurology and psychology) have certainly been well researched and are vital to the plot, however at times there's too much to digest, detracting from the tension that has been created. For most of the novel Neuropath adeptly juggles suspense and science, how ...more
L J Field
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. Fully half of the book is devoted to serious discussion on the subjects of neuropathy, psychology and philosophy. It seemed to me that the fictional characters in the book were simply used as a vehicle for that discussion. The story that Bakker wrapped around this major theme was interesting and, at times, exciting. But the overall narration was pretty flat. The story ended abruptly with absolutely no hints as to the outcome of all that has ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dark exploration of the mind in an exquisite adventure

Bakker might have just become my favorite author. The story and adventure are brutally compelling, but the ideas and language that permeate and bind the narrative together are ingenious. He doesn’t just inhabit a character to experience the world of the novel; he fills the margins with some of the most vivid imagery and psychology and philosophy I’ve ever read. His worlds seep into your bones and leave you pondering new questions and persp
Henri Moreaux
These days it seems there's many books called thrillers but not too many are actually thrilling - this is one of the few that is actually so.

I started reading this earlier today, and got so swept up in the story I couldn't put it down and had to see it through to the end. It's everything I'd like in a thriller - exciting, an air of mystery, not an obvious path through to the ending, villains who aren't obviously villains, and goodies who aren't all they appear.

I'd very much recommend picking th
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Brain Science Pod...: Book Suggestion 5 32 Dec 01, 2013 04:50PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
  • Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul
  • CryoBurn (Vorkosigan Saga, #14)
  • 1421: The Year China Discovered America
  • The Boy Who Fell To Earth
  • The Truth about Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
  • A Creed for the Third Millennium
  • Children of Ruin
  • Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species
  • Fare Play (Marian Larch Mysteries, #6)
  • The Woodcutter
  • Titan
  • The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1)
  • Full Frontal Murder (Marian Larch Mysteries, #7)
  • Stonehenge: A New Understanding: Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument
  • The Perfect Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Spectacular Death of the Medieval Cathars
  • The Justice Game
See similar books…
Richard Scott Bakker, who writes as R. Scott Bakker and as Scott Bakker, is a novelist whose work is dominated by a large series informally known as the The Second Apocalypse which Bakker began developing whilst as college in the 1980s.

The series was originally planned to be a trilogy, with the first two books entitled The Prince of Nothing and The Aspect-Emperor. However, when Bakker began writin

Related Articles

  Whether you love the horror genre or just tiptoe into it ahead of Halloween, we have book picks for every level of scared you want to...
434 likes · 282 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Small wonder, Thomas thought, we humans were so jumpy, so arrogant, so defensive. Small wonder the Internet, which was supposed to blow the doors off narrow, parochial views of the world, had simply turned into a supermarket of bigotries, a place where any hatred or hope could find bogus rationalization. For the human brain, it was like living in a schizophrenic world, a paradise of plenty where any second now, something really bad was going to happen. In a sense, that’s all popular culture was, a modern, marketdriven prosthetic for the paleolithic brain. How could such a culture not be seduced by the psychopath? By” 0 likes
“Everyone thinks they’ve won the Magical Belief Lottery. Everyone thinks they more or less have a handle on things, that they, as opposed to the billions who disagree with them, have somehow lucked into the one true belief system.” 0 likes
More quotes…