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Thirteen

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  10,237 ratings  ·  557 reviews
The future isn’t what it used to be since Richard K. Morgan arrived on the scene. He unleashed Takeshi Kovacs–private eye, soldier of fortune, and all-purpose antihero–into the body-swapping, hard-boiled, urban jungle of tomorrow in Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies, winning the Philip K. Dick Award in the process. In Market Forces, he launched corporate glad ...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Del Rey (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,237 ratings  ·  557 reviews


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Justin
Dec 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
Richard K. Morgan is kind of hot shit in the sci-fi world these days, but this book does not demonstrate why. At 550 pages, it's a ridiculously long thriller wrapped in a shroud of William Gibson-esque cyperpunk. Morgan has a lot of interesting ideas about human genetic modification in the future, and how it all ties into the political intrigue of the time, but his actual plot, at least in this book, is an overly complicated murder mystery that fails to pay off in any way whatsoever. The main ch ...more
Stephen
6.0 stars. IMHO, second only to Market Forces as Morgan's best book and he is one of my favorite authors.

Winner: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: British Science Fiction Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, I made several discoveries here. First I discovered I'm deeply grateful that I got this from the library and didn't purchase it. Second I discovered that I probably won't be seeking out any other of Mr. Morgan's work.

Thirdly? I've discovered that the four letter "f" word that ends in k (f**k) is apparently Richard K. Morgan's favorite word in the entire English language. He uses it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb... a participle...sometimes a dangling participle. It
...more
Bradley
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, sci-fi
Total testosterone read. Not that this is all bad, of course, because there's plenty going on in the story to try to buck the trend. Like the main character, an uber-alpha-male if there ever was one, thanks to his Thirteen status as an engineered lot designed to do all the things that a pansified world is now unable to do.

Of course, skip ahead a few years and everyone's regretting that decision, setting up all the thirteens for a witch-hunt, and what we have now is a noir fiction tre
...more
Mohammed Abdi Osman
SF thrillers or just regular kind its hard to find someone who writes as good,hardcore noirish thrillers as Morgan. He stands out, his action scenes are better than most authors in the same fields. He writes about main characters like Carl Marslais who you could never in a million years call a hero and who is a violent, amoral noir protagonist. Still he makes seem him more human than you would expect. He doesnt write simple thriller stories where the good and bad guys are clear.

Somet
...more
Liviu Szoke
I don't particularly enjoy the cyberpunk subgenre and I was worried when I saw that the book (the romanian edition, at least) has more than 800 pages. But this book it is not only with cybernetworks, virtual realities and so. No, it is gritty, violent, sad, has depth, characters, commentaries (about politics, about history, about media and so on), and everything you can ask from a good book. Although the pace it is quite slow sometimes and the author forgets that this is fiction, overall the rea ...more
Brainycat
Genre: scifi / cyberpunk
Brainycat's 5 'B's:
boobs: 4 // blood 4 // bombs 2 // bondage 1 // blasphemy 4
Currently listening to: Alien Vampires: Harshlizer CD2

Richard K. Morgan has again established himself as one of my very mostest all time favorite authors. As a reader, I've often gone through endless numbers of book descriptions online, or browsed the shelves at bookstores, and felt like nobody is writing a book just for me. Sure, there's more 'good' or even 'great' books out
...more
Mike
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: xcharity-2011, scifi
2 stars for me, despite what I admit is some good writing in places. The premise of this book is that we have killed off all the disruptive, aggressive “hunters” in society since we invented agriculture and became civilized. The “thirteens” are the results of the effort to reinvigorate our gene pool through genetic modification, developing a strain of feral soldiers and law enforcement not found in the societies of the near future. What a bunch of crap! Ya think UBL thought in those last few sec ...more
Hazel
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Two hundred pages in and great fun. This is intelligent science fiction, a look at social and cultural change and geopolitics, all interwoven with 21st century genetics and artificial intelligence. It would make a good movie, just the kind my husband would love, lots of action, great visuals and clever plotting. Why haven't I read Morgan before?

Well, I'm almost finished this and I have a problem. I think there are two books here. One is an intriguing proper sci-fi novel about an outs
...more
fo jammi
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Richard Morgan doesn't conceal his source material, intellectual or stylistic. His acknowledgments at the beginning of the book are a great jumping off point for exploring some of the themes that "Thirteen" tackles, and there are plenty of them. Stylistically he weaves a noirish blend that owes a great deal to Dick, Gibson and Chandler, and echoes cinematic sources as well as literary. The last scenes evoke "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in the slant of the light and the quiet punctuated b ...more
Nick Imrie
Despite being action-packed, thrillingly violent, well-plotted, somehow it dragged. It gets off to a slow start – with multiple chapters from different POV characters, some of whom we never meet again. And then when our real cast of heroic cops and mavericks are set up, they seem to spent all their time contradicting each other. What was meant to be territorial, alpha confrontation, often seemed to me to be time-wasting bickering. I'm sure the whole book would've been smaller by a third if they' ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
A violent sci fi thriller, an enhanced super soldier on the hunt for another of his kind who is killing people. Good subject matter for a thriller, but too slow to sustain the tension or excitement. This is aimed at a certain audience - and I'm not a member. A high body count, lots of blood and gore flying, and random sex. I didn't mind the politics or philosophizing, since that was actually more interesting to me than the killing machine dudes, but this was just too long. People started repeati ...more
Greg
This was ok, it had some interesting ideas about what it means to be human, and an especially bleak look at our possible future, but besides that the book was very predictable, even when it was throwing in big plot curve balls. For all the convoluted twist and turns the book is essentially an action / adventure story in the vein of something like the Penetrator. A big guy who women can't keep their hands off of goes around and kills all the bad guys that get in the way between him and his righte ...more
Leo Robertson
Got 150 pgs in. The prose is clear and gripping but I'm not super grabbed because all the characters blurred too much. They're all vaguely angry for no reason because that's more tense or something. IDK. When I read the blurb on the back again I was like 'Oh this sounds quite interesting' but I'd already read through loads of the book's plot points and not realised, so, see ya!

Anyway! So this was published in 2007 and I guess they changed the title from the version I found in a chari
...more
Chloe
Carl Marsalis is not a lucky man. A genetic variant, the thirteenth result of humankind's tinkering with their own DNA, Carl is engineered to be the perfect soldier. He's cold, emotionless, able to shunt away knowledge of pain and avoid human concepts like community and dependence. He and his kind were very good at what they were designed for, a little too good according to the humans they supposedly protected. So, once peace again descended on this 22nd Century globe, the Thirteens were offered ...more
Wealhtheow
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Carl Marsalis seems like a lucky man. Thirty-odd years ago the US and UK created genetically modified soldiers, called "Thirteens", but when public horror shut the project down, the Thirteens were put into camps or shipped off to Mars. Carl is one of the few permitted to roam free--on the condition that he hunt down other Thirteens, who have left their reservations without permission. His latest mission is to stop Merrin, a Thirteen who tortured, ate, and mutilated the corpses of his fellow pass ...more
Judd Karlman
Prelude: Carl Marsalis, the protagonist of this novel, should be played by Idris Elba. He would rock the shit out of this role.

Nature vs. Nurture, Black vs. White, Blue State vs. Red State and Faith vs. Reason collide with lots of sex and violence in this modern Blade Runner. If you are upset by the graphic sex but not upset by the vicious violence that counter-balances it, I don't know what to tell ya other than Morgan isn't the writer for you.

My only complaint about this book is tha
...more
Neal Asher
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable stuff, but perhaps far too heavy on the polemics for some. A couple of times I felt the urge to skip bits, especially some of the long conversations serving as vehicles for social commentary, but I didn’t skip because by then Mr Morgan had hooked me. Also, for someone who very definitely can illustrate the shades of grey in human existence, Morgan goes blind to them when writing about what seem to be his pet hates: religious fundamentalism and right wing politics. Taking a whole lump o ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 2007.

On the assumption that any technology developed by the human race will be used in for short term gain without consideration of the consequences or of ethics, the outlook for genetic engineering is frightening. That is the basic premise of Black Man, Richard Morgan's latest novel (published in the US as Thirteen, presumably because the publishers there - Del Rey - don't want readers to assume that it is about racism). Richard Morgan envi
...more
Sandi
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff, lib
Morgan at his best... which is not saying much. Gratuitous violence, unnecessary, unnecessarily graphic sex scenes, at least a hundred pages of preaching about the emasculation of the modern world and how we need a huge dose of testosterone to solve all of our problems. Especially us poor, stupid women who need a real man to come along and f*ck us to happiness (a. word. that. was. definitely. overused). There are a plethora of cuss words in the English language, not to mention culturally specifi ...more
Steve
Jun 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Entertaining enough, particularly if you like your sci-fi hard-boiled and graphic (both the violence and the sex). Morgan is extremely creative, he moves things along nicely, and he keeps you thinking. But, given how much I enjoyed Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs trilogy (starting with Altered Carbon, upon which the cable series was later based), I both expected and hoped for more. Ultimately, I neither liked nor really cared about the protagonist, and that made the experience less enjoyable.
Roy
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This just scraped through with a 3 star rating for me. The world buidling and concepts that Morgan discusses and slowly builds are quite well structured. The characters are a little one dimensional and brutish but I think thats what Morgan was going for. I just found the general plot very simplistic and quite slow as compared to the other smaller plotlines. I also think the action scenes were great, but at stages they didnt seem to really flow too well with the overall story. I still think his A ...more
William Thomas
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I wrote in a status update, while I was still reading the book, that this book was basically Wolverine hunting Sabretooth. After I've finished with it, it still feels that way, although it became more of a modern political thriller by increments than a science-fiction novel. And I wonder, with the way China Mieville has been writing these days, if that isn't the current trend in sci-fi. At least for the Brits.

Another reviewer said she keeps coming back to Morgan because of his essent
...more
Chris
Feb 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Fans of dark, dark fiction
No me guista! I was NOT a fan of this novel... at least not the first 100 pages or so. That's as far as I got, I'm afraid.

Morgan's writing style is adequate and at times, interesting, but the total lack of anything resembling a conscience in any of the characters the novel had introduced left me feeling, well, pretty lousy. I need my novel's heroes to have SOMETHING for me to cling to. Everyone I got to meet in this novel seemed morally bankrupt, depressed or was completely forgettab
...more
Greg (adds 2 TBR list daily) Hersom
F*@%in' A, Thirteen is another awesome book by Richard K. Morgan!
Mr. Morgan is one of my top three favorite current authors and I can't rightfully say why I just now finally got around to reading Thirteen but it's more than worth the wait.

Genetically modified humans is nothing new to SCI-FI but I haven't ran across any where the building material came from the savage hunter/killers that had long since been bred out of the human race. Carl Maralis is the product of such genetic engineering call
...more
unknown
Oct 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to unknown by: Nancy Nield
Probably a bit rape-y for a book club selection.
Alfred Haplo
An exoskeletal of a story supported by too cavernous a premise to stop it from collapsing upon itself. Richard Morgan’s Thirteen* carries big themes, which would have been more successfully executed had it a credible foundation. The weight of its ambition buckles the knees of its protagonist, Marsalis, a genetically-enhanced super-mercenary, whose legs were kicked out by inconsistencies.

Much rests on Marsalis to carry the show. Marsalis, along with his brethren, the “Thirteens” or “variants”,
...more
Riju Ganguly
Feb 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dull day followed by thunder-shaken night followed by another dull day. Time available with me had seemed to be customised for a 'blistering new thriller', as publicised by the cover of this hefty tome. 'Altered Carbon' had been a truly mind-altering read. Hence, I had gleefully accepted the challenge, and had taken the plunge.
What a crushing disappointment it was!
This book is nothing like the Takeshi Kovacs saga. It's a political, thematically disjointed and logically incoherent pie
...more
Michael
In Thirteen Richard Morgan explores many different concepts of genetic engineering. Humans have created what are called "variants". Hibernoids that must go into a sleep state for four months out of a year. Bonobos that are female super-geishas. And then there are the Thirteens, who are stronger and tougher then normal humans. They are conditioned to tap into a primal rage, and are more remorseless and single minded then modern humans.

This book is what I think I can now call classic R
...more
Patrick
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book. Set in a future at the end of this century it explores a lot of different topics, genetic manipulation and its effects among them. I think the future that it portrays is one that is highly likely, given where we are today. I watched a movie called Altered Carbon that was based on another novel by this author. Having read this book, I can now understand the movie a bit better. Maybe I should have read the Altered Carbon book as well. I think the scientific aspect ...more
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Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction and fantasy writer.
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“The way I see it, anyone who's proud of their country is either a thug or just hasn't read enough history yet.” 43 likes
“No such thing as time travel, he'd rumbled patiently, once. Only live with what you've done, and try in the future to do what you're happy to live with.” 9 likes
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