A dystopian society on the brink of revolution; a population chipped, regulated and drugged into submission; an overpopulated planet defined by the One Mother, One Child policy... Into this world a baby is born: a child with the power to change everything.
"An imagined world which goes beyond Orwell and Wyndham, drawing inventively on the ways we sacrifice freedom for convenience. Are we already choosing to be controlled so we no longer need to think? By tearing off society’s sugar coating the author paints a future which is all about now. Incisive, intricate, chilling and moving. Highly recommended." (5/5 stars)
"The best science fiction is sharply relevant to reality. Max is set in a fantasy future which casts a chill over trends in our current society - on one level it tells an intriguing story about a curious relationship between a man and a mysterious baby and on another it challenges our social apathy and questions the lazy sacrifices we are prepared to make for an easy life. It combines a fascinating and increasingly exciting plot with a multitude of global and deeply personal themes which will resonate with you a long time after you finish it. Satisfying, thought-provoking, and deeply moving...might especially appeal to fans of Wyndham, Orwell, Minority Report, Bladerunner etc. but its creativity, depth and breadth should make it a classic outside of sci-fi. Buy it." (5/5 stars)
"I think the scariest thing about Max is that a lot of it is already happening.
And that's what makes this a great book; as well as providing us a vision of a dystopian, authoritarian future, the author manages a scathing commentary on the apathy of contemporary society. We don't care what civil liberties are taken away from us as long as there's something new and shiny to buy.
Max documents a society where this political and corporate shadow-puppet show has been going on for decades, eroding freedoms one slice at a time.
There's also some interesting stuff going on with the titular protagonist here, and the author completely understands that the best mysteries are those left tantalisingly unexplained.
He constantly manages to mess with your perception of who or what Max is, and just as you're getting comfortable, introduces something else that turns your ideas on their heads. There's a deft touch to it, and at the end of the story the author had left it open enough that I started coming up with my own ideas about the character and the results of his actions, which in turn made me re-examine a story that I had already found quite compelling.
Most importantly, the ideas stuck in my head and made me realise that we're all too close to fulfilling this Orwellian nightmare.
My one criticism is that it starts out a little too busily with a lot of extraneous detail, but the author quickly settles into a more comfortable prose that conveys his ideas with ease.
Highly recommended!" (4/5 stars)
"This paints such a believable picture of the future that it's actually a little scary and makes you think hard about what's important right now. The ending was a little swift but only because I wanted it to go on forever." (5/5 stars)
"Top book from a top writer. Read The Apprentice back in the day, and was pleased to discover this on Kindle. It's not the usual run-of-the-mill dystopia, but a very thoughtful, deep, human one, where the political and personal are bound tightly together. It manages to be exciting and thought-provoking at the same time, and the atmosphere it creates has stayed with me for months. Recommended for SF and mainstream readers alike. Ending brought tears to my eyes." (5/5 stars)