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Robert G. Berke

85 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0984950702 / ISBN 13: 9780984950706
Published by MultiModoMedia, 2011
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Human

Publisher: MultiModoMedia

Publication Date: 2011

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Read the Kirkus Review below!

Elijah Smith's mind has been replaced, piece-by-piece, with virtual counterparts. His transformation thrusts his survivors into a maelstrom of violence, danger, and intrigue. Only Smith has the power to save them -- provided that he is still human.

Mankind has been merging with his technology since the first time a caveman picked up a walking stick. We easily accept the fact that eyeglasses, pacemakers, and prosthetic limbs improve or replace human biology. Soon we will have to accept the fact that mind too can be improved or replaced by the addition of technological components.

HUMAN combines elements of spy thriller, science fiction, and romance to drive the story to a feverish climax. The haunting conclusion will make you question everything you think to know about what it really means to be human.


HUMAN (reviewed on May 1, 2012)

First-time novelist Berke examines the tenuous relationship between the mental and the corporeal in a tale of political tug-of-war between the secret operatives of two world superpowers.

Elijah Smith, the founder of the scientific company SmithCorp, appears to have crested in old age and begun his descent into death. With the help of the precocious but scarred Dr. Bayron and Hermelinda—Smith’s nurse and lover—death isn’t the only option for Smith. Using materials imported from a Russian researcher who attempted to recreate the mind of a deceased government agent, Bayron sets out to reconstruct a digital model of Smith’s brain that effectively preserves his consciousness in a “prosthetic mind.” Though the experiment accomplishes its goal, both Smith and Bayron soon discover the dangerous knowledge contained in Smith’s hybrid mind: The Russian operative, whose memories Smith inherited, was one of three individuals who knew a code necessary to unlock an extensive nuclear warhead arsenal. What follows is a rollicking traipse through espionage stings, gunfights, and meetings between friends and enemies as two covert units, one American and one Russian, go to great lengths to protect their national—and, as it turns out, personal—interests. Despite the violence and manpower, however, it is the disembodied Smith who plays the biggest role, in a way that makes a strong claim about the potential drawbacks of immortality in a world where “once you are quantifiable, you aren’t human anymore.” Berke’s prose alternates between straightforwardness and meditation; in spite of its clockworklike plot, the novel manages to speak directly to the philosophical, theological and biological paradoxes inherent in the idea of a human living past physical death. By the end of the novel, it’s clear that, at least for Smith, being human is not merely a matter of chemical processes, but a matter of doing the right thing.

A rough-and-tumble combination of science fiction, crime and romance that ultimately succeeds in salvaging the best from each genre to comment meaningfully on the perplexing—and often uncertain—nature of human identity.

Pub Date: Dec. 18th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0984950706
Page count: 346pp
Publisher: MultiModoMedia
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: April 12th, 2012
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2012

About the Author:

Robert G. Berke was born in New York, New York, but raised in the Town of Niskayuna in New York's upstate Schenectady County. He presently lives near Los Angeles, California with his wife and two daughters.

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