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Last Tango in Cyberspace

A Novel
Narrated by: Ryan Vincent Anderson
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

New York Times best-selling author Steven Kotler crafts a near-future thriller about the evolution of empathy.  

Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn is the first of his kind - an empathy tracker, an emotional soothsayer, with a felt sense for the future of the we. In simpler terms, he can spot cultural shifts and trends before they happen.  

It’s a useful skill for a certain kind of company.  

Arctic Pharmaceuticals is that kind of company. But when a routine em-tracking job leads to the discovery of a gruesome murder, Lion finds himself neck deep in a world of eco-assassins, soul hackers, and consciousness terrorists. But what the man really needs is a nap.  

A unique blend of cutting-edge technology and traditional cyberpunk, Last Tango in Cyberspace explores hot topics like psychology, neuroscience, and technology as well as ecological and animal rights issues. The world created in Last Tango is based very closely on our world about five years from now, and all technology in the story either exists in labs or is rumored to exist. With its electrifying sentences, subtle humor, and an intriguing main character, listeners are sure to find something that resonates with them in this groundbreaking cyberpunk science fiction thriller.

©2019 Steven Kotler (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Uber male, techno romp

Something doesn't quite work - from the very beginning, the writing style, the over-use of tech gadgetry, the predictable villain profile, the machine-gun narrative, the alpha male silliness. Sorry, not for me ... maybe I ventured too far off my my normal path and others will love this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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New wave cyber punk

Absolutely loved it. Genuinely original with some great nerdy references to classic science fiction. Found myself rationing it out.

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Disappointing

Writing was OK. Reading was, surprisingly, unemotional. Plot was limited and fairly obvious. The writer failed to articulate well the main 'skill' of the protagonist. Having listened to the end I'm still not sure what his ability is and why it was anymore useful than simply 'not being an idiot'.

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Profile Image for Parzival
  • Parzival
  • 05-06-19

The Future Of Empathy

A fun ride into a techno futuristic thriller with wonderful characters who provide color and fast moving creative images. Unlike Kotler's other non-fiction works, he plays with the emerging world beyond cognitive powers and more about the environment where we live more connected with creatures around us. Kotler always has amazing research and the main protagonist shares this is knowledge bombs. What happens next.?...😁

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Olivia Wylie
  • Olivia Wylie
  • 01-09-19

An uncomfortably believable world. Powerful story

In this world that’s right around the corner, Elon Musk has gotten space travel off the ground. Self driving cars are a thing. And people who can predict the memetic evolution of culture have a new kind of job: em-tracking.
In this world, we can grow all animal products from vats, from meat to leather. There is no need to kill animals. But some people still crave the experience of hunting.
And some of those people are now turning up dead.
With the expanded empathy of an em-tracker, Lion Zorn literally throws up at the sight of hunting trophies and sees animals as just as empathetic as humans. He’s watching the world change towards a brighter, more inclusive future. But not fast enough. And he’s wondering if he’s tracking a murderer, or something else.
This is an uncomfortably believable world: just strange enough to be jarring, just familiar enough to be disturbing.
The characters in this story have the reserve of those who’ve seen it all, and the strength of personality that keeps you reading. The main characters are eloquent, and the side characters are engagingly quirky and very, very chuckle-inducing.
Though the story revolves around Lion, he has supports and connections in all sorts of places: old rockers with pockets full of drugs. Extinction Rebellion types. Idealistic business men. Counter culture creatives. And the strange cross section of society in this story keeps everything interesting. The author walks the line between adding color and creating solid characterization just right. In the end, you see the world through the eyes of these people. And your mind is opened.

Lion himself explores the labyrinthine question of what it means to be human, and what it means to be valuable. He tells an unflinching story of the difficulties experienced by those who are neuroatypical in our world. As an Em-Tracker, Lion suffers from the cruelties of the world. He gets overstimulated easily. He and other children like him do struggle. But he also shows us the beautiful truth: humanity has to evolve if it is to survive. The first steps toward expanded empathy are ones we need to take.
The performance is also top-notch, with wonderful work drawing you deeper into the story.
This starkly compassionate, strangely lyrical story is a modern treasure. Humanity evolves for the better, and this book may help you feel a bit more evolved yourself.

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Profile Image for Lisa P
  • Lisa P
  • 24-08-19

Clever cyberpunk concepts -

In general, I enjoyed this book. It explored clever future-culture concepts. And I love how it touched on the pointless horror of animal cruelty (including hunting) without being unnecessarily graphic. However, the hipster voice in which the story was written was far too forced, bordering on embarrassing. Since the narrator was supposedly a trend-finder, the fact that he came across as a poseur unfortunately tainted the overall effect for me.

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  • Trevor Repay
  • 17-08-19

Reporting from the front end of our spiral up!

The present never sounded so much like a beautiful future! This book captures the thrill of being on the cutting edge of neuroscience literature! I couldn’t stop listening to this one once I started it! Fast pace trailer.

I read both of Steven‘s previous books, so I was totally not expecting this one at all! We’ve got an entirely new flavor here. Turns out this guy was definitely made for writing novels!

I literally had to pause halfway through the second chapter and go by myself some tobacco and Indica!!

I’m only sad it ended so fast!

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  • Jonay
  • 31-05-19

Abgefahren

Eigenartig, aber sehr gut. Dem Sifi-Outsider, wie ich es bin, aber dennoch zu empfehlen. Eine spannende wie unglaubliche Zukunft, auf die man sich freuen kann!

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Profile Image for James
  • James
  • 31-05-19

Awfull

What an awfully book. don't waste your money! It was very disjointed, probably ment to be a streaming thought work, if not it came out like that.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Damian Burkitt
  • Damian Burkitt
  • 27-05-19

Reads like a Gibson knock off

This story rips elements from William Gibson's Blue Ant trilogy. The voice work is excellent but being very familiar with Gibson's style and books the over all story was ruined as my mind kept making direct connections between near identical content.
Forced pattern recognition does not a good story

0 of 2 people found this review helpful