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Summary

Anax thinks she knows her history. She'd better. She's sat facing three Examiners and her gruelling four-hour examination has just begun.

After the Great War in 2077, her island Republic emerged from a ruined world. Its citizens were safe - but never free. They lived in complete isolation from the outside. Until one man rescued a girl from the sea, and shook the very foundations on which the Republic was built. It was a time where ancient philosophical questions had collided dramatically with the march of technology, and where just what it means to be human was up for debate.

Anax is sure she has the answers. But she is about to discover that for all her learning, what she's been taught is not the whole story....

©2007 Bernard Beckett; (P)2009 Quercus

Critic reviews

"(A)... daring formal experiment... has a palate-cleansing purity unusual in most young adult fiction ...Beckett has written a very different young adult novel � assured, cool, almost cold � that will make smart teenagers feel very respected."(The Guardian)
"A riveting story... we are immediately intrigued by Anax, her interest in history and motives for wanting to join the Academy... By the end, you will be completely hooked."(sfcrowsnest.co.uk)
"The rigorous narrative and crushing final twist bring a welcome freshness to a familiar setup."(Publishers' Weekly)
"The climax of the novel is not in the place you think, and the event you thought ends the story is really just the beginning... Beckett is every fiction fan�s ideal philosopher, the type of writer who entertains as much as he questions... Genesis is a must read."(tor.com)

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What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Liz
  • Carshalton, United Kingdom
  • 25-04-11

Shortish but memorable

Slow burning, intelligent, chilling. Echoes of 1984. I did not guess the ending. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not your usual post apocolpse dystopian fiction

What did you like best about this story?

Well written and beautifully delivered. A story told, and a society built without understanding where it was going. Then the twist 15 mins before the end. Totally unexpected. And then the twists continued. Haunting.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Adam realises what's going on and what will happen, and then when Anax relises what's going on and what will happen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating right to the end

Any additional comments?

Despite being short this is highly entertaining and thought provoking and genuinely a must read (or must listen) novel for anyone interested in computers, robots or artificial intelligence. It contains a long conversation between a person and a robot that is quite the best I have encountered. The author keeps surprising us with moral and intellectual dilemmas right to the end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gustav
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 19-08-12

Based on a fascinating idea

Like all good science fiction, Genesis is based on a central core idea. I won't say which one as that would ruin the book. But the idea is there from the start, but the way that the book is structured is the real beauty of the book. The twist is, also, fascinating. Enjoy!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • BethangaAustralia
  • 13-03-10

simply challenging

This deceptively simple story kept me engaged the whole way through and then hit me between the eyes. The writing and narration transported me easily into Anax's world and communicated some big ideas seamlessly within the story. This was one of those stories that I needed a break to reflect before immersing myself in my next audiobook

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
  • 05-10-09

Excellent, highly-recommended read

This was a very enjoyable listen. It is under 4 hours, but contains a well-rounded, thought-provoking story. It is beautifully read and well produced. Would recommend this to people who like intelligent sci-fi.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 22-08-12

OUTSTANDING!!

What made the experience of listening to Genesis the most enjoyable?

The narration was, in my opinion, spot on! a wonderful performance! Very clever use of science fiction to explore sophsticated philosophical concepts. Had me smiling as every new twist was cleverly revealed. Really enjoyable.

What other book might you compare Genesis to and why?

I loved this as much as Brave New World and the philosophical themes, in a way, hark back to Huxley or Orwell (although I hesitate to put many Authors in that league).
Although, it could just as similarly be likeded to Planet of the Apes!
In any case Beckett has really intruiged me with his notion of what life really is, or isn't.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee
  • 11-10-10

Both intriguing and tedious, with a big finish!

The story of Anax and her examination started off promising and the tension was palpable. The plot was interesting if not thrilling, but I found myself losing interest during the second hour. During the third hour, when one would think the plot would develop and heighten one's interest, I almost gave up after enduring dreary, if earnest, philosophical ranting delivered in a monotonous drone; I did, in fact, skip over some sections. The stunning ending was what saved me from feeling that I had wasted my time and caused me to reflect that perhaps there was a good reason for the ranting!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P
  • 29-06-09

Right Up There

A great book for fans of artificial intelligence and near future worlds. Well written, and also an excellent narration