Quantum Marlowe

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Marlow is fearless,  funny, savvy, and brave.
Cracking good action mystery...funny, sardonic and fast paced.
Loved every minute!!
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NetGalley pushed really hard to sell this one for a few weeks, and while I usually don't read the "read now" titles, I ran out of other titles so I gave in.  This was billed as comedy but I didn't find it funny.  The hardboiled approach that the author was going for seems to have excluded any chance of exposition, as things just happened with no forethought of afterthought.  I could keep up with the random Spanish that was inserted to remind us we're in Mexico but it didn't bring a whole lot to the story.  This was not one for me.
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Pete Marlowe isn't five feet tall, but the hardboiled detective PI can usually take care of himself with his smarts, his mouth, and his favorite Colt 45. This crazy narrative starts out all crime film noir and proceeds into overwhelming fantasy sci-fi, quantifiably unusual and uniquely quirky. The first thing you have to swallow is the lopped off pinky and the insertion of a red button, the Universal Indexer. He merely needs to remove the little pinky cover to expose what is an awesomely powerful weapon. This is installed before he is sent to retrieve the Blarney Stone that his uncle had stolen and taken to the Pope. 

At the Vatican, the reader begins to get a glimmer that this isn't just a simple fantasy sci-fi. It quickly becomes so multi-layered, so complicated and complex that if you weren't paying attention you'd be lost now. There is a parallel universe (actually universes--plural), however, as otherwise our clever Italian Canali suited detective would never have survived the mobsters who send him deep into Mexico to a hidden Aztec pyramid in the mountains of the Sierra Madre to deal with the cartel, who are actually pretty clever themselves. 

Author Roberts notes in his bio that he loves language. No kidding, as this story is chock full of humorous metaphors, similes, twists of well-known clichés, phrases, and all manner of tongue-in-cheek connotations, innuendoes, and insinuations. It's a constant challenge to the English language albeit a fun one. 

This is not a short one, expect to remain for the long haul. There are few slow-paced passages. The well-plotted and fast-moving intricate narrative involves multiple well-developed personalities. Dialogue runs from typical forties film noir to the wacky. Reading this book becomes a quasi-train wreck scenario. You can't believe where this is going and you have to see for yourself how it is going to conclude. I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley and appreciate the opportunity to get into something far from my usual genre. Recommended for die-hard fans of exceptional avant-garde fantasy sci-fi prose.
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The combination of quantum theory and hard-boiled crime fiction produced an interesting setup.

The "hero", a cheap private eye, starts by being hired to protect a beautiful lady and is throw on the hands of a strange group that, for starters, frame him on a murder. Being unconscious, he receives a "tool" that allows him to navigates to several universes that are literally the same.

Now the book really starts. I could identify several situations: "Breaking Bad" (our hero lives in Albuquerque and there are drug lords later), "Da Vinci Code" (for the parts set on the Vatican), "Kennedy murder" (parts in New Orleans) and Nazi conspiracy (One of the criminals that drive the detective speaks with a funny German accent) and the list goes.

One point that disturbed my reading was the detective obsession with his Italian Canali suit, that is mentioned over and over along the entire book. I believe that the author put this suit as a "feel good"  for our poor detective or he is sposored by the Italian brand.

I'm giving three stars for this book because there are parts where I lost some of the motivation to continue reading, in special close to the final, that is amazingly complex and confusing, but let's remember the Quantum title.
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Not what I expected. Reading how the book has many many rave reviews, I am surely in the minority. Normally I'm a big fan of Hard Sci-Fi books, but for me, the Hard Science was simply too 'hard' for me to grasp. After 45% into the book I had to admit defeat as I was by then barely able to keep track of the rather intriguing story line and well drawn characters. Due to how the plot is developed, I still recommend the book, just be aware, at the start of the book the science of the story requires heavy doses of patience and perseverance.
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Just wow.  Quantum Marlowe is a fun romp that mixes the detective genre with science fiction.  It brought to mind authors like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.

Funny, vivid, and often strange, this book is it’s own adventure and worth the journey.
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