Thursday 22 August 2013


Finished August 22
Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre

I picked this up when I saw it in a bookstore as I'd really enjoyed his A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil a few years ago. Since that was a mystery, I'd assumed this was too, and I suppose it is in a sense, but really it is much more science fiction.
Ross Baker works as a scientist developing medical technology for the large corporation Neurosphere at their Stirling offices. He works hard, but doesn't feel appreciated, and his work drive has put a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend Carol. This particular Monday, he is feeling down in the dumps, and when he overhears a conversation that tells him his girlfriend is pregnant, he feels even worse. Why would they know before him, and what does that mean for his relationship? He decides to accept an invitation from a fellow scientist to be a test candidate for a new scanner to get out of his office.
But when he emerges from the scanner, he finds himself apparently in a video game, one he eventually recognizes as a favourite from his youth, Starfire. As he struggles to find a way, he gradually learns more about this place where he is trapped. When he is asked his name, his mind reverts to that young boy, and he gives his childhood gamer name, Bedlam.
With his emotions reaching back to his life with Carol, he follows any trail he can to find his way through various video game worlds, hoping to find an escape.
As this book progressed I was drawn into it more and more, and the ethical message that Brookmyre embeds here is one that doesn't seem that futuristic. Rooting for Ross, I found myself in a pageturner that I had trouble putting down. Very different from the other book of his I've read, this book is just as good if not better. A new favourite.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds interesting - not something I would normally consider from the synopsis, but you make it intriguing! Maybe I should get it as a warning to my children as to what happens if you play too many computer games...