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Extended Audio Sample Machine Man Audiobook, by Max Barry Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,422 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Max Barry Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9780307938879
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Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.

Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon.

A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghan Bellamy | 2/19/2014

    " I was pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed the first-person narrative and both the psychological and scientific aspects of it. The ending ... I didn't love the ending, I think maybe it could've been more ambiguous? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Booker | 2/14/2014

    " This is the third book I've read by Max Barry besides Syrup and Jennifer Government. Machine Man is a love story between Charlie and Lola. Charlie's main issue is that he is super smart and thus a bit awkward in all other social constructs. His discombobulation over his lost cellphone at the beginning of the story is humorous in that so many people have become so dependent on such a small thing for everything (from keeping time, to setting an alarm, to their schedule, and even knowing their own phone number). This comically leads to an industrial accident where Charlie loses a leg. He meets Lola who introduces him to the world of prosthetic limbs. Charlie quickly comes to realize that the "top of the line" is substandard to something he and the company he works for could build. I couldn't help thinking of Ten Million Dollar Man, Terminator, Robocop, and even the Googles, FBs, Microsofts of the world. The idea that in the pursuit of what ifs and technological advances, the question that never gets asked is, even if you can do something, should you? Lola has her own issues, healthwise and fatherwise. Without, giving away much more, this was a great book. Max Barry reminds me of Nicholson Baker or Chuck Palahniuk...even Kelly Link. He's really a bright and interesting writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 2/10/2014

    " A very fast read. I tore through it in one sitting and wanted more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lilla Smee | 2/10/2014

    " I was hooked from the opening pages! The novel opens with 10 pages of the most exquisitley astute and utterly hilarious observations on the utter devestation one experiences when one realises one has lost one's mobile phone. The novel is packed with the most simple, eye-opening commentries on the human existence (biologically speaking) I have ever come across. On urinary and bowel catheters: 'You would think a bowel catheter would be disgusting but it had major functional advantages over a bathroom visit. Everything was sealed and sanitary. When you thought about it, it was the regular system that was foul ... We had the technology for a superior waste-disposal system but wouldn't use it because we preferred to drop feces into an open bowl of water and rub the residue on our asses with tree pulp. (p.64 & 76). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pete | 2/1/2014

    " Great book about an introverted tech guy who starts replacing his body parts with pieces designed by his company. The characters were developed well, and the book grabbed my pretty quickly. Watching his metamorphosis was fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 1/25/2014

    " Excellent novel about the intersection between medical science and industry. Fans of Doctor Who might see some parallels between this novel and the 1975 televised serial "Genesis of the Daleks," the 2002 BBC audio drama "Spare Parts," or the 2006 "Rise of the Cybermen"/"Age of Steel" episodes. Needless to say, there are also parallels to be drawn between this novel and The Six-Million Dollar Man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 1/22/2014

    " Different from anything I've ever read, & at times, humorous. Well-written, but not my cup of tea. I started to give this only 2 stars, but felt I shouldn't judge unfairly because of my personal tastes. Science fiction fans may love it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josh Katsanis | 1/17/2014

    " Dispite the language, I love the way this guy writes. It so real and natural. And he has a fantastic way of making a point and paroding life and society. Funny and it's cool how the author can make the ordinary fantastic and make the unbelievable authentic. Love the satire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 1/9/2014

    " This is a book on philosophy....like all really good sci-fi. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie | 1/4/2014

    " I love that this book was started because a fan emailed the author and told him he better write something soon because he was forced to read the twilight books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mg | 12/4/2013

    " This book begins great but loses value in the middle as if the ideas were exhausted. It picks up at the end with scary futuristic ideas about the brain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meg | 8/17/2013

    " What happens when you love technology a little too much. Wonderful and funny and disturbing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kc | 6/4/2013

    " Great look at the potential for integrated prosthetics and how they could be used for gain; ill or otherwise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynbad | 8/5/2012

    " Freaky! I felt sad throughout the book, glad I have skin and arms and legs and I kept wanting to touch things just for the response. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dustin Parsons | 5/9/2012

    " Very entertaining. This was a quick read for me because I couldn't wait to see how far our protagonist would indulge his obsessions. The first person narrative was a refreshing break from my usual reads. It was well chosen and well executed. I'm looking for more Max Barry! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenda | 3/2/2012

    " Wow, where do I start? What a neat idea for a book to have someone want to hack off their body parts in order to be given robotic artificial ones!! I was super shocked at the ending too, what a crazy ride! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karalynn | 3/2/2012

    " creepy and good. but creepy. didn't like the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 crashmstr | 11/10/2011

    " A lot of fun to read this in novel format after the wonderful experience of reading it day by day as a serial back in 2009. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hdmsisk | 10/20/2011

    " The engineering humor in this book is spot on. The ending is a little weak. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 10/20/2011

    " It's like Robocop, if Robocop did it to himself on purpose.

    Or maybe Iron Man.

    Or maybe Source Code. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Selene | 10/19/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it had a great plot and was well written. But the big reason for why I am writing this review is I have to know... during the first chapter did anyone else hear king missile's detachable penis playing in their heads or was it really just me? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/11/2011

    " I started to not like this book somewhere in the middle. Charlie was kind of a jerk & the company chick reminded me of other MB company chicks. But the last section really turned it around for me. And actually made me a little sad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matt | 10/7/2011

    " Disappointing. Nowhere NEAR as good as Jennifer Government. The first 50 pages are pretty good, then it goes downhill quick. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua | 10/4/2011

    " Good, but a little disturbing near the end. I read this in just a few hours and liked it. I'd read it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 10/4/2011

    " A surprising amount of heart saved this from being just an exercise in zaniness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 10/2/2011

    " Interesting concept, but frustrating to read - the main character seems like a lunatic the whole way through, his constant stupid decisions being more annoying than a clever portrayal of a man going crazy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ala | 9/30/2011

    " Read this entire thing today, loved pretty much all of it.

    Will hold off on an actual review until I've mulled it over a bit more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karalynn | 9/24/2011

    " creepy and good. but creepy. didn't like the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean | 9/20/2011

    " Gripping, moving, horrifying. A sci-fi classic. "

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About the Author
Author Max Barry

Max Barry is the author of SyrupJennifer GovernmentCompany, and Machine Man. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.