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A bizarre and horrible coincidence draws FBI special agent Teresa Simons to England: on the same day that a mass murderer killed her husband and fourteen others in Kingwood City, Texas, another spree killer massacred seventeen in the small Sussex town of Bulverton. Teresa seeks to understand her husband's death by exploring the similar but unrelated event in Bulverton, as she once explored reconstructions of historical mass murders in ExEx (Extreme Experience, a brutally realistic form of virtual reality) to train for her FBI job. In Bulverton she finds a commercial ExEx parlor, which, she is horrified and fascinated to discover, offers a Bulverton mass-murder scenario. As Teresa explores both the town and the scenario of Bulverton, the separations between reality and ExEx, between ExEx murder reconstructions, between past and present, begin to blur--and so does the separation between Kingwood City and Bulverton, as Teresa realizes the simultaneity of the events may be more than a coincidence.
A New York Times Recommended Book, The Extremes received the British Science Fiction Association award for 1999. Christopher Priest's previous novel, The Prestige, won the World Fantasy Award and the James Tait Black Award. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A forensic thriller with a strong science fictional element, Priest's fourth novel provides suspenseful, intelligent entertainment. On the same day, at the same time, that a man with a gun committed mass murder in Kingston City, Texas, another armed man did the same in the seaside resort town of Bulverton, England. FBI agent Teresa Simons, 43, lost her husband in Kingston City. Now she's visiting Bulverton to determine if the slayings were more than coincidence. Teresa's training included the virtual reality scenarios of ExEx (Extreme Experience), which reconstructs violent events and requires participants to get shot over and over until they learn the right way to fight back. The FBI uses ExEx for training; companies market it for entertainment. Teresa uses ExEx facilities in Bulverton to seek parallels between the two murder sprees. But the GunHo Corporation has a major ExEx investment in the Bulverton incident, and wants to thwart Teresa. Could ExEx's feedback loops have altered time and reality, affecting or even creating the paired killings? Teresa's discoveries horrify her, but propel her into action. She endures a barrage of carnage to find her way back to her love. Priest (The Prestige) keeps one eye on his suspenseful plot, another on the SF angles that underpin it and a third, camera-eye on the real implications of worldwide instant communication, virtual reality and media-driven violence. If his lingo can get a bit thick ("It's the same thing, in algorithmic terms, as your basic what-the-hell symbolic adumbration"), his plot will keep most readers raptly amazed. (May) FYI: The Prestige won the 1996 World Fantasy Award for best novel.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The novel started out with a very strong and intriguing beginning, but by the second half it was getting really tedious with the protagonist's repeated virtual experiences and a... Read morePublished on Dec 3 2003 by lady_of_mercia
Teresa Simons has the idea that a random shooter in Bulverton, England is somehow linked to the random shooting that killed her husband in Texas. Read morePublished on March 12 2002 by frumiousb
I am certainly surprised that some of the previous reviewers found this book dull. I found it to be that rarest of books for me--a genuine page-turner! Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2002
This was the first Christopher Priest book I have read. His writing style is very good, keeping the book well paced and bringing you into the world of ExEx - Extreme Experiences. Read morePublished on July 22 2001 by Tman