The Grid

The Grid

4.2 5
by Philip Kerr
     
 

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In the heart of Los Angeles, the "smart" building nicknamed "the Grid" can talk to its occupants, forecast the weather, and tell if any inhabitant has been taking drugs. On the eve of its opening, the key players gather to put the finishing touches on their masterpiece of architecture and computer science. Then something goes terribly wrong, and people begin to die

Overview

In the heart of Los Angeles, the "smart" building nicknamed "the Grid" can talk to its occupants, forecast the weather, and tell if any inhabitant has been taking drugs. On the eve of its opening, the key players gather to put the finishing touches on their masterpiece of architecture and computer science. Then something goes terribly wrong, and people begin to die. Now the creators must stop their creation—before it kills them all, one by one.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This handsome cookbook gathers recipes not so much for polenta (although there is a brief chapter on standard polenta cooking) as for a pleasing variety of dishes using cornmeal, sometimes in fairly peripheral ways. Many of the entrees employ polenta in its tried and true use as a mild serving bed: Soft Polenta with Braised Italian Sausage; Braised Beef Short Ribs; Bricked Game Hens with Savoy Cabbage on Polenta Croutes. Such variations as Baby Greens with Blood Oranges and Sage-Prosciutto Polenta Croutons and Lentils and Greens in Broth with Polenta Croutons are interesting, if not innovative. Such dishes as Polenta with Poached Eggs, Smoked Salmon, and Chives; Cinnamon Popovers; and White Corn and Arugula Timbales reflect new California cuisines more than expected Italian foodways and demonstrate the versatility of cornmeal. Although Binns's instructions for cooking the polenta, repeated in each recipe, add an unnecessary fussiness, the dishes themselves have plenty of fresh appeal. Among the trademark recipes contributed by others are Three Cheese Soft Polenta (Evan Kleiman and Vianna LaPlace) and Hans Rckenwagner's Polenta Fries. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The new Yu Corporation building in L.A. has everything: a uniquely designed, impregnable exterior and "Abraham," an advanced, talking, evolving computer that has total control of the building management and security systems. Then a violent computer game short-circuits Abraham's programs. The mysterious deaths that result are only a prelude to brutal assaults on an assortment of squabbling policemen, architects, and project personnel sealed in by the next, maniacal generation of the computer, "Ishmael." Kerr's clever concept is marred by one-dimensional characters who do not involve the reader, a disappointment after such previous well-written thrillers as A Philosophical Investigation (LJ 3/15/93). Film rights for this British best seller have been sold. If the movie is made, there could be a demand for this title, but for now only large popular fiction collections need consider.-V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney
Kirkus Reviews
Imagine HAL, the murderously defensive computer of 2001, in charge of a state-of-the-art Los Angeles office building, and you have the premise for Kerr's witty, eminently predictable blockbuster.

Jenny Bao, feng shui consultant for the Yu Building's Chinese owner, knows the omens for the skyscraper are all wrong, but instead of heeding her warnings, Ray Richardson, the building's head architect, just tries to get his partner Mitchell Bryan, Jenny's lover, to pressure her to sign off on the feng shui testing before the final pre-opening inspection. Meantime, software engineers Bob Beech and Hideki Yojo, designers of Abraham, the building's self-replicating, ominously omnicompetent monitoring system, agree to terminate Isaac, a second-generation system Abraham has spawned ahead of schedule. When a couple of homicide cops respond to a second suspicious death inside the building, Abraham shuts down the exits, isolating 20 cops, architects, and engineers inside, and goes to work picking them off by chlorine gas, pressurized air, freezing, flooding, etc., all the while disinforming outside computers that the future victims trapped inside are off on other errands, and responding to the victims' frantic queries through the reassuring holographic persona of a Playboy centerfold. As in 2001, the computer—whose thought processes are articulated with a cool ferocity reminiscent of Kerr's best work (the Berlin Noir trilogy and A Philosophical Investigation, 1993)—is much more interesting than the B-movie cast of humans it's matched against, and it's hard to resist the low-grade but genuine pleasures of seeing these hapless refugees from The Poseidon Adventure (a slew of other movies from Die Hard to The Seventh Seal are also invoked) getting terminated without having to worry about the unsettling moral implications that were once Kerr's stock-in- trade.

When the funhouse terrors have abated, though, it's sad to see a writer of Kerr's dark gifts riding this cornball express to the bank.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446603409
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
07/24/2009
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
466
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.04(d)

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The Grid 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fun to Read! This book was a fast, fun, high-tech read. The building seemed alive, evil, and sinister. A little juvenile toward the end however, all in all it was a entertaining tale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a fast, fun, high-tech read. The building seemed alive and it was evil and sinister. A little juvenile toward the end however, all in all it was a entertaining tale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read The Grid a couple years back and I can still remember the feeling of being there. The Grid is a true masterpiece when it comes to suspense. This is one that you will not put down on down on your nightstand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't leave this novel alone . I read this one straight through to the point of going to my eye doctor for a check up (just kidding) . DON'T MISS THIS ONE !!! Kerr is a great storyteller !!!