200 Words or Less: Bioshock Rapture by John Shirley

Welcome to 200 Words or Less, a weekly Friday feature here on The Tattooed Book Geek where I will bring to you reviews/thoughts of 200 words or less from the books I read before I started blogging. We all have them, books that we read and loved or even read and hated before we decided to start blogging and what better way than a quick fire review of 200 words or less to share your thoughts on them.

My Choice:

It’s the end of World War II. FDR’s New Deal has redefined American politics. Taxes are at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has brought a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business has many watching their backs. America’s sense of freedom is diminishing . . . and many are desperate to take that freedom back.

Among them is a great dreamer, an immigrant who pulled himself from the depths of poverty to become one of the wealthiest and admired men in the world. That man is Andrew Ryan, and he believed that great men and women deserve better. And so he set out to create the impossible, a utopia free from government, censorship, and moral restrictions on science–where what you give is what you get. He created Rapture—the shining city below the sea.

But as we all know, this utopia suffered a great tragedy. This is the story of how it all came to be . . .and how it all ended.

Bioshock Rapture by John Shirley.

Bioshock is one of my favourite computer games, a great setting, story, characters and the audio diaries found within chronicling Rapture’s demise are some of the best writing you will find in gaming, non-gamers please don’t scoff, Ryan, Fontaine, Lamb and Tenenbaum are amazing characters and the audio diaries would grace any book. 

Bioshock Rapture, is a prequel taking us up to the demise of Rapture.

Rapture is an under water city built by Andrew Ryan in the wake of WW II as a paradise, away from the greed, corruption and war of the world above. He’s an idealist, believing the world should be free from censorship, religion and government, Rapture is to be his utopia.

The book details how Rapture was built, how Ryan kept it a secret and the scientific discovery of ADAM and its usage in the creation of plasmids, causing genetic modification and mutation to Rapture’s population, helping the degradation and downfall of Rapture’s society. 

The book creates an incredible atmosphere. You don’t need to have played the games to enjoy this. Great characters, an interesting setting and a sociological/psychological aspect create a top read that makes you question society and the morality of people.

On a side note, this isn’t part of the 200 Words or Less bit of the post, just a random musing. I always wanted to see a Bioshock movie made, I really think that given the source material and in the right directorial hands that it could have been truly great. And for casting, I’d have loved to have seen Daniel Day Lewis chosen to play Andrew Ryan, an outstanding actor who I could easily picture taking on the role of Ryan. 

Quotes from Bioshock Rapture:

“No Gods Or Kings. Only Man.”

“If the modern world were a patient in my care… I would diagnose it suicidal.”

“A man must make of his life a ladder that he never ceases to climb — if you’re not rising, you are slipping down the rungs, my friend.”

“Okay; they’ve got to be kids—but why girls?” Fontaine asked. “People are even more protective about little girls.” Tenenbaum winced and turned back to the microscope, muttering, “For some reason girls take sea-slug implant better than boys.” Fontaine wondered what little boy they’d experimented on to determine that and what had become of him. But he didn’t really care. He didn’t. And in fact—there was one place that could supply children for all sorts of things. “So—just girls, eh? That’s okay; that’ll just be fewer bunks in the orphanage.”

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