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False Value, Audio Edition

Sunday, October 30, 2022

False Value, Audio Edition (2020) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Rivers of London)

False ValueThis is the 8th Peter Grant book.

After the events of Lies SLeeping, Peter was suspended while the incident (death in custody) was investigated. This book opens with Peter interviewing for a security position with the Serious Cybernetics Corporation (and yes, the entire company is full of Hitchhikers Guide references; as I haven’t read Hitchihikers in years, I’m sure I missed some, but the ones I caught were a delight).

It then jumps back in forth in time between Peter starting at the Serious Cybernetics Corporation and the events that led up to Peter becoming becoming private security.

“No,” she said. “I don’t want a personal friend in Jesus.”

I showed her my warrant card. “But have you let the Metropolitan Police into your heart?” I asked.

Also, it goes the down the rabbit hole of early computing.

“But you know who Charles Babbage is?” he said.

I said I did— a nineteenth-century pioneer of mechanical calculation. “His big plan was to build an analytical engine,” said Stephen. “A programmable calculator.”

And he’d worked with Ada Lovelace, the Enchantress of Numbers, to build it.

How can I not enjoy a story that centers on Ada Lovelace?

As usual, the story is full of snark.

From the kitchen behind us I could hear various chopped comestibles being tossed around in a wok. Which at least meant we weren’t going to be having McDonald’s— you hear stories.

I looked up. The ceiling was a bog-standard suspended tile affair useful for covering up ducts, cables and xenomorph infiltrations.

I enjoyed the story the first time through (because it almost impossible for me not to enjoy Ben Aaronovitch’s writing combined with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’snarration) but I believe I appreciated it more this time, as I caught details and listened for the inside jokes.

Johnson had made a point of calling the human resources department “HR” rather than its official internal company name, the Magrathean Ape-Descended Life Form Utilization Service, just as he called the department I had just joined “Security” rather than the Vogon Enforcement Arm.

Publisher: DAW

Rating: 8.5/10

 

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