You are not what you think you are.Neuropath
(2008) is a near-future Techno Thriller
by R. Scott Bakker, better known as the author of Second Apocalypse
Professor of psychology Thomas Bible's life is turned upside down when the FBI arrives on his doorstep with reports of murders and gruesome experiments. The prime suspect is Tom's old college buddy Neil Cassidy, who has set out to prove a philosophical argument in the most shocking way possible...
Provides examples of:
- Ax-Crazy: The Chiropractor.
- Action Survivor: Mia.
- All for Nothing: Just about every bad thing the protagonist didn't want to happen, happened.
- And I Must Scream: Frankie.
- Animals Lack Attributes: Very explicitly averted when Tom's dog rolls over and exposes his genitals. Agent Gerard finds it hilarious and says it's so big it should get its own website. Then makes up some domain names. ("www.dog-got-a-bone.com")
- Big "NO!": Thomas, right before Mia slams his SUV into the NYPD patrol car.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Without free will, there is no morality. Neil demonstrates.
- Chase Scene: One of the few upbeat sections of the novel, in fact.
- Cosmic Horror Story: Like Blindsight with The Argument instead of aliens. There is no Counterargument.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The serial killer known as the Chiropractor rips out his victims' spinal columns. This happens to one character (Neil) while he is paralyzed but still fully conscious.
- Cyber Punk: A subtle near-future example.
- Despair Event Horizon: The protagonist crosses it several times, because of Neil's Mind Rape.
- Electric Instant Gratification: The porn star near the start, later Tom & his wife. (Unwillingly...)
- Emotion Suppression: This happens to Neil, and eventually Thomas and Nora.
- Fate Worse than Death Tom and his family, by the end (Frankie especially).
- Fighting from the Inside: Averted.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Everybody who has come into contact with enough neuroscience suffers this at some point, although Neil takes it to extremes (though he didn't seem very nice beforehand).
- Government Conspiracy
- Inherent in the System: Every system, be it politics, biology, or the values on which we base our lives, is basically depicted as a complete sham.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Neil Cassidy claims to be Frankie's father.
- Mad Scientist: Neil, obviously.
- Mind-Control Device: Nicknamed "Mary".
- Mind Rape: The most horrendously extreme Mind Rape happens to Neil's victims, and quite possibly the audience experience this.
- In this near future, the NSA neurologists routinely Mind Rape suspected terrorists as interrogation.
- The Mole: Samantha Logan, who is revealed in a truly unsettling scene.
- Mr. Exposition: Tom, rather irritatingly in places.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Neil.
- Out with a Bang: Samantha Logan.
- Serial Killer: The Chiropractor.
- Shown Their Work: Tom's speeches about neurology and psychology. Mostly justified in-story as they are dealing with a killer who literally MindControls people, but sometimes Tom suddenly goes off on yet another rant about psychology when that scene could have done without it.
- Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: A definite type 0.
- Squishy Wizard: Having absolute power over people's minds surely qualifies Neil for this.
- Stealth Pun: Neuropath. What's a related word to 'neuro-'?'Psycho-'.
- Straight Gay: Mia.
- Tap on the Head: Subverted: Tom notes that the guard he and Mia knocked out needs serious medical attention.
- Title Drop: The Mole is a "neuropath."
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The year in which the novel takes place is never stated, but 2010 is mentioned as a year gone by (The novel was published in 2008).
- World Half Empty: Judging by news reports, most of the world seems to have gone to hell.