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Literature / Neuropath

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You are not what you think you are.

Neuropath (2008) is a near-future 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:

  • All for Nothing: Just about every bad thing the protagonist didn't want to happen, happened.
  • 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. ("")
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Serial Killer: The Chiropractor, real identity Theodore Gyges, brutally murders several people by ripping their spines out.
  • 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.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Neil Cassidy destroyed parts of his mind in order to devote himself to the Argument, and thus is fundamentally incapable of feeling compassion for anyone or remorse for the terrible things he's done.
    • Sam is also incapable of feeling love, guilt, or remorse because Neil destroyed parts of her mind as well.
  • 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-'.


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