Golden State

Golden State A shocking vision of our future that is one part Minority Report and one part Chinatown Lazlo Ratesic is a year veteran of the Speculative Service from a family of law enforcemen

  • Title: Golden State
  • Author: Ben H. Winters
  • ISBN: 0316505412
  • Page: 220
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A shocking vision of our future that is one part Minority Report and one part Chinatown.Lazlo Ratesic is 54, a 19 year veteran of the Speculative Service, from a family of law enforcement and in a strange alternate society that values law and truth above all else This is how Laz must, by law, introduce himself, lest he fail to disclose his true purpose or nature, and by d A shocking vision of our future that is one part Minority Report and one part Chinatown.Lazlo Ratesic is 54, a 19 year veteran of the Speculative Service, from a family of law enforcement and in a strange alternate society that values law and truth above all else This is how Laz must, by law, introduce himself, lest he fail to disclose his true purpose or nature, and by doing so, be guilty of a lie.Laz is a resident of The Golden State, a nation resembling California, where like minded Americans retreated after the erosion of truth and the spread of lies made public life, and governance, increasingly impossible There, surrounded by the high walls of compulsory truth telling, knowingly contradicting the truth the Objectively So is the greatest possible crime Stopping those crimes, punishing them, is Laz s job In its service, he is one of the few individuals permitted to harbor untruths to speculate on what might have happened in the commission of a crime.But the Golden State is far less a paradise than its name might suggest To monitor, verify, and enforce the Objectively So requires a veritable panopticon of surveillance, recording, and record keeping And when those in control of the truth twist it for nefarious means, the Speculators may be the only ones with the power to fight back Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 384 pages Published January 22nd 2019 by Mulholland Books More Details ISBN 0316505412 ISBN13 9780316505413 Edition Language English Other Editions 10 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Golden State, please sign up

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    Lists with This Book The Millions Most Anticipated The Great First Half 2019 Book Preview January March 84 books 12 voters Alternate History in 2019 8 books 3 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Dec 16, 2018 Paromjit rated it really liked it Shelves dystopian, mystery, netgalley, thriller Ben H Winters writes a thrilling dystopian novel with a central mystery that puts the protagonist on a challenging road that questions everything he has ever believed in Golden State is a future version of California, a state where truth and objectivity is everything and to veer from this central tenet risks jail and exile There is no past, no history, no documents, only what is The concept of fiction no longer exists, and a novel is now understood to be a true history or truth, an interesti Ben H Winters writes a thrilling dystopian novel with a central mystery that puts the protagonist on a challenging road that questions everything he has ever believed in Golden State is a future version of California, a state where truth and objectivity is everything and to veer from this central tenet risks jail and exile There is no past, no history, no documents, only what is The concept of fiction no longer exists, and a novel is now understood to be a true history or truth, an interesting concept as storytelling is an integral part of what it is to be human With echoes of Big Brother in Orwell s 1984 and Atwood s The Handmaid s Tale, there is complete 24 hour surveillance, CCTV and , with people keeping personal journals of their daily lives, countersigned by others present as the verifiable truth A bureaucratic approach is central in this society with vital importance placed on record keeping as an objective plank to confirming the truth 54 year old Laz Ratesic is an experienced law enforcer, part of the Speculator Service, the only ones allowed to speculate what the truth might be Laz still carries grief over the death of his brother, a legendary fellow speculator In this disturbing world, Laz and his new female black partner look into the death of a man who fell off a rooftop, is it an accident or something sinister Laz has had no reason to question the world he lives in, it is his truth and he stands by it His perception slowly begins to shatter as he investigates, for bubbling beneath the surface are power struggles, corruption and resistance The truth is open to manipulation, nothing is as it seems, and nothing can be relied on, including Laz himself This is twisted and suspenseful storytelling, of conspiracy, with beautifully imagined world building from the author It reflects our contemporary ailments, such as fake news whilst exploring the concepts of tyranny, absolute truth and objectivity This is brilliant thought provoking fiction which I thoroughly enjoyed reading Many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC flag 71 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Dec 28, 2018 megs_bookrack marked it as to read Shelves 2019 releases, sci fi to read The BOTM picks are up This is not a drill.They are up and I chose this one This speculative fiction definitely sounds up my alley I have been craving stories like this lately flag 51 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Nov 17, 2018 Emma rated it really liked it Shelves dystopia, post apocalypse This was really good I d never heard of this author before but was granted an ARC of this book from Netgalley It is a commentary on truth is there such a thing as absolute truth Can it be determined through a society where everything is documented and recorded Does everyone live by the same rules or are some exempt How fear of the unknown can imprison us Excellent read flag 41 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Nov 27, 2018 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley, science fiction, apocalypse It s not clear when it happened or what happened, but it was BIG Now nobody talks about it, in fact everything before has been erased there are no documents, there is no known history This new world, in the same place as the old world, has rules that preclude lots of things and knowledge of the past is one of them But the biggest sin is to lie, to lie about anything To disobey this edict can result in serious jail time The place is called the Golden State and it s what used to be Californi It s not clear when it happened or what happened, but it was BIG Now nobody talks about it, in fact everything before has been erased there are no documents, there is no known history This new world, in the same place as the old world, has rules that preclude lots of things and knowledge of the past is one of them But the biggest sin is to lie, to lie about anything To disobey this edict can result in serious jail time The place is called the Golden State and it s what used to be California, or at least part of it, and it s easy to recognise the centre in which most of this story plays out as Los Angeles We see events through the eyes of Laszlo Ratesic He s a big guy with a gift he can sense when people are not telling the truth Laszlo job is to use this gift as part of the law enforcement team There are cameras everywhere too and I mean everywhere Everything is recorded and each individual is compelled to document every interaction with people they come into contact with Nothing is secret from the State.It s in this claustrophobic environment that we first encounter Laszlo as he addresses a minor lie he identifies whilst having breakfast at a restaurant For this innocuous fib a young man will most likely serve a five year sentence They don t mess around here But soon Laszlo is called to the scene of what looks to be an accidental death a man has fallen off a roof in what is most likely a simple working accident But is it From this point the story spreads out and we meet various characters including some of Ratesic s colleagues, his ex wife and various people loosely connected with the death We will now see in detail how things work in this new world.It s an interesting construction and I was drawn deeply into the story in the first third of the book Laszlo is an unhappy man haunted by the death of his brother a fellow law officer, who also had the gift and his estrangement from the love of his life And he s started to wonder about what came before the Golden State But for a while book then seemed to struggle to balance time spent on resolving the mystery of the dead man versus the bigger picture of what the hell was going on in this place and how did we get here in the first place I was impatient for the second element to be addressed But in the final third the book delivered its big punches and supplied a satisfying if not wholly surprising finale I m a little stuck between awarding four stars or five, but I m going to settle of four simply because the midsection of the book dragged a little for me But I do admire the invention and imagination employed here and I might come back and upgrade my rating once I ve spent a little longer reflecting on this thought provoking tale My sincere thanks to Random House UK, Cornerstone and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review flag 41 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 30, 2018 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing I m the BIGGEST fan of The Last Policeman trilogy so to say I was excited to read Golden State would be a serious understatement.It didn t disappoint this is a hugely relevant speculative tale, but also a massively entertaining piece of fiction that had me banging through it in record time Laz is brilliant, so engaging, living in the shadow of his legendary brother, one of the few people tasked with keeping the record quite literally straight as he senses lies in the air around him.The world I m the BIGGEST fan of The Last Policeman trilogy so to say I was excited to read Golden State would be a serious understatement.It didn t disappoint this is a hugely relevant speculative tale, but also a massively entertaining piece of fiction that had me banging through it in record time Laz is brilliant, so engaging, living in the shadow of his legendary brother, one of the few people tasked with keeping the record quite literally straight as he senses lies in the air around him.The world Ben Winters builds here is utterly fascinating Everyone is watched, recorded, logged 24 7 People open conversations by quoting verifiable facts at each other, a lie is illegal and the harshest punishment is exile into a world before that no longer exists There are too many layers to this inventive, totally believable place to get them all across in a simple review but it is pretty much the opposite of how we live now.We learn all this through the eyes of Laz, who is an utter believer in the system and it s protection of citizens Indeed this is a world you may nod along with, reasonably convinced through the power of this character that it is absolutely justified and right It took me a while to find an issue with it Then a man falls from a roof, there are definitely anomalies, Laz is thrown together with a new partner and together they will uncover something than the truth and his world will change forever.This was beautifully twisted in its mystery elements and throws up so many thought provoking moral quandaries your head will spin That s quite apart from the twists of plot that are so often unexpected, there s no predicting the outcome of this one although you might think so and even if there was, speculation is illegal don t you know unless you are authorised I loved it Quirky, clever and very timely, I will state that Objectively So Golden State is a truly excellent piece of storytelling.Highly Recommended flag 32 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 14, 2018 Blake Crouch rated it it was amazing Golden State is a prescient, devastating commentary on humanity s disintegrating attachment to reality and truth, expertly told through the prism of a police procedural, dystopian nightmare Winters has written a 1984 for the 21st century Not just a thrilling book, but an important one flag 29 likesLike see review Jan 28, 2019 Gabby rated it liked it Shelves 3 star books, adult, botm, cover lust, dystopia, liked it, lost interest, over freaking hyped, own, read in 2019 This was a strange book that progressively got strange as I got closer to the end This is a dystopian novel about a futuristic California where there are police who detect lies, and lying causes you to go to prison or even worse, face execution I m not a huge fan of dystopians but this one sounded interesting, and it is very similar to Fahrenheit 451 as the description claims I was really invested in the beginning of this story, it s very thought provoking and it has a lot to say about This was a strange book that progressively got strange as I got closer to the end This is a dystopian novel about a futuristic California where there are police who detect lies, and lying causes you to go to prison or even worse, face execution I m not a huge fan of dystopians but this one sounded interesting, and it is very similar to Fahrenheit 451 as the description claims I was really invested in the beginning of this story, it s very thought provoking and it has a lot to say about how do we know what s really true in our world, and in our terrible political climate lately this shows us what a world of absolute truth would look like I was invested in the mystery building around this mans death that forces the main character to question everything he thought he know about truth and speculation This was really interesting, but part 2 started to get very confusing and strange and I lost interest in this story I feel like the ending really dropped the ball on what was otherwise a very interesting premise flag 23 likesLike see review Janette Ramos I read this book as my BOTM pick Agree totally about your opinion about the ending Love your videos btw Jan 28, 2019 06 58PM Nov 30, 2018 Bradley rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018 shelf, sci fi, worldbuilding sf, mystery I m always a BIG fan of science fiction that girds its loins in the heaviest armor and strides boldly into the darkest, most complicated territories The ambitious the novel, the props I am absolutely forced to give it Of course, it has to also blow me away, but the core courage and not just good writing has to shine through for me to WOOOOOOOO It s easy enough to say this is a panopticon where every last bit of our modern lives in this future Utopian California resembles 198 I m always a BIG fan of science fiction that girds its loins in the heaviest armor and strides boldly into the darkest, most complicated territories The ambitious the novel, the props I am absolutely forced to give it Of course, it has to also blow me away, but the core courage and not just good writing has to shine through for me to WOOOOOOOO It s easy enough to say this is a panopticon where every last bit of our modern lives in this future Utopian California resembles 1984, but it s closer to say it s a slightly different take on The City the City Where the other novel is focused on keeping a lie going that separates two overlapping worlds, Winter s police drama is focused on the deeply ironic law that places Truth on the highest pedestal It s ironic because while all falsehoods are immediately found out and punished thanks to the uber surveillance State, the Golden State s history is shrouded in mystery And fiction is utterly subversive despite the deeper truths within it.White lies carry heavy sentences Acting is an unheard of crime We follow an old cop whose job is to ferret out lies and watch as his world unravels before him The mysteries are well thought out and a perfect foil for the premise I totally enjoyed the traditional mystery aspects as much as the hardcore social SF.So is this just another Big Idea dystopian in utopian colors It might seem that way, but Winters pulls off one hell of a great and important read without treading on any other novel s toes No re hash This is about taking on TRUTH head on Well worth the read flag 23 likesLike see review Jan 29, 2019 Ace rated it really liked it review of another edition 4 starsAnother great read by science fiction novelist Ben H Winters This had all the elements of a dystopian novel, fear and hope under new systems of belief and justice and the establishment of a new normal With hints of 1984 and a touch of supernatural, main protagonist Lazlo Ratesic can sniff out a lie in a noisy and crowded caf , and lies are just not on in the Golden State As far as mystery s go, this one had me guessing all the way with its current story arc and the flashbacks to Lazlo 4 starsAnother great read by science fiction novelist Ben H Winters This had all the elements of a dystopian novel, fear and hope under new systems of belief and justice and the establishment of a new normal With hints of 1984 and a touch of supernatural, main protagonist Lazlo Ratesic can sniff out a lie in a noisy and crowded caf , and lies are just not on in the Golden State As far as mystery s go, this one had me guessing all the way with its current story arc and the flashbacks to Lazlo s big brother Charlie who was the supreme Speculator and hero of the State.I really enjoy this author and I very much liked Underground Airlines, which was released in 2017 I must add some of his back catalogue to my reading list and I look forward to what he comes up with in his next book.Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book flag 23 likesLike see review Deanna Great review Jan 29, 2019 04 35PM Ace Deanna wrote Great review Thanks Deanna Jan 30, 2019 05 12AM Dec 30, 2018 Book of the Month added it Why I love itby Liberty HardyThe future is no place for liars in this Orwellian thriller about surveillance and secrets So when I got my hands on Golden State I was thrilled A wildly imaginative tale of a future California where citizens are subject to constant scrutiny, and lying is the most serious offense a person can commit Yikes and count me in.Laszlo Ratesic is a skilled member of the Speculative Service, a special branch of the Golden State government that employs a select few who can Why I love itby Liberty HardyThe future is no place for liars in this Orwellian thriller about surveillance and secrets So when I got my hands on Golden State I was thrilled A wildly imaginative tale of a future California where citizens are subject to constant scrutiny, and lying is the most serious offense a person can commit Yikes and count me in.Laszlo Ratesic is a skilled member of the Speculative Service, a special branch of the Golden State government that employs a select few who can sense when lies are being told Like, their spidey senses actually tingle when someone isn t being truthful , allowing them to seek out and punish liars So when the people who make the rules start breaking the rules, it s up to Laszlo and his fellow Service members to fight back against corruption and bring truth to the people so long as they can figure out who to trust.This book is so inventive and the writing so believable that I got goosebumps imagining a world where no one could lie I mean, no white lies, no false advertising, no lying with good intentions who wouldn t go to jail This is a top notch story with serious Margaret Atwood vibes, and I can t wait for people to put themselves in Ben Winters s imagination Read at flag 15 likesLike see review Nov 16, 2018 Emma rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves netgalley This started out well enough but turned into a goddamn mess by the end Mr Laszlo Ratesic is a Speculator tasked with searching out liars It s something than just an instinct, he can feel the sickening nature equivocations, half truths, avoidances, and outright fabrications all around him When a man falls to his death from the roof of a house, there seems like there may be to the story than meets the eye, and with his fresh faced new parter in tow, he is drawn into the kind of conspi This started out well enough but turned into a goddamn mess by the end Mr Laszlo Ratesic is a Speculator tasked with searching out liars It s something than just an instinct, he can feel the sickening nature equivocations, half truths, avoidances, and outright fabrications all around him When a man falls to his death from the roof of a house, there seems like there may be to the story than meets the eye, and with his fresh faced new parter in tow, he is drawn into the kind of conspiracy that could threaten not only their lives, but the foundations of the whole State.So what we initially have is a noir style piece of detective fiction set in a dystopian future, the dour main character and his young, female, black partner who needs to be shown the ropes ticking every conventional box Except this is a world where everything is recorded and archived, every moment documented so it can all factor in to the Objectively So, things KNOWN to be true because seethe evidence is right here In a period when definitions of truth and lies are blurred beyond all recognition, it is, at first, easy to see how such a concept could acquire legitimacy and power Yet extremes such as this never work out quite as planned and as the investigation progresses, the glaring holes in the system are revealed, as are the ways in which it might be manipulated The world building is creative, detailed, and thorough, each point thought through to its ultimate conclusion Cleverly, the author reels the reader in with the seemingly innocuous rules and ideas, things which feel like they might be a good idea, before plunging the readers in to the darker depths of where such paths will inevitably lead Cool idea, good execution Happiness all round.At the start, Laz is somewhat difficult to get behind as a narrator but nevertheless is a fully fleshed out and understandable character, while those around him are less so If the book had remained a murder mystery conspiracy style investigation, I think I would have been satisfied with his progression from inflexible jobsworth to someone open minded and empathic His tentative steps away from the rigidity of his job, his acceptance of his failures in the past, and his slow, often faltering comprehension that he may not truly understand the world around him are some of the author s best work, ranging from moving to pretty funny Instead, his part in plot and actually the narrative as a whole gets increasingly unlikely until there comes a moment so out of left field that it arrives from beyond the furthest reaches of said field and lands like a wet shit Speculative fiction has a lot of leeway to challenge the reader but rarely do authors WTF me out of a novel so hard as this one did NopeC via Netgalley flag 15 likesLike see review Dec 14, 2018 Roman Clodia rated it liked it review of another edition There are some thought provoking ideas on display here as Winters creates a world that is based on a dystopian California where to lie is outlawed and where the whole state apparatus is geared to creating, demonstrating and validating a single and allegedly provable and objective truth and reality Fiction no longer exists and the term novel has been re engineered to mean truthful story or history The problem is, I immediately started questioning a how this could have come about, b how huma There are some thought provoking ideas on display here as Winters creates a world that is based on a dystopian California where to lie is outlawed and where the whole state apparatus is geared to creating, demonstrating and validating a single and allegedly provable and objective truth and reality Fiction no longer exists and the term novel has been re engineered to mean truthful story or history The problem is, I immediately started questioning a how this could have come about, b how human nature could be somehow distorted to eradicate our natural penchant for story telling, and c how the state has suppressed subjectivity None of these issues were fully addressed and so the protagonist s journey towards asking questions about the desirability of his world had already been pre empted by my own and it s a long haul as he catches up.To a large extent, this follows the formula for dystopia what looks workable on the surface reveals chilling truths that underpin the superficial status quo, there are power conspiracies and a resistance groupSo lots of interesting ideas, for sure, about truth and reality, fact vs subjective or speculative thought, power and freedom the story felt a bit longer than was warranted hence my 3 star rating a tauter, leaner narrative would have held my interest.Thanks to Cornerstone for an ARC via NetGalley flag 14 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jan 30, 2019 Annet is currently reading it Just received Golden State, so excited about it Now find time to start in between the other books flag 13 likesLike see review Robin Annet, I m going to be moderating a discussion on this book in the group Newest Literary Fiction starting in March If you re interested, I d love to Annet, I m going to be moderating a discussion on this book in the group Newest Literary Fiction starting in March If you re interested, I d love to have you join us Feb 01, 2019 08 06AM Annet Would love to do that Robin Feb 01, 2019 08 50AM Sep 29, 2018 Cindy Burnett rated it liked it Golden State takes place in a futuristic society that values truth above all else Both the title of the book and the locale bear the name Golden State, a nation that occupies portions of present day California Golden State is a closed place created when the spreading of lies became so widespread that the former society could no longer exist In this new world, truth is valued above all else to the point that citizens are under constant surveillance, much of their lives are recorded, and those Golden State takes place in a futuristic society that values truth above all else Both the title of the book and the locale bear the name Golden State, a nation that occupies portions of present day California Golden State is a closed place created when the spreading of lies became so widespread that the former society could no longer exist In this new world, truth is valued above all else to the point that citizens are under constant surveillance, much of their lives are recorded, and those who do not abide by the rules face banishment to an area outside of Golden State Laszlo Ratesic works for the Speculative Service, an agency whose employees are the few allowed to speculate on what might have occurred at crimes without supporting records Soon after the story begins, Ratesic is sent to the scene of a crime as a Speculator to determine what occurred As he learns about the events and the individuals involved, he begins to believe that someone is working to undermine the core beliefs of the Golden State while he also starts questioning whether the society s dogmatic approach to truth has created problems than it solves.Winters constructs an elaborately complex and thought provoking novel with authentic and well developed characters He includes numerous twists and turns that lead the tale down various paths that may surprise readers who believe they have figured out Laszlo s fate Most of the book was gripping, and I found myself unable to put it down However, toward the end the tale veered off in an unexpected and somewhat bizarre direction that left me less enad with the story Until then, I would have given it 5 stars however, the last portion of the book was so different that I felt like I had been dropped into another story entirely, which confused and annoyed me.In today s disturbing and hostile political environment, truth has taken a hit The internet provides a rapid way to disseminate information and as a result to often allow the spread of untruths As our society strives to rectify this issue, Golden State provides one example of an extreme solution and its results.Overall, I was fascinated with Golden State and Winters futuristic society I was disappointed in the ending but still feel it is worth reading flag 13 likesLike see review Basic Bs Guide I completely agree with you on the ending I m still sitting here scratching my head Jan 24, 2019 06 12AM Cindy Burnett Basic B s Guide wrote I completely agree with you on the ending I m still sitting here scratching my head And I hated that because I really liked Basic B s Guide wrote I completely agree with you on the ending I m still sitting here scratching my head And I hated that because I really liked the rest of the book a lot Jan 25, 2019 05 55AM Matt Nice review I m about a quarter of the way through with this one I can t quite tell how I feel about it yet Jan 26, 2019 02 42PM Jan 09, 2019 Jessica Sullivan rated it really liked it Shelves 2019 read, mystery thriller, pageturners, sci fi fantasy This thought provoking dystopian thriller imagines a world in which lying is the ultimate crime.Laszlo Ratesic works as a Speculator, a law enforcement official whose purpose is to identify liars and bring them to justice The worst punishment of all is being exiled from this society they call the Golden State and into the unknown world beyond.When Laszlo and his new partner are assigned to investigate an ostensibly open and shut case of a construction worker falling to his death, they become en This thought provoking dystopian thriller imagines a world in which lying is the ultimate crime.Laszlo Ratesic works as a Speculator, a law enforcement official whose purpose is to identify liars and bring them to justice The worst punishment of all is being exiled from this society they call the Golden State and into the unknown world beyond.When Laszlo and his new partner are assigned to investigate an ostensibly open and shut case of a construction worker falling to his death, they become entangled in a web of subterfuge Laszlo is desperate to uncover the truth, and in doing so finds it increasingly difficult to determine what that actually means.This is definitely a page turner, with the added bonus of Winters being a good writer His world building is especially intriguing, with lots of thought and consideration going into the rules that shape the Golden State Placing epistemology at the center of it all makes for a thoughtful read, especially in our current era of alternative facts and post truth conspiracy theories.Unfortunately, the plot starts falling apart toward the end, not quite living up to its ultimate potential But if you re there for the journey than the destination, it s certainly fun to go along for the ride flag 10 likesLike see review Nov 01, 2018 Jessica Woodbury rated it really liked it Shelves arc, crime mystery, speculative Winters is making a career out of the speculative murder mystery, which is fine by me, as someone who loves both genres The world of GOLDEN STATE is one of those dystopias that feels almost like the present, an alternate universe that is sometimes uncannily like the world we know, and yet is built on a vastly different premise It also takes place in actual Los Angeles, including some real life landmarks and locations This a high concept speculative universe, where lying is the worst crime a Winters is making a career out of the speculative murder mystery, which is fine by me, as someone who loves both genres The world of GOLDEN STATE is one of those dystopias that feels almost like the present, an alternate universe that is sometimes uncannily like the world we know, and yet is built on a vastly different premise It also takes place in actual Los Angeles, including some real life landmarks and locations This a high concept speculative universe, where lying is the worst crime a person can commit A good high concept universe is one where a lot of the joy of the book lies in teasing out all the little details of the concept, and this book doesn t disappoint Imagine analyzing everything you and everyone else says, whether it s fact or opinion, whether it s a joke, whether there s context making it clear that something isn t meant to be a lie, etc If this sounds like kind of a bummer, I promise it isn t It adds to the sense of mystery and unease, though it does appeal in particular to readers who love the intricacies of language and social cues.Lazlo is an unusual type of law enforcement officer, one whose job is solely related to telling falsehoods He does this through a second sense of sorts, a physical, visceral reaction to lies that only some people have It s kind of similar to THE INTUITIONIST in some ways, as this never gets explained, but this is the kind of book with minimal explanation for the world, just enough to help you exist in it The mystery at the center was full of twists and turns that also help you dig into the world itself I wasn t fully satisfied by the ending, although I m not sure how the book could have created such a thing When you re set in a dystopian world, it s hard to find the kind of resolution that a normal mystery gives you because at the end of it all, it s still a dystopian worlds I think Winters has a decent approach to the end, it just feels like a bit too much too quickly I also found the solution to the mystery to be the kind that s so complex that if you think about it too long it starts to come apart at the seams, though the basics of it were quite good A really unique read that should appeal to fans of both mysteries and dystopias flag 11 likesLike see review Matt Great review Jessica I m reading this right now I m about a quarter of the way through it and can t nail down how I feel about it yet Jan 26, 2019 02 40PM Jan 30, 2019 Mandy rated it really liked it Not a book I would have ever picked up but when BOTM had it I snatched it.This is a novel about a world where truth is all that is known and if something is an untruth you can be severely punished The Golden State is just that a state of honesty and knowing you live where the truth is concrete but is it Laszlo, a member of the Speculative Service comes across a death one morning with his new junior associate and the he delves into what happened to this man the harrier it becomes Is Not a book I would have ever picked up but when BOTM had it I snatched it.This is a novel about a world where truth is all that is known and if something is an untruth you can be severely punished The Golden State is just that a state of honesty and knowing you live where the truth is concrete but is it Laszlo, a member of the Speculative Service comes across a death one morning with his new junior associate and the he delves into what happened to this man the harrier it becomes Is there truth Or are lies being covered up to look like the truth Is the truth being bent to cover for someone If you do something terrible you re exiled and once there who knows what can happen to you Laszlo doesn t want to find out but he needs to know why this man, this roofer has died and if it was an accident or a murder When he finds out his life takes a turn he never expected.Would recommend flag 7 likesLike see review Jan 09, 2019 Kate rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves favourites read in 2019, out in 2019 and read I m a big fan of Ben H Winters novels and so was very keen to read it A fascinating concept a dystopian future society in which lies are punishable with years of imprisonment or exile into whatever it is that lies outside the confines of Golden State An enjoyable twisty thriller with an intriguing and unusual central figure one of the few people allowed to Speculate I got a little lost with the actual case under investigation but everything around it really appealed to me, especially th I m a big fan of Ben H Winters novels and so was very keen to read it A fascinating concept a dystopian future society in which lies are punishable with years of imprisonment or exile into whatever it is that lies outside the confines of Golden State An enjoyable twisty thriller with an intriguing and unusual central figure one of the few people allowed to Speculate I got a little lost with the actual case under investigation but everything around it really appealed to me, especially the way in which it all ends Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights flag 5 likesLike see review Dec 30, 2018 Kathy rated it it was amazing Shelves adult, december 2018 My kind of book Couldn t put it down Reminded me of The Thursday Next series with some 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and the movie Inception flag 5 likesLike see review Oct 25, 2018 Wendy rated it really liked it review of another edition The Californian coast grumbles and stretches before settling down once Yet the truth is now the only bedrock on which the Golden State rests, and preserving that one commandment is everything Illustrious landmarks are consigned to the minds of readers, as the characters residing in this new prophetic reality find that history has been forgotten in favour of relentlessly capturing the activity of every citizen 24 7, for their own protection, and that of the State Everyone self censors The Californian coast grumbles and stretches before settling down once Yet the truth is now the only bedrock on which the Golden State rests, and preserving that one commandment is everything Illustrious landmarks are consigned to the minds of readers, as the characters residing in this new prophetic reality find that history has been forgotten in favour of relentlessly capturing the activity of every citizen 24 7, for their own protection, and that of the State Everyone self censors their speech and carefully considers the implications of any statement they make Their intentions are frequently qualified to avoid being accused of the worst crime imaginable failing to tell the truth This leads to some farcical conversation exchanges that are brilliantly maddening while reinforcing the gravity of the law.And the law is diligently enforced to ensure there are no exceptions No get out of jail card free Do not pass go Mr Lazlo Ratesic makes a huge and memorable impression as an investigator in this alternate world, not only because of his imposing physical appearance, but he is the equivalent of a human lie detector He has permission to speculate when things don t quite add up, everyone else mustn t stray from knowable facts even their greetings are affirmations of facts Mr Ratestic s commitment, his conscience, and even his occasional offensive bark took me on a colossally impressive journey, although it did arrive at rather a sketchy stop Even so, this didn t spoil my overall enjoyment It just felt a little abrupt, is all.The Golden State is a sobering read with an authoritative and convincing voice It pools striking theories that challenge the beliefs of the characters, tears out their hearts, and has them second guessing what they truly consider to be Objectively So I received a digital copy of this title from the published via NetGalley, which I voluntarily chose to read and review flag 4 likesLike see review Jan 01, 2019 Jessica rated it liked it Shelves fiction, edelweiss I have no idea how to feel about this book I liked it, mostly, but I got to the end with questions than I started with I gotta stew on it for a bit flag 4 likesLike see review Jan 18, 2019 Sarah rated it it was ok Shelves book of the month, dystopia apocalypse Man, oh man There aren t many dystopian novels I don t like, but I m sad to say that I think this one falls into that little category The premise of Golden State was intriguing a future world in which lies of any kind are criminal, punishable by exile The foundation of the Golden State is based on the documentation and consistent reiteration of Truth or, as Winters phrased it, the Objectively So Everything all encounters, all incidents, all of time itself is tediously and diligently c Man, oh man There aren t many dystopian novels I don t like, but I m sad to say that I think this one falls into that little category The premise of Golden State was intriguing a future world in which lies of any kind are criminal, punishable by exile The foundation of the Golden State is based on the documentation and consistent reiteration of Truth or, as Winters phrased it, the Objectively So Everything all encounters, all incidents, all of time itself is tediously and diligently captured, recorded, and stored in the name of preserving a society safe in the arms of indisputable fact But from the very beginning, it all just felt too over the top And it stayed that way until the very end when one particular plot twist blew so far past the top I felt myself cringe a little bit at the eye rolling absurdity Part of what I love so much about good dystopian novels is that disconcerting feeling that this could actually happen That if we were to take the terrible things we re doing as human creatures and draw them out, unimpeded, to their logical conclusion, we d very likely wind up in the dystopia being depicted Almost like getting a sneak peak or a warning, maybe of our own bleak and miserable future Golden State missed this completely The lack of subtly and coherent nuance drew me out of the story over and over again And it all wrapped up in such a ludicrous, disappointing ending I just personally can t get on board with this one, as much as I wanted to flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 24, 2019 Basic Bs Guide rated it really liked it Wow I m in a bit of a head fog right now I absolutely adore dystopia for the speculation it has on our future What would it feel like to know everything with certainty For no grey areas to exist To never have to fight over who was right because you could just pull up video or a journal to verify what was said and when Wide eyes I think my husband would finally understand that I am ALWAYS RIGHT.It never ceases to amaze me how clever an author is when they can come up with a unique plot a Wow I m in a bit of a head fog right now I absolutely adore dystopia for the speculation it has on our future What would it feel like to know everything with certainty For no grey areas to exist To never have to fight over who was right because you could just pull up video or a journal to verify what was said and when Wide eyes I think my husband would finally understand that I am ALWAYS RIGHT.It never ceases to amaze me how clever an author is when they can come up with a unique plot and cast of characters that gauges my interest all the way through Golden State did not disappoint in this regard I was fully invested in the story, the characters and then that ending Hmmm well let s just say it left me confused It seemed to veer off course quickly and that left me a little disappointed.Am I glad I picked this one as my BOTM You betcha Lazlo was a great protagonist I loved the dry humor in this one too Let me know if you pick this one up so we can chat about all the craziness of what could be if we always had to tell the truth.3.75 stars Thanks, Jamie, for knocking this one out with me I would have been sad to see another BOTM book sit and collect dust on my bookshelves flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 31, 2019 Bridget Jack Jeffries rated it did not like it Shelves botm club, science fiction fantasy I can t even with the terribleness that was this book This is what really bad 1984 Fahrenheit 451 fan fiction looks like This book was a hot mess, the Lindsay Lohan of sci fi books The Golden State is about a dystopian society, established somewhere in California, centered around belief in the Objectively So This society is dependent on members of the Speculative Service, a police like force whose members have a sixth sense for detecting lies That they actually have this power is demonstr I can t even with the terribleness that was this book This is what really bad 1984 Fahrenheit 451 fan fiction looks like This book was a hot mess, the Lindsay Lohan of sci fi books The Golden State is about a dystopian society, established somewhere in California, centered around belief in the Objectively So This society is dependent on members of the Speculative Service, a police like force whose members have a sixth sense for detecting lies That they actually have this power is demonstrated fairly early in the novel, when SS member Laszlo Ratesic is eating breakfast in a crowded, noisy diner and is able to sense a fairly innocuous series of lies that a young man is telling his mother all the way across the diner The penalty for lying is steep the young man is told he ll serve 7 8 years in prison for his crimes This isn t the only power that SS members have They supposedly have the ability to speculate, i e mystically determine different possibilities given known facts They are supposed to use this power selectively, since it amounts to constructing lies in an effort to smoke out the truth The Golden State has other ways of keeping tabs on reality Captures cameras are everywhere People are required to keep day books and exchange receipts with each other when they interact And certain portions of reality can be reconstructed given other existing facts Sounds really cool, right Trust me, it s not Let s start with Laszlo himself, who s such a dislikable protagonist that I frequently found myself wanting to stuff his pinhole into his mouth He s smarmy, overbearing, arrogant, and an all around jackass Sure, he softens by the end, when he realizes what a jackass he s been, but there s no payoff for the audience since we knew that from the start Then there s the Speculator powers world building, which makes absolutely zero sense by the end of the novel The actual process of speculating is clear as mud, so there s that Then the plot involves numerous characters telling huge whoppers of lies, and while I realize that some truths can be oblique, these figures are lying in ways that can only be objectively so I mean, that depends on what your definition of is is level lies Yet their lies go undetected by Laszlo s powers and he even absorbs some of them into his own reality Other characters are able to fake captures yet how they can do this is never explained Most parts of the world building are just confusing and hard to understand And then there is the ending, which is infuriating The main character pretty much just walks away from the entire plot, leaving the Golden State to feud with its clandestine insurgents Little is explained or resolved And don t tell me that it s because there s going to be another book and this is just 1 of a series That s a cop out for poor writing It s okay to leave some things unresolved for a first book in a series, but not pretty much the whole damn book There still has to be some kind of payoff to make the audience want to continue the second book in the series, and there isn t here This was my January 2019 Book of the Month Club selection, and it s only the 3rd book in my lifetime that I ve given 1 star to This book was Objectively So Terrible Book of the Month Club, you have failed this city flag 3 likesLike see review Andrew What an outstanding review Beautifully put Thank you for sharing Feb 01, 2019 07 35AM Jan 30, 2019 Susan Hampson rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley This novel really gave me the shudders because it seemed that it could all become too real Don t get me wrong I aren t a compulsive liar just think that everyone at times twists the truth, mostly not to hurt someone s feelings but imagine if not telling the truth was a serious crime The thought of having to keep a diary that has to be confirmed by other people who were with me just tells me how extreme the law is Big brother is definitely watching.You would think that as no one tells lies tha This novel really gave me the shudders because it seemed that it could all become too real Don t get me wrong I aren t a compulsive liar just think that everyone at times twists the truth, mostly not to hurt someone s feelings but imagine if not telling the truth was a serious crime The thought of having to keep a diary that has to be confirmed by other people who were with me just tells me how extreme the law is Big brother is definitely watching.You would think that as no one tells lies that a police force wouldn t be needed but unfortunately the human race haven t grown that much The story centres round Laz, a law enforcement officer with a real talent of sensing when someone is telling a lie When a guy falls off a building the case shatters all he has believed in.This is a crazy story that just played with my mind in so many ways Set in the Golden State, formerly California the time is now and there isn t a past, everything before has gone so no one knows why this all came about Laz is still mourning the death of his brother, a man who had the same talent as he has, that was also an Officer like him Laz is set on a course that could destroy him if he is so determined to find the real truth A brilliant character.You could say that this story has been done over and over in the past but really give this a read Somethings don t ever change, power, money and greed mean than life, especially if it is someone else s It is shockingly good.I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e copy of this book which I have honestly reviewed flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 17, 2019 Dana rated it really liked it A thought provoking dystopian novel set in a future California where lies are dealt with extreme measures lengthy jail sentences and even exile Laszlo Ratesic, a veteran Speculator whose job is to uncover the truth with his ability to sense the atmospheric change of a lie, is given a trainee at the start of this novel Still dealing with the loss of his brother, Laszlo grudgingly takes on the trainee and responds to what at first appears to be a standard murder However, the real truth begins A thought provoking dystopian novel set in a future California where lies are dealt with extreme measures lengthy jail sentences and even exile Laszlo Ratesic, a veteran Speculator whose job is to uncover the truth with his ability to sense the atmospheric change of a lie, is given a trainee at the start of this novel Still dealing with the loss of his brother, Laszlo grudgingly takes on the trainee and responds to what at first appears to be a standard murder However, the real truth begins to unravel, and Laszlo and his partner must distinguish between the lies and the untold truths I really enjoyed this book I was reminded of Orwell s 1984 and the world of the Thunderhead in Neal Shusterman s Arc of a Scythe series in that the people of Golden State are under constant surveillance and have to record every conversation, event, and observation, which must be signed by a witness to verify the truth of the situation Very thought provoking, even if I did get lost a bit at the end flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 17, 2019 Angela rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves dystopian apocalyptic, ebooks, first reads, netgalley, read 2019 Perhaps I ve read too many dystopian novels scrap that, you can never read too many dystopian novels , but this take on my favourite genre fell completely flat for me It starts off promising A totalitarian state where lying and untrue facts are monitored by Speculators The world building is decent and reminiscent of Orwell and Huxley However, the characters are rather two dimensional and there is next to zero suspense This book would have worked better if it had stayed as a murder myster Perhaps I ve read too many dystopian novels scrap that, you can never read too many dystopian novels , but this take on my favourite genre fell completely flat for me It starts off promising A totalitarian state where lying and untrue facts are monitored by Speculators The world building is decent and reminiscent of Orwell and Huxley However, the characters are rather two dimensional and there is next to zero suspense This book would have worked better if it had stayed as a murder mystery set in a world where lying is outlawed, but instead it turns into some crazy subterfuge and hair brained plot with an ending that makes little sense and seems rushed in its detail It s like the author has a point system about what entails a dystopian novel and has been systematically ticking off as he goes along.This started off decent and I was enjoying it, but then it became and absurd that my interest dropped quite quickly A good book to read if you re just starting out in this genre, but if you re a hardcore fan of dystopian like I am, then probably not a title to rush out for An advance reader copy was kindly given to me by the publishers via Netgalley flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 14, 2019 Hells rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2019 Golden State is a dystopian novel where the only thing that matters is the truth and the recording of reality I have mixed feelings about this novel There is a lot to like, especially the extensive world building that created a complex and detailed society The writing is good and the format interesting The characters are well drawn and I love the speech patterns they used However, the book feels very repetitive and drawn out as the plot really isn t meaty enough for the world.I finished the Golden State is a dystopian novel where the only thing that matters is the truth and the recording of reality I have mixed feelings about this novel There is a lot to like, especially the extensive world building that created a complex and detailed society The writing is good and the format interesting The characters are well drawn and I love the speech patterns they used However, the book feels very repetitive and drawn out as the plot really isn t meaty enough for the world.I finished the novel feeling confused and unsatisfied It s hard to get behind the main character when you want him to fail I also wanted those he was fighting against to fail I wanted the world s backstory, I wanted some kind of resolution Or explanation I think I missed the point somewhere because the ending made no sense to me at all And I read it twice.Although lacking in some areas a good idea, great language and an interesting world makes it worth a read flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 28, 2019 Martha Steele rated it really liked it The truth What is it, exactly In the current political environment, this book resonated than usual I have lamented many times recently about how often people spout complete untruths and are held up as virtuous Creating your own truth is normal and I find it incomprehensible How far is too far when in the pursuit of truth, facts and the verifiable reality Constant surveillance, and a state where lying is actually punishable by jail time or exile I loved the first portion of the book m The truth What is it, exactly In the current political environment, this book resonated than usual I have lamented many times recently about how often people spout complete untruths and are held up as virtuous Creating your own truth is normal and I find it incomprehensible How far is too far when in the pursuit of truth, facts and the verifiable reality Constant surveillance, and a state where lying is actually punishable by jail time or exile I loved the first portion of the book than I can say, but was a bit disappointed in the ending I can t really put my finger on why though flag 2 likesLike see review Oct 14, 2018 drowningmermaid rated it really liked it Shelves read in 2018, sci fi Huh Wow.Okay, so I got an ARC of this, and I almost didn t read it because I realized it was written by Ben Winters I d read The Last Policeman by Winters, and meh A fairly pedantic mystery with an interesting but underdeveloped sci fi setting.But the premise for Golden State sounded like something that could be either awesome, or a Trumpian screed, and would quickly reveal which it was, so I gave it a try I was immediately impressed by the world and the characters and their relationsh Huh Wow.Okay, so I got an ARC of this, and I almost didn t read it because I realized it was written by Ben Winters I d read The Last Policeman by Winters, and meh A fairly pedantic mystery with an interesting but underdeveloped sci fi setting.But the premise for Golden State sounded like something that could be either awesome, or a Trumpian screed, and would quickly reveal which it was, so I gave it a try I was immediately impressed by the world and the characters and their relationships Pros It actually turned out to be neither a Our Red Blooded Hero vs the Libtard Califcucks, nor a celebration of all things California blue The questions it raises are, yes, about truth but also about surveillance.Ratesic was a much, much better character than The Last Policeman He has a real humanity while he does his job The loss of his brother, and the loss of his marriage are believable and consistent And his nonsexual, yay relationship with his partner is endearing And, yeah, I get that he s a kind of GUY NOIR PRIVATE EYE but he s a really good rendition of Guy Noir.And his job is kind of amazing In a world with a surreal amount of bureaucratic bloat, where everything is surveilled from the spiders on the walls to the type and quality of dumps to the ramblings of homeless people, not to mention who is screwing who, where the concept of privacy is an alien and taboo, and fiction is worse than hard drugs, Ratesic has the job of finding the truth He can investigate, he can ask questions, he is one of the few who is allowed to guess, to imagine possible realities He is blessed by nature and by the state with the Agatha like gift of being able to discern lies easily, at a glance view spoiler OR DOES HE hide spoiler And also the setting has so much that is wonderful about it Somehow, weed is totes okay in this world without fiction and Everyone Smokes Weed People greet each other with obvious and scientifically verifiable facts, that they take perfectly seriously and yet don t, quite Fiction is hard drugs It s a poisoned paradise where if you slip on the sidewalk it will become part of a video clip show broadcast on every television in lieu of fiction programming.Cons I don t think the psychology of a world without fiction, or lies of any kind, is fully explored In my experience, people without fiction in their lives don t become reliant on verifiable truth, rather they become grandiose, lacking in empathy, convinced that the world itself is a story about them.The ending I really don t know how to feel about it I loved how a lot of things wrapped up beautifully, view spoiler from the truck, to the radio clue I didn t even mind who shows up again at the end, although it felt a little bit like a booby prize And I get that in a dystopia, you either have the option of having your main character Fight and Triumph, or Fight and Die against the Evil Dystopia or simply bug out and ride off into the sunset And since Golden State isn t exactly a dystopia, the latter ending sorta fits I guess But it still felt like it failed to keep with the theme of TRUTH And what horrible thing is happening to the Golden State I think I know, but I m not sure, quite The reveals in the predictable villain s monologue came at you too fast to really grasp or believe, and there s a fundamental absurdity to the idea that this many martyrs are willing to sacrifice themselves on the altar of falsehood, and it s even laughable to have every single thing that you were told to believe at the beginning turn out to be a fallacy It s a concept that could have been explored further and made into a spectacular kind of metafiction, hide spoiler but as it was I wasn t convinced Winters knew what he was doing with the absurdity.So I get that this one is, ultimately, also a fairly pedantic mystery with an interesting sci fi setting that I would love to see fleshed out even BUT the surface that it scratches is fantastic, and the questions that it raises, effortlessly, are profound.What is the nature of truth Does a life under constant surveillance necessitate a life without fiction Without play When is truth a tyranny I hope this book does well when it hits shelves, and will only surrender my ARC to someone who will read and review it flag 2 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Book of The Month Golden State 5 26 2 hours, 57 min ago Newest Literary F March GOLDEN STATE by BEN H WINTERS 2 15 Jan 27, 2019 09 56AM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed

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      Ben H. Winters Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Golden State book, this is one of the most wanted Ben H. Winters author readers around the world.

    359 thoughts on “Golden State”

    1. Ben H Winters writes a thrilling dystopian novel with a central mystery that puts the protagonist on a challenging road that questions everything he has ever believed in Golden State is a future version of California, a state where truth and objectivity is everything and to veer from this central tenet risks jail and exile There is no past, no history, no documents, only what is The concept of fiction no longer exists, and a novel is now understood to be a true history or truth, an interesti Ben [...]


    2. The BOTM picks are up This is not a drill.They are up and I chose this one This speculative fiction definitely sounds up my alley I have been craving stories like this lately.


    3. This was really good I d never heard of this author before but was granted an ARC of this book from Netgalley It is a commentary on truth is there such a thing as absolute truth Can it be determined through a society where everything is documented and recorded Does everyone live by the same rules or are some exempt How fear of the unknown can imprison us Excellent read


    4. It s not clear when it happened or what happened, but it was BIG Now nobody talks about it, in fact everything before has been erased there are no documents, there is no known history This new world, in the same place as the old world, has rules that preclude lots of things and knowledge of the past is one of them But the biggest sin is to lie, to lie about anything To disobey this edict can result in serious jail time The place is called the Golden State and it s what used to be Californ [...]


    5. I m the BIGGEST fan of The Last Policeman trilogy so to say I was excited to read Golden State would be a serious understatement.It didn t disappoint this is a hugely relevant speculative tale, but also a massively entertaining piece of fiction that had me banging through it in record time Laz is brilliant, so engaging, living in the shadow of his legendary brother, one of the few people tasked with keeping the record quite literally straight as he senses lies in the air around him.The world I m [...]


    6. Golden State is a prescient, devastating commentary on humanity s disintegrating attachment to reality and truth, expertly told through the prism of a police procedural, dystopian nightmare Winters has written a 1984 for the 21st century Not just a thrilling book, but an important one.


    7. This was a strange book that progressively got strange as I got closer to the end This is a dystopian novel about a futuristic California where there are police who detect lies, and lying causes you to go to prison or even worse, face execution I m not a huge fan of dystopians but this one sounded interesting, and it is very similar to Fahrenheit 451 as the description claims I was really invested in the beginning of this story, it s very thought provoking and it has a lot to say about This was [...]


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