Skinner

  • by Charlie Huston
  • Narrated by Jay Snyder
  • 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Known by the name of the psychological experiment that fostered his emotionless brutality, Skinner founded his career in "asset protection" on fear. To touch anyone under Skinner's protection was to invite destruction. A savagely effective methodology, until Skinner's CIA handlers began to fear him as much as his enemies did and banished him to the hinterlands of the intelligence community.
Now, a cyber-terrorist attack on the US power grid is about to end that long exile. His asset is Jae, a roboticist with a gift for seeing the underlying systems violently shaping a new era of global guerrilla warfare.
At the root of is all is a young boy, the innocent seed of a plot grown in the slums of Mumbai. Brought to flower, that plot will tip the balance of world power in a perilous new direction.
A combination of Le Carre spycraft with Stephenson techno-philosophy from the novelist hailed by the Washington Post as "the voice of twenty-first century crime fiction," Skinner is Charlie Huston's masterpiece - a new kind of thriller for a new kind of world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Off beat psychological spy thriller

Huston's Skinner is an intriguing variation on the espionage thriller genre. The title character is so named because of have spent his early years as an experimental subject by his parents, in a box isolated from the rest of society (in the psych field, this is called a skinner box). Skinner is basically a highly intelligent, high functioning autistic sociopath who specializes in "asset protection" or basically a personal bodyguard for someone that is the target of others. In this case, Skinner protects a woman renowned for her "supercomputer-like" brain that can discern patterns and piece together the big picture particularly useful in intelligence / spy fields. The duo is on the trail of an apparent cyber attack on the US electrical grid that has led to several deaths.

The sci-fi elements are minimal with some loosely relevant small robots and nondescript computers and software. The timeframe is current. The story concerns the detective work piecing together all the disparate connections which leads to a totally unexpected plot twist at the end. The appeal of the tale is the interaction between the two main, but mostly asocial characters. The story is related in a nonstop series of staccato bursts both in terms of actions and dialogue that offers a glimpse into the minds of these two fascinating persons.

The narration is outstanding and mirrors the tenor of the author's intentions with a unique perspective into the thought processes of the individuals.
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- Michael G Kurilla

First audible book I have truly despised

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Better narrator, less monotone, creepy cyborg killer voice


Would you ever listen to anything by Charlie Huston again?

I love Charlie Huston's work. This story was awful, however.


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jay Snyder?

Any other human on the face of the earth (or Mars)


Any additional comments?

I want a refund. Not kidding.

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- Stephen S. Walker

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-09-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio