A man is about to kill a cow. He discusses life and death and his right to kill with the compliant animal. He begins to suspect he may be about to commit murder. But kills anyway …
It began when the animal rights movement injected domestic animals with artificial intelligences in a bid to have the status of animals realigned by the international court of human rights. But what is an animal that can talk? Where does its intelligence end at its machine intelligence begin? And where might its soul reside?
As we place more and more pressure on the natural world and become more and more divorced Adam Roberts’ new novel posits a world where nature can talk back, and can question us and our beliefs.
Roberts is an award winning author at the peak of his powers and each new novel charts an exciting new direction while maintaining a uniformly high level of literary achievement.
Graham is an irascible, reluctant, foul-mouthed throwback to an earlier era of fiction - and Roberts' best character yet. Bête is ferocious, powerful and Roberts' best yet.
The greatest science fiction novels take into account the changes on the people affected by the advances in technology, and Bête ranks with the best of them. What could have been just quirky and satirical - it is both - becomes so much more through intelligent writing that takes the reader through a whole range of emotions.Bête is a wonderful book that, once begun, insists on being read in one sitting; darkly comic, it's a deeply thoughtful, moving and uplifting story from a master of the genre.
The ever-clever Adam Roberts has conjured up another cracker in his latest...a witty and super-intelligent dark comedy
The Daily Mail
There's an Orwellian folsky feel to this narrative more Animal Farm than 1984. Twisted in are fragments of The Golden Bough, snippets of Greek myth, of Oedipus and the Sphinx,pop culture, low culture, classic and personal myth, making this novel where Roberts the professor and ARRR Roberts (his comedy persona) meet
" Roberts... comment[s] on humanity's collective relationship with the biosphere, sometimes through his minor characters - "Animals have feelings and thoughts - it's just that only now have they been able to bring them out"... "Nature it's not nice, it was never nice. Niceness is what we humans built to insulate ourselves from - all that"... At times Bete takes on some of the characteristics of the postdisaster stories associated with British SF of the fifties and early sixties... Bete is good stuff"
Roberts tackles issues of cruelty, morality, human identity and interference in nature with confidence and wry wit
The Big Issue
seamlessly blends a fate-of-a-country climax with passages of prosaic beauty, resulting in a truly thought-provoking read
Roberts' prose is intricate and rich in scientific language and explanation, but it's also dryly funny and on-the-nose when it wants to be, making this book about so much more than a quirky sci-fi concept.
Robert's fascinating, discursive riff on ANIMAL FARM features a grubby, self-lacerating protagonist and lashings of wry humour
The Financial Times
Bête is a wonderful piece of social commentary and my favourite novel of Roberts for years. It's thought provoking, it has laughs in it and will impact your outlook on life a bit.
Upcoming 4 Me
Bête is quite simply stunning. Roberts rivals the most elequent of writers, his prose is poetic and yet satirical and serious all at the same time. With each book he grows and Bête is the pinnacle of his work so far. It's one of those books that everyone will wish they had written and anyone will love reading.
Adam Roberts is an award-winning author at the peak of his powers and each new novel charts an exciting new direction while maintaining a uniformly high level of literary achievement.
This electrifying new book by Adam Roberts takes just such an idea and elevates it to truly nightmarish proportions. An idea that in its own way could change the reader's perceptions of the actual relationship between man and beast we think we know, perhaps in such a way that cannot then be undone by putting this book on the recently read pile.
Forbidden Planet International
Bête is as smart and as satisfying and as challenging as anything any of the Adam Robertses have written. I wouldn't hesitate to recommended it-just promise me you'll keep it from the prying eyes of any interested pets.