Bedlam Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Bedlam

Ross Baker loves computer games, but after being in an experiment he appears to be stuck inside one for real. Ross Baker is a scientist with a love of computer games who has just found out his girlfriend is pregnant, but cannot tell him. He is fed up and decides to help another scientist friend with an experiment with terrible consequences. He agrees to having a full brain scan carried out, but wakes up and appears to be caught up in an alternative reality that appears to be a computer game that he played as a teenager. After having apparently left the real world, he is now there on the set of a shoot-em up game called Starfire and has to explore the planet Graxis. He discovers that this planet is the scene of a bloody battle between American Marines and evil cyborgs, but things get even worse for him as he discovers that he has been turned into a cyborg complete with armor and wires.
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In order to survive he has to frantically remember all of the terrain, the shortcuts, and the cheats he used when playing it as a teenager in order to survive long enough to figure out how to get back to the real world. This is difficult as people called the Integrity are closing off bridges and he cannot die as he is just reborn, but getting to the bridges that are open simply transports him into another game. He ends up in Doom, Pacman, and GTA and with each one has to work out how to get out of there and how to stay alive while doing so.

Ross also has to work out why he is there in the first place, but he then makes the discovery that he is not the only person that has landed in the computer game and this way of never knowing who is real and who is a computer generated character makes it hard for him to kill anybody. That is why he then adopts the name Bedlam since that was his gaming name from a teenager in the hope that people will identify him rather than kill him. It is then up to him to get free before it is too late.
Best part of story, including ending: This story is an interesting read for anybody that loves computer games, and as a lover of them it felt like being hit by a wave of nostalgia throughout the book and being thrown back into those teenage years. The descriptions of the scenes are just perfect and you too feel as if you have been drawn into the game.

Best scene in story: If you loved Pacman, then you will love Ross being caught up in the game and trying to escape before being swallowed up just like the computer character. It is fast paced and you feel the tension right from the very beginning.

Opinion about the main character: Ross Baker is a character that you end up loving as you have to root for him to get out of the game. He appeals as you can see that he is trying to think logically about it all and it is this way of thinking that is the best part of his character.

The review of this Book prepared by Barry Gray a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Bedlam

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Repressive society story    -   Yes Repressive because:    -   has game where people are hunted Robots, Computers, VR    -   Yes Robot, PC, VR Plotlets:    -   virtual reality Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scientist Age:    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Planet surface, need spacesuit

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Bedlam

Christopher Brookmyre Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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