200 Words or Less

200 Words or Less: Bioshock Rapture by John Shirley


Welcome to 200 Words or Less, a weekly Friday feature here on The Tattooed Book Geek where I will bring to you reviews/thoughts of 200 words or less from the books I read before I started blogging. We all have them, books that we read and loved or even read and hated before we decided to start blogging and what better way than a quick fire review of 200 words or less to share your thoughts on them.

My Choice:


It’s the end of World War II. FDR’s New Deal has redefined American politics. Taxes are at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has brought a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business has many watching their backs. America’s sense of freedom is diminishing . . . and many are desperate to take that freedom back.

Among them is a great dreamer, an immigrant who pulled himself from the depths of poverty to become one of the wealthiest and admired men in the world. That man is Andrew Ryan, and he believed that great men and women deserve better. And so he set out to create the impossible, a utopia free from government, censorship, and moral restrictions on science–where what you give is what you get. He created Rapture—the shining city below the sea.

But as we all know, this utopia suffered a great tragedy. This is the story of how it all came to be . . .and how it all ended.

Bioshock Rapture by John Shirley.

Bioshock is one of my favourite computer games, a great setting, story, characters and the audio diaries found within chronicling Rapture’s demise are some of the best writing you will find in gaming, non-gamers please don’t scoff, Ryan, Fontaine, Lamb and Tenenbaum are amazing characters and the audio diaries would grace any book. 

Bioshock Rapture, is a prequel taking us up to the demise of Rapture.

Rapture is an under water city built by Andrew Ryan in the wake of WW II as a paradise, away from the greed, corruption and war of the world above. He’s an idealist, believing the world should be free from censorship, religion and government, Rapture is to be his utopia.

The book details how Rapture was built, how Ryan kept it a secret and the scientific discovery of ADAM and its usage in the creation of plasmids, causing genetic modification and mutation to Rapture’s population, helping the degradation and downfall of Rapture’s society. 

The book creates an incredible atmosphere. You don’t need to have played the games to enjoy this. Great characters, an interesting setting and a sociological/psychological aspect create a top read that makes you question society and the morality of people.

On a side note, this isn’t part of the 200 Words or Less bit of the post, just a random musing. I always wanted to see a Bioshock movie made, I really think that given the source material and in the right directorial hands that it could have been truly great. And for casting, I’d have loved to have seen Daniel Day Lewis chosen to play Andrew Ryan, an outstanding actor who I could easily picture taking on the role of Ryan. 

Quotes from Bioshock Rapture:

“No Gods Or Kings. Only Man.”

“If the modern world were a patient in my care… I would diagnose it suicidal.”

“A man must make of his life a ladder that he never ceases to climb — if you’re not rising, you are slipping down the rungs, my friend.”

“Okay; they’ve got to be kids—but why girls?” Fontaine asked. “People are even more protective about little girls.” Tenenbaum winced and turned back to the microscope, muttering, “For some reason girls take sea-slug implant better than boys.” Fontaine wondered what little boy they’d experimented on to determine that and what had become of him. But he didn’t really care. He didn’t. And in fact—there was one place that could supply children for all sorts of things. “So—just girls, eh? That’s okay; that’ll just be fewer bunks in the orphanage.”



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43 thoughts on “200 Words or Less: Bioshock Rapture by John Shirley

  1. Awesome post! I am not a Bioshock fan, however, I knew that Rapture was a good read thanks to my co worker. He actually read this book maybe a month ago and he was reading so of his favorite passages to me. Thank you for the insight and Happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not really, but I have to admit that I have never played the game soooo… I can’t really say that I;m not a fan. Just never had any interest. But, I do know about Big Daddy and the creepy girl lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Eeek! You chose it haha. I swear I just looked at this book while I was contemplating whether I would have time to do this post. Love it! Bioshock is the best! I wish I had played on pc, but I played through on Xbox. Anything shooter or FP I do way better with a console controller 😉

    This story and your review are great. I read this in one sitting when I stumbled upon it at the B&N. I loved the history of Rapture. The game and story are beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol I think that’s the first Eeek! I’ve had in comments! I knew you’d approve of this book!😀😉

      I don’t do PC gaming and agree you definitely need a controller, the controller has triggers and guns have triggers, using imagination the controller triggers could be gun triggers in the game!😂

      True, the history of Rapture is great, awesome story and an amazing game, one of my favourite ever.😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I keep hoping they will expand on this, but alas.. I still have not played through BioShock Infinite. Too sick for FP games at the moment. I am still deciding or a 200 word review and if I can squeeze it in today. I love this idea so much!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bioshock Infinite is great, it’s awesome in places but……it’s not Rapture. For me Bioshock 1 and 2 even though lots of people didn’t like Bioshock 2 as it was too similar to Bioshock 1 but I found it awesome.

        Rapture was such an amazing setting, underwater, the architecture, the clostrophobia of the areas and the Big Daddy’s along with the characters and their audio diaries all made for an outstanding experience and while Infinite is great it’s not the same.

        It is a great idea isn’t the blogger that came up with it must be quality.😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Top quality haha 😉 I agree about BioShock two. I always get nervous with the Big Daddies haha. I do love the audio clips though. So much depth added to the story. I have Infinite here.. but sigh. Maybe one day!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yep, it’s always the same, be good and get better rewards but killing everything is always more fun!😀 It’s like those games that offer stealth sections, you could use stealth and sneak by, not killing anyone……or you could cause carnage and carnage always wins out!😂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I don’t know haha.. killing all of those Big Daddies to save the Little Sisters was no easy feat 😉 I need to play through your way though haha. I am watching him play the new Resient Evil tonight and I am actually really impressed! It looks like they have returned to some roots and done this proper! So good to see the series a worthy one again 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That too is sitting on one of my other shelves. You should go for it.

        Buy the Bioshock Collection, would you kindly?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Bioshock games! I’m also a fan of video game tie-in fiction, but for some reason I’d never been too interested to pick this one up. Probably because it hasn’t gotten enough attention, so thanks for covering it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The first one was a groundbreaking concept. Something new and unique in an age of sequels and series. In a way, Infinite was similar but, as you say, the first will always stand alone for its greatness.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Totally agree about the groundbreaking concept. For me the problem with Infinite was that at times it seemed very generic and it threw countless amounts of enemies after you in wave after wave and those sections spoilt it as Bioshock was never about killing hundreds of enemy grunts, it was about the story and a few enemies like the ominous Big Daddy’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a current video game player (I was excellent at Nintendo!) but I used to love watching my ex play Bioshock! It was so fun….I got to learn the story while he got to play the game. He also played this one that was scary: he was in a room with mannequins and every time he turned around and turned back,
    the mannequins were closer! It freaked me out. I can’t remember what it was called…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I had an original 8bit Nintendo system back in the day when I was a young boy.😂 The N64 is still probably my favourite ever console.

      Can’t think of the Mannequin game, sounds creepy. Bioshock had such an amazing story, the audio diaries were brilliant.😀


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