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Nymphomation Hardcover – 2 Oct 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (2 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385408129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385408127
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 15.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Noon was born in Manchester in 1957. He was trained in the visual arts, and was musically active on the punk scene before starting to write plays for the theatre. His first novel, Vurt, was published in 1993 and went on to win the Arthur C. Clarke Award. His other books include Pollen, Automated Alice, Nymphomation, Pixel Juice, Needle in the Groove, Cobralingus, Falling Out Of Cars and most recently Channel Sk1n. His plays include Woundings, The Modernists and Dead Code.

For more info either visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Noon
or Jeff's website www.metamorphiction.com.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Imagine living in a city where the lottery has become the most important thing in everyone's life. Imagine that the lottery is based on dominoes, which only form their winning or losing combination as the Friday night draw is made. Imagine that people will kill to obtain winning dominoes. Imagine adverts exhorting you to play the lottery as they fly around in the air. Now set all that in Manchester in 1999.

Nymphomation presents an alternate reality in which Manchester has become a test bed for the new game and its sinister undertones. The story is driven by characters recognisable as real people--students, street dwellers, musicians, waiters. They get caught up in what becomes for some of them a fight to the death to defeat the controlling power of the lottery and its head, Mr Million.

Noon writes with an accomplished mix of wit and darkness, and manages to invent a whole dictionary of new words along the way. Whoompy burgers sponsor the police and control the Net, blurbflies carry the adverts around the streets and the nymphomania itself tries to control but has to be controlled. The upshot is an imaginative and disturbing horror/cyberpunk/science fiction mix with plenty of harsh reality and social comment thrown in. --Sandra Vogel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The air of Manchester is alive with blurbvurts, automated advertisements chanting their slogans. But the loudest of all is for Domino Bones, the new lottery game. Every Friday night the winning numbers are illuminated on the body of Lady Luck, the voluptuous figurehead of the game. For the winner, it is unimaginable riches, for the losers another week to wait for the bones to fall again. But there is only one real winner, The Company, which plays the city's fragile expectations with callous ease.

A group of mathematics students are looking at the mind-numbing probabilities involved and searching for the hidden mysteries behind the game. But what they find are more sinister realities: The Company has developed the nymphomation, and has the power to devour the city's dreams... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Nymphomation is not (in my opinion) the best of Noon's books. That honour is reserved for Vurt, a book for which five stars can never be enough. If you want to make complete sense of Nymphomation, you should really read Vurt, Pollen and Automated Alice first (and if you do the poignant surprise at the end of the book will blow you away). Then again, you can read this one on it's own and it wil still make a brilliant entertaining read. This world just isn't big enough to encompass the contents of Jeff Noon's mind, but thankfully he has created one that is. I guarantee you'll fall in love with at least one character and pine for them, and you'll find yourself wishing you were one of the others. Read it, then read it again and again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Breakfast on 2 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Jeff Noon is not a cyberpunk author. People often expect his fiction to be something close to Stephenson or Gibson, but his brand of science fiction is about dreams and music, rather than algorithms and implants. Like the other books of his I have read this is a sharp, darkly allegorical story taking sex and mathematics, the ultimate lottery and the socially excluded and throwing them together into a maze with endlessly shifting walls. It connects with his other work set in the world of the Vurt, filling in a few more spaces in the mystery of how that world works, and how it got that way. I would recommend reading Vurt and Pollen first, but this book is more than strong enough to stand alone.
Don't read this book if you want hard, gadget-heavy sci-fi, read it if you want something innovative and different from anything by any other writer you should give this serious thought.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane Aland VINE VOICE on 26 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
Jeff Noon's 4th novel `Nymphomation' is also the authors 4th (and at the time of writing final) book in the series he began with `Vurt'. As such readers unfamiliar with Noon's previous work will find this a mindbending but perhaps slightly frustrating tale of a Manchester based domino lottery, and the insane mathematical ideas behind it that lead to a transformed country. As ever with Noon's work the book is filled with mind-bending SF concepts (Black Maths, Burgercops, Blurbflies) and delicious use of language, though I suspect readers of Noon's previous works will find this much more satisfying, as the book goes into detail about how the world of Vurt was first created, and also nails down the exact relationship of Automated Alice to the Vurt series. As such I would recommend the novice either read Noon's brilliant Vurt series in publication order (`Vurt', `Pollen', `Automated Alice', `Nymphomation') or chronological story order (`Automated Alice', `Nymphomation', `Vurt', `Pollen') but, fantastic as this is, it's probably not the best place for anybody to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "mbutcher23" on 20 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
So, what's with Noon. For those of you in the dark (as I was not that long ago) Jeff Noon wrote "Vurt", a truely cyberpunk fantasy set in Manchester. The sequel "Pollen" followed soon after and then came "Nymphomation", which a prequel to the other two.
I read Nyphomation first - and loved it. It's not as dark as the other 2 as the fall of Manchester hasn't quite happened yet, so it's set about 10 years into the future tech wise.
Take home point is that it works. Purists will say read them in order of publication. I say it doesn't matter. Yeah, it's fun reading about what happened before what you've already read, but, as I read through Vurt and Pollen I found myself noticing the plot a lot more than I would have done had I not read Nymphomation first.
Technicality of reading order aside, it is a great book, worthy of a place on anyone's shelf. However, it is not Gibson... in fact, it's not Cyberpunk as anyone knows it. Noon isn't so much redefining the genre as looking at it through beer goggles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
A brilliant ride through the pre-Vurt world. Jeff Noon continues to regress through time, going back to the origins of items and themes seen commonplace in his previous novels, 'Vurt' and 'Pollen'. The technical details can sometimes drag a bit, bu the sheer imagination and verve in the novel wins out easily. Just the way each chapter starts, gradually corrupting the slogans and prose into a psychadelic whirlpool of viciousness, is enough to make me read it again and again. If you're not already a Noon fan then you'd be best off starting with Vurt as otherwise you may not 'get' a lot of the points, but for Noon afficionados this is as good as it gets!
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Format: Paperback
See, here's the problem I have with Jeff Noon. Vurt and Falling Out of Cars are two of the best science fiction novels I've ever read. They changed my view of the contemporary novel and provided me ample fuel for critical study at university.

But Nymphomation somehow doesn't match up. The bursts of purple prose, whilst entertaining in places, lack the raw energy of his two masterpieces. There's much of Vurt's style and panache here, but it feels overdone, half-baked and inconsistent. Sometimes, after a writer has had particular success with a certain type of novel, he begins suffers from a lack of objectivity and, occasionally, a lack of originality. It's too easy to become safe and write the kind of fiction we're comfortable with. That's the real flaw with Nymphomation.

I feel that Noon should have pushed himself further. The promise of nymphomation (information which is reproductive, hybridising, sincretic and promiscuous) could go much wider. I almost expected the house at the end to be a place of constantly bifurcating realities. I anticipated a place where characters encountered multiple versions of themselves and wandered through different versions of the past. I expected books with constantly changing and mutating stories, and DNA strands spiralling into chaos.

Instead we got a poorly conceived maths lesson with yet *more* Lewis Carroll allusion. In Falling Out of Cars and Vurt, the allusions were fine. In this, I really felt Noon should read more. There are many things more appropriate at this juncture in his writing career. The Book of Sand is an obvious one. The Master & Margarita is another one. Even these would be better than another Alice allusion.

The idea, though, as always, was great.
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