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Pollen [Paperback]

Jeff Noon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Dec 2001

The sweet death of Coyote, master taxi driver, was only the first. Soon people are sneezing and dying all over Manchester. Telekinetic cop Sybil Jones knows that, like Coyote, they died happy - but even a happy death can be a murder. As exotic blooms begin to flower all over the city, the pollen count is racing towards 2000 and Sybil is running out of time.

'As weird as it is wonderful . . . surprising in its subtlety and deftness of characterisation' The Times

'Great fun. Read it.' Mail on Sunday

'A genuinely new flavour . . . the first of the psychedelic cyberfantasists' Charles Shaar Murray, Time Out

'Jeff Noon's books are so good they should come with a government warning' Jockeyslut

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (7 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033033882X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330338820
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,563 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

Pollen is the sequel to Vurt (winner of the 1994 Arthur C. Clarke award), and both are concerned with a world in which dreams, drug-induced hallucination and reality become completely intermingled. In this volume, the dream world unleashes a pollen that threatens to cause people in the real world to sneeze to death.

But no review can do Noon's writing justice: it's a phantasmagoric combination of the more imaginative science fiction masters, such as Phillip K. Dick, genres such as cyberpunk and pulp fiction, and drug culture.


This innovative volume offers a much needed update on urban politics in a globalized world. The path-breaking introduction by Davidson and Martin unpacks this complex domain by framing urban politics in three ways: occurring within the city, as a setting for other urban processes, and as a medium for contestation and resolution.  Within each section the contributors trouble these categories and demonstrate how the reach of urban politics exceeds the city through technological, social, cultural and political economy avenues of transition and mobility. Drawing upon Ranciere’s distinction between policing and politics as a fruitful avenue for identifying politics that promote social change rather than enforce social norms, Davidson and Martin, as well as contributors, chart new territory and produce thought-provoking research that move the field in a more critical direction.


(Setha M. Low 2013-09-01)

'A critical analysis of power and politics is essential to an understanding of contemporary urbanism. Informative and challenging, clear and sophisticated, Urban Politics: Critical Approaches encourages readers to grapple with the great diversity of analytical lenses that frame urban political research through detailed, engaging case studies. It provides an introduction to cutting-edge research that will be valued both by those new to the field and those intent on keeping up with its current debates.'



(Eugene McCann 2013-09-01) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blurred Reality 12 Aug 2005
If there is one thing I love about Jeff Noon novels it is his ability to take two things from opposing ends of a spectrum and mix them together. Humanity meets animal, organic alongside machine, traditional detective thriller meets fantasy, everyday mundane normality twisted into the dreamlike future. Pollen highlights this blurred reality to great effect, almost as if viewed through the eyes of a bleary hayfever sufferer.
As with most of Noons Vurtual universe, Pollen is set in the near future of Manchester, initially starting out as a bit of a detective romp, following the bizarre hayfever like deaths that build up through the novel. Once again there is a fantastic sense of pace to the book that sees you tumbling through the pages to devour 'just one more chapter' as the countdown to the big sneeze ticks on down. As you progress further throughout the book, the grim reality of the Manchester that it is set in becomes more and more separated from reality as our group of main characters head towards the big showdown in the fantasy domain of John Barleyman.
I love the fact that the Vurtual books can all be linked together, Noon has created a Manchester with a unique identity. Unified through dreams, Alice In Wonderland and the Looking Glass Wars, the mysterious lubricant company Vaz. Everything has a purpose and a history that one book may hint at and another may unfold. Take Vurts central theme of the mysterious dream feathers and how Automated Alice twisted take on Alice In Wonderland gives the history as to where the dreaming originates from.
This is one for underground culture to lap up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Vurt fights back 31 Jan 2006
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Following the huge success of his debut novel ‘Vurt’, it came as no surprise that Jeff Noon’s second novel would turn out to be a sequel. Fortunately, instead of a cynical ‘more of the same’ book, ‘Pollen’ is the very best type of sequel, where the novel takes the under-explored ideas from ‘Vurt’ and develops them further. In the first novel the vurt is introduced as a shared dreamscape filled with bizarre fantasy, and in this novel the inhabitants of this imaginary landscape start to invade reality itself. The background for the virtual reality dreaming of the vurt itself was always skirted over in Noon’s debut novel, but ‘Pollen’ pulls off the tricky task of giving the reader more information while preserving the dreamy fantasy feel. Another good example of the books development of ideas is in the explanation as to the background of the Shadow-creatures – characters completely unexplained in ‘Vurt’, but here given a startling origin concerning the mating of the living and the dead under the influence of a hyper-fertility drug gone mad. Filled with fantastic imagery and evocative writing, ‘Pollen’ is a sequel that matches the brilliance of its predecessor. Highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent read, but not the hottest Noon 4 July 2001
Make no mistake, 'Pollen' showcases Noon's unsurpassed talent in twisting reality and language until you lose the ability to understand your own. The plot is interesting and ideas are thrown at you so fast that it'll take an hour for your head to wind down. But, and you knew there was a 'but' coming, it's not the best example of Noon's distinct work.
I didn't just step off the 'Vurt' bus and climb aboard 'Pollen' expecting the same mad genius. I've read the rest of Noon's stuff too and I've come to the conclusion that this is probably his weakest novel. The story is a little messy and the characters failed to draw me in. It IS a good read, but not an extraordinary one, particularly when you place it in context to the rest of his catalogue. For a follow up to 'Vurt', I believe 'Nymphomation' is a far more interesting in its relations, and if you want Noon to take you somewhere slightly different, try the excellent 'Needle in the Groove'. In summary, read 'Pollen' (and enjoy it) if you're a fan, but if you're not then don't expect it to convert you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unreal 28 Nov 2004
Even though this book stands alone it is helpful to have read Vurt which will get you used to Noon's unique writing style and also the slightly queasy world he writes about. It also helps to share Noon's fondness of Manchester. I love the fact that the city seems to be the only constant as reality and dreams mingle.
The vivid characters such as Boda, a cabbie with an all over tattoo of the streets of Manchester, and her dalmation boyfriend, Coyote find themselves fighting against the Vurt, dreams that want to take over reality. The strands of the story come together linking the Shadowcop Sybil and the prirate DJ Gumbo with Boda and Coyote as they try to get into the Vurt and stop the invasion of Persephone and her murderous flowers: there aren't many writers that could make flowers terrifying.
The only critism I have is that towards the end the story gets very confusing and I had to retrace my steps several times to understand what was going on. But I still enjoyed it, not least because some of the weird and slightly disgusting stuff from Vurt is explained.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Why haven't you read this yet?
I read this ages ago (in paperback) and have recently re-read it now on the Kindle. I do like Jeff Noon's work and think Pollen is probably one of the best (even better than Vurt... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JohnE
5.0 out of 5 stars another present
My son loves Jeff Noon books and was missing this one - he loves it and no doubt I shall borrow it at some point
Published 7 months ago by Janita Morrell
4.0 out of 5 stars messed up X-rated episode of Dr Who
It's been a while since I read Vurt, Jeff Noon's first novel of Manchester set 'cyberpunk' but, even with my memory, I can guarantee that Pollen is far more messed up than its... Read more
Published on 13 July 2006 by deadmanjones
1.0 out of 5 stars total drivel
I bought this book based on the blurb on the back as it sounded intriguing. What the blurb doesn't tell you is how completely inane the characters and plot are. Read more
Published on 21 July 2004 by A Runner
5.0 out of 5 stars Godlike
Pollen is, in my opinion, the best book ever written. Noon turns the fictional wonderdrug vurt from a cradle for those who can't handle reality into a reality. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Pollen what an ambiguous title. It may sound like a gardening book but in reality it is a portal to anouther world where dreams can be a reality and nothing is what it seems.
Published on 16 Feb 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars And on with the dream...
Definitely one for Noon lovers amongst us, but I'd certainly recommend reading this one after Vurt. Not because you need to, simply because of the way the author plays with the... Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird but compulsive.
This novel is certainly somewhat odd. While I agree with the previous reviewer that towards the end things become severely tangent I think this has the effect of drawing you... Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Vurt
This book begins well but declines badly later on, becoming simply too detached from reality, and verges on the unreadable towards the end.
Published on 13 Feb 1999
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