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Vurt [Paperback]

Jeff Noon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Jan 1996 Vurt (Book 1)

This 20th Anniversary Edition features a foreword by Lauren Beukes and three fantastic new short stories, all set in the extraordinary world of Vurt...

Take a trip in a stranger's head. Travel rain-shot streets with a gang of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine. Yet Vurt feathers are not for the weak. As the mysterious Game Cat says, ‘Be careful, be very careful’. But Scribble isn't listening. He has to find his lost love. His journey is a mission to find Curious Yellow, the ultimate, perhaps even mythical Vurt feather. As the most powerful narcotic of all, Scribble must be prepared to leave his current reality behind.

Vurt was an SF novel that was really fresh and peculiar’ William Gibson, ‘Transgressive. It got under your skin like Cronenberg, or like Poppy Brite’ Chuck Wendig, ‘Vurt is a gripping piece of speculative fiction’ Guardian

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Griffin (15 Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312141440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312141448
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,160,185 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
or Jeff's website

Product Description

Amazon Review

If you like literary science fiction, then Jeff Noon is the author for you. Vurt, winner of the 1994 Arthur C. Clarke award, is a cyberpunk novel with a difference, a rollicking, dark, yet humorous examination of a future in which the boundaries between reality and virtual reality are as tenuous as the brush of a feather. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Vurt was an SF novel that was really fresh and peculiar at a time when we were constantly being told that lots of SF novels were really fresh and peculiar, but they often weren’t' William Gibson

‘An intense, blistering story about the price of knowledge, full of dreaminess and borderlands and razor blades… I know what Vurt did to me when I first read it and how that influence lingers in the source code of everything I write' Lauren Beukes

‘These books, the best books, discover the essential human notes of their times, and they ring so strongly down the decades that we remember them still' Warren Ellis

Vurt was a better Philip K. Dick novel than most of Dick’s own books. Like Neuromancer, Vurt felt utterly of its time and a little ahead of it, like early mash-up singles' Richard Kadrey

‘It was subversive, transgressive. It got under your skin like Cronenberg, or like Poppy Brite. But you don’t need to know more. You just need to look at my wide eyes as I hand you the book. You just need to take the book. “You just have to read it"' Chuck Wendig

Vurt is a gripping piece of speculative fiction . . . It deserves to be far more famous' Guardian

‘A startling first novel. It’s a hard-edged book with moments of pure poetry. It’s refreshing, disturbing and original' Independent

‘Passionate, distinctive, demanding and enthralling' The Times

‘The streetwise cynicism of Kurt Vonnegut at his best . . . Too beautiful for bikers, too harsh for hippies' New Statesman & Society --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future (remixed) 8 Oct 2003
The first of Noon's books. Take a trip into the twisted world of future Manchester, a world where everything we know around us has just warped that little bit more as time has progressed. People taking trips using brightly coloured feathers, the police force sponsored by the worldwide burger chain, DJs projecting music via their mind into nightclubs, the mix of humanity and technology. Some where in the middle of all this you are introduced to the plight of Scribble and his friends, on a quest to find his sister after a trip into a feather known as Curious Yellow goes wrong.
Jeff Noon manages to conjure up a world familar yet warped just beyond our recognition, his writing style is unique, taking life as we know it and projecting just a little into the future. I've never read a book which has such amazing pace to it. As you read further and further it just gets more exciting with every page as you find yourself staying up until the early hours to find out what happens next as Vurtual Manchester draws you in. As vivid as a comic book, you'll never experience anything like this. Those well versed in club culture and technology will find this book a particular joy. The future vision of Gibson mixed with the fantasy of Alice In Wonderland.
Read this, then read everything else he has done, no weak links in his chain.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the darkest joy rides you'll ever take! 31 May 2001
Noon draws a thin line between hope and despair then grabs you by the hand and runs along it at break neck speed. Vurt is the ultimate trip, a world where you can go to escape but somewhere you may never escape from. Noon has created his own virtual reality in this book, based in Manchester the story revolves around a handful of strong dead-beat anti-heroes. Vurt itself is a world of dreams you enter using vurt feathers, the parallels between virtual reality and drug use are so close they often merge at points to become vurtually indistinguishable.
Scribble the main character is searching for his sister, who has become lost in the vurt world. Helped and hindered by his friends the stash riders, a group of social misfits who jump from one bad trip to the next. To reach his sister he needs to find a meta-feather, curious yellow. Once he has the feather he can exchange his sister for the vurt alien he bought back from the trip where he lost her. Unfortunately in his quest for the feather he loses the alien and that's just the start of his problems!
This is one of the most beautifully crafted stories you are likely to read, to label it as a cyber-punk novel is accurate but this must not deter you if Sci-Fi is not your thing. As a fast paced surreal adventure the story often leaves you breathless, and sometimes so close to tears it hurts. If your looking for a great Sci-Fi book or something fresh and different read this, you won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRULY UNMISSABLE, RIDE THE STASH... 17 Sep 2000
By A Customer
I'd heard about this book from friends. I saw the play at The Contact Theatre, Manchester. This awsome production, the "Theatre Reximx", scripted by Noon himself was truly inspiring and was the last straw in getting me to read the book.
The book is truly unputdownable and explores drugs, rave culture, loyalty, science fiction, fantasy, sexuality and political control on a head rushing ride of a story that questions the boundaries of reality.
Read the book, ride in the stash van, avoid the robocops.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reply to mr_cushtie 3 Sep 2003
By A Customer
The complaints about the childishness of the opening sequence coming from someone who only read the opening are understandable. The book is, at its heart, about Scribble's belated maturing into adulthood. The language used to describe the world reflects the language of his childhood, which we soon discover he's only attempting to relive, since his Vurt addiction has stolen it from him, along with his sister.
That the reviewer is unable to cope with the idea of a flawed narrator speaks more of him than of this book, although his reference to 'The Matrix' as the best work on this theme makes me suspect he's trolling. In which case, IHBT IHL HAND.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vurtual Reality 15 Dec 2005
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Jeff Noon’s debut novel is a startling mix of science fiction and fantasy, essentially taking the tropes of cyberpunk SF and transforming them into something far stranger. Central of these is vurt itself – where Noon turns the standard hi-tech virtual reality of cyberpunk fiction into a ‘vurt’-ual reality (geddit?) of shared dreaming accessed by the oral intake of various coloured feathers – but Noon’s near-future Manchester is just as bizarre, peopled by robots, shadows, and man/dog hybrids. The storyline follows the adventures of narrator Scribble, as he desperately tries to win back his sister/lover from the vurt, and in the process learns it’s ultimate secret. A fantastic debut, full of lyrical prose, dreamlike imagery and a heart-rending emotional core, Vurt is like Neuromancer as written by Lewis Carroll. Essential for SF fans looking for something out of the ordinary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed me 20 Oct 2008
I read this book many years ago and it still sticks with me to this day. I really do mean it when I say that this book changed me... I am not sure if it changed me for better or worse, but it sure did something.

You will feel asif you are in a dream and by the time you flip the last page you will have gone through a mind ****.

This is what Jeff Noon intended to do and he sure did his job. You travel through dark streets, dream worlds, horror flicks, and find a few friends who are as real as any book writer could create. You will also find yourself strangely drawn to hating some of these people and at the same time wanting to know more about them.

This is Alice in wonderland with no rules. If you want a glimer of what this is like look at it like this:

Alice is screwing her brother, her best friend is making love to a dog who is human like. And while all this is going on the Cat is writing a guide on the best drugs and which ones to take and which not to take.... But Alice being a bad girl takes a bad one and gets screwed up.

This book is truly sick and twisted! You will never find a book like this again... Before reading this book write a diary... Cos you will want to look back at how you was before opening up the pages to this whole new world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking read
Loved this book from start to finish. It's not hard to get engrossed in, although it's not one of those easy to read, flick through type books, you do have to concentrate when... Read more
Published 4 months ago by orange_bubble
5.0 out of 5 stars Lunacy.
This book is disturbing, enthralling and always keeps you off balance. Noon deliberately tantalises your imagination into activity with incomplete descriptions and sometimes,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by F.Waters
4.0 out of 5 stars Cyberpunk Proto-Matrix Trainspotting
I don't read many novels where the narrative is this disjointed, so I was a little befuddled when I started this one. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Snecko
5.0 out of 5 stars cyber-punk classic set in Manchester
If you like cyber punk then this is a great read. Written in Manchester in the early 90s, and set there in a distopian future where everybody is hooked on a drug which sends you in... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Penney Percival
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is A Book
This is a book. It enables me to have a social barrier that helps me look cool and block unpleasant stares. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Frank.F.Forman
5.0 out of 5 stars Double wow!
A must read book! I bought this second hand for next to nothing, Thank you Amazon!!! for the email alert, I would never have known. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Diana McAlister
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is what sci-fi s supposed to be about, wildly original thought from an oblique angle... bloody marvellous! Like Stephenson at his best, and Gaiman at his most inventive.
Published 18 months ago by Kitsune
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most vivid and inventive novels I have ever read...
This is a vividly described, fast moving world, where feathers give access to a world that functions as both an exciting plot device and a metaphor for drugs. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Culture Vulture
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing
This is an outstanding first novel by Jeff Noon not available to buy in bookshops as no longer in print. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by P. GILL
2.0 out of 5 stars I hate to say it but......
Nauseating is probably the best way to describe this book, the more I read the less I enjoyed. For me the language used just ruined the book, that and the freaky parts of the... Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by Richard Hodgson
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