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Vurt [Paperback]

Jeff Noon
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Dec 2001

Take a trip in a stranger's head. Along rainshot streets with the stash riders, a posse of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine . . . Vurt feathers . . . But as the Game Cat says, Be careful, be very careful. This ride is not for the weak . . .

Scribble isn't listening. He has to find his lost love. A journey towards the ultimate, perhaps even mythical, Vurt Feather . . . Curious Yellow.

'Passionate, distinctive, demanding and enthralling' The Times

'Too beautiful for bikers, too harsh for hippies' New Stateman and Society

'Bold and accomplished . . . It screams out to be read' City Life

'Refreshing, disturbing and original' Independent

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (7 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330338811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330338813
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 319,703 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.


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

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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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vurtual feathers 12 Aug 2007
Vurt is an odd beast. I found it hard to start with, but soon the world had sucked me in. In futuristic Manchester those looking for hallucinogenic experiences suck on feathers to enter virtual worlds, Vurts. Stash Riders, a bunch of miscellaneous losers, hunt for interesting feathers and try to find Desdemona, who got stuck in a bad Vurt.

Noon has cooked up a futuristic and surrealistic world. The language is colourful and takes some getting used to. The world isn't explained thoroughly; some readers will certainly find Vurt too strange a feather to swallow. However, if you can accept that the world doesn't always make sense, the story moves on with a good pace and the plot is interesting.

Vurt isn't the easiest and most accessible book, but it's worth the effort. If you like it, there's more: Noon has written several books set in the same vurtual world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars UK Cyberpunk with a mutated and other-worldy feel
One of the best-kept secrets in cyberpunk. I guess a bit TOO out there to have gone mainstream popular like Gibson but this guy really knows how to write and has such bold ideas... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Charles Stobert
5.0 out of 5 stars Ooh.. I loved this!
I bought this as a completely unknown try out of a book... I expected to love the other book I bought that day (it was a Will Self) and be interested in this... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sarah
1.0 out of 5 stars Drivel. Binned it after reading half way
Rare to find a book that so disappoints.

Standard yarn you've read a 100 times before: Boy on quest to rescue girl, meets companions on the way, has adventures and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tim
1.0 out of 5 stars I couldnt be bothered to read more than half - its that bad.
Standard yarn you've read a 100 times before: Boy on quest to rescue girl, meets companions on the way, has adventures and fights monsters both real and imagined. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tim
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 10 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 11 months ago by F.Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars Vurt
In a twisted future Manchester, Vurt is the gateway to shared alternate realities. Imbibed through a variety of colour-coded feathers, it's the drug everyone wants and needs. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Erin Britton
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 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 17 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 18 months ago by Frank.F.Forman
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