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5.0 out of 5 stars A non-put-downable book
Once you start you just can't put the book down. It flows well, has a great story and it sucks you in. This would make such a good film. Makes me want to explore more from this author.
Published 17 months ago by JohnS

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but flawed
I found this book to be interesting and boring at the same time. The author is rehashing old concepts of gender and class oppression, without bringing anything new to the table. Her point that a culture will always find an "other" to oppress is thought-provoking, but depressing.
In addtion, there are too many contrived plot devices, such as a character...
Published on 2 Dec 1998


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but flawed, 2 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
I found this book to be interesting and boring at the same time. The author is rehashing old concepts of gender and class oppression, without bringing anything new to the table. Her point that a culture will always find an "other" to oppress is thought-provoking, but depressing.
In addtion, there are too many contrived plot devices, such as a character "overhearing" pertinant information that moves the story along.
I found the explicit sex and torture to be too much. Gratuitous without any art. This book left me with detailed images that I didn't want in my head, and as the famous poet Rob Brezsny said: "Images are dangerous".
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5.0 out of 5 stars A non-put-downable book, 3 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Halfway Human (Kindle Edition)
Once you start you just can't put the book down. It flows well, has a great story and it sucks you in. This would make such a good film. Makes me want to explore more from this author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rich development of two alternative societies, 7 Jun 2012
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K. Fearnley (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Halfway Human (Kindle Edition)
I confess that I was initially put off a little by the cover of this, but was soon drawn in. The story is well written and flows through well, developing a view of one society whilst providing an insight into another - each quite credible in terms of their premise.
The central character is perhaps a little under-developed, but does provide a warm and engaging main viewpoint. The alternative narrator (Tedla) is well drawn and provides enough of a hint at being an unreliable narrator to add interest.
Anyway, in summary I enjoyed it - it reminded my somewhat of Ursula Le Guin in style and subject, so if you enjoyed her then I'd recommend this. It's societal science fiction rather than space opera and it's worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb novel on every level, 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
I could hardly put the book down. Beautifully written, heartbreakingly realized, wonderfully characterized. Social science fiction at its best and most sophisticated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, very thought provoking!, 24 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book, the characters were well developed, and I could not put it down. Being a double minority myself (African American Women), I thought the author did an excellent job of showing a different face of prejudice.
This is an excellent book and I look forward to hearing more from this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, thoughtful and frightening., 18 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
This was a compelingly disturbing novel. Carolyn Ives Gillman has created a work of art. A socialogical look at another culture, that brings to mind all that we are most ashamed of in our own. I was instantly attached to the androgenous Tedla and was more than willing the laugh and cry and stay up till four a.m. getting to know it better. A must read for any one who wants to strech their brain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Touching rumination on gender and love, 11 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
Although the conclusions regarding what it is to be human (redemptive suffering, unqualified love, ability to choose) are trite, getting there is an interesting process. The observations on class and gender aren't new but the context (a sexless class of laborers) provides a thought-provoking backdrop for Gilman's musings. It was a great vacation book--a compelling read,thoughtful, and perfectly enjoyable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read that leaves you disturbed at the concepts., 14 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
I liked this book. It's reminiscent of Huxley's "Brave New World". Similar in concept. In Huxley's world, they alter the fetus producing dim witted, manageable humans for cheap labor. In "Halfway Human", Gilman sets it up where lack of intervention will produce the same results. If you are like me and and think that slavery and the manipulation of people to that purpose is abhorrent, you'll find this book interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sci fi book on gender role and power issues, 6 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was a fascinating study of societal roles, including those of gender and minority issues. I found the juxtaposition of the character Tesla, a "bland" trained by society to serve others as an asexual servant, with a visiting intellectual studying the role of blands, both interesting and sad. As Tesla's interaction with others continued to show that she was intelligent, insightful and resourceful, the book was able to portray her growth as a character. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever wondered why some of us feel "halfway human" and believes one can achieve despite negative life circumstances.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Alien seeks refuge from info-industrial complex., 4 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Halfway Human (Mass Market Paperback)
Poor Tedla. A "bland" it may be, but it's story is a rich broth of xeno-ethnology and perfectly non-Freudian psychology. All those well-meaning people telling it that it's 'problem' can be fixed. Why? It doesn't have a problem.
But, it's advisors all seem to have problems and they all find Tedla to be the genetalia rasa to work them out on.
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Halfway Human
Halfway Human by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Mass Market Paperback - Feb 1998)
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