Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stand on Zanzibar - totally worth the effort.
This has to be one of the all time classics of the sci-fi genre, and has certainly earned its place in the Masterworks collection, though it is perhaps not as well known as other classics like The War of The Worlds or The Chrysalids. There is a reason for this of course, Stand On Zanzibar is not an 'easy' book. It's very easy to read the first few pages and give up - in...
Published on 16 Oct. 2002 by Miss R J Smith

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better? Than?
The thing with fortune tellers, is that people tend to remember the things they get right and forget what they get wrong. So it is with this book. Brunner certainly gets very near the mark with many of his predictions but is very wide of the mark with others.

However, don't read this book as a work of prediction. Take it for what it is - a story which is set...
Published on 30 Aug. 2007 by Sir Barnabas


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 22 Jan. 2014
By 
George P. Salter "nemes_ie" (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book has dated considerably since its release in late 60s/early 70s. However, much of the sociopolitical commentary is spot on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Top Stuff., 19 May 2000
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
Big with lots of big ideas. It manages to strike an excellent balance between the darkness and light of humanity. That is: the light is there but in the end... Some may find the dated details off-putting but if you try it's really rewarding.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars How 1968 saw 2010, 20 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
Amazingly prophetic novel in its predictions of technology, but its complex style needs concentration to remain interested. I gave up part way through but may pick it up again at sometime just to see what else was predicted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best example of a future dystopia!!, 19 Feb. 2006
By 
A. Morley (Ripley, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
Stand on Zanzibar is a must-read for anyone who considers themselves knowledgeable and interested in published science fiction. Over 650 pages, John Brunner has created a masterpiece which through its unique style delivers a quite dangerous and relevant message. I am proud that I have read this and I am proud it sits on my bookshelf.
What makes the book so different is its meandering between a straight, plot-driven novel and snippets of ‘articles’ of either news events or a sociologist’s book on contemporary society. We have big, corporate-driven advertising; snippets of random crimes being planned and committed; and even a few glossaries describing this future dystopia. What this means is that whilst it can be quite confusing sometimes (especially the whole chapters of random paragraphs of random people’s conversations) I felt slightly more interested in these non-novel parts than the actual story. This is certainly true of the first half which is more about setting the scene leaving the second half to deal with a more dynamic and exciting plot.
There are also quite large political undertones running throughout the book. Brunner is thoroughly anti-war and anti-colonialism but presents this in such a humourous and subtle way that it never becomes preachy or manipulative. Certainly he has an affliction for Africa as there are so many references to it but he never overflows into full-blown “I-am-sorry-for-what-my-country-did-in-the-past-and-what-we-did-to-you-and-your-country” mode. It was a measured and rewarding way of putting across his point.
Much has been made of his future predictions. I don’t think that this matters at all as it’s a story not some Club of Rome doomsday book. He does get things like the overpopulation of the developed world massively wrong but I think if people were to read this in 100 years it would be more life-like yet still readable. I did however enjoy the super-computer Shalmaneser owned by a mega-corporation that is so powerful it can run an entire country. Again Brunner might be off in his predictions but it was 1969 after all.
The book features quite a few minor characters but they feel fully fleshed out and distinctive because Brunner makes them so interesting. It could get quite tricky sometimes though, when you return to one of these people after 300 pages and by the time you’ve realized who they are their chapter is over (the book does have very short chapters). It is quite tough sometimes to read but if you get through it and understand it you realise that this is a gem of a book that deserves much more recognition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece, 28 Dec. 2009
By 
Mr. Stephen Parkin (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
What more can one say about this novel? Science Fiction at it's finest and not to be missed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, challenging and surprisingly timely., 20 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
John Brunner's speculation matches our world today in some surprising ways, and is quaintly dissimilar in others. The stylistic approach is challenging and extraordinary - something of an achievement for both the author and those who read it.
The story and characters are interesting but by themselves occupy only a fraction of the attention as the setting and the undercurrents of philosophy and ethical inquiry are every bit as fascinating.
Stand is a big book, with big ideas and great relevancy.
If you have no stomach for thinking about race, age, education, power, economics, conflict, justice and responsibility then avoid Stand - they're all here, viscerally and in the abstract.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but still a great story, 24 Oct. 2003
By 
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
Im not a big fan of SF from the 50s and 60s, generally because I find it a bit to "worthy" and full of its own importance (that said the Dune series is one of my favourites!). I was given this book by my Dad who says its one of his favourites so I had a go. One of the most interesting things I found was to compare the predictions made in the book with what is atcually happening in the world today. Genetic Engineering, super computers, all powerfull corporations. We've got it all. The stuff that is missing like mobile phones and AIDS just added to the interest. I loved the ending. Ironic with a touch of despair.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious now, but in the 60's this was taken seriously., 12 Sept. 2010
By 
J. Stephens (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
This book is worth reading for anyone interested in the attitudes and expectations of the late 1960s.

It is not the easiest read, not least because it is full of cloyingly 'hip' sixties' jargon and attempts by the author to make up new words so as the reader knows he is in "the future" (like 'codder' and 'shiggy' for man and woman/girlfriend). These neologisms very quickly become wearying and stale and sadly serve to date the book irrecoverably to the 1960s.

A full work at over 500 pages, it is competently written with some wonderfully descriptive passages, but is more concerned with painting a word-picture of a dystopian future than it is in telling a coherent, plot-led story. So, whilst it is diverting at times with it's bleak outlook of a compromised future, there is no real sense of narrative flow and direction.

The work is best known as a prediction of the dystopian future of 2010. I see some other reviewers here are marvelling at the exactitude of Brunner's novel, but you notice how weak and paltry their examples of its prophetic powers actually are. The fact of it is that this novel - and let's not pussyfoot around this - is laughable in its predictive powers. New York is not under a dome, and is in far better shape than it was when the story was written. Wealthy businessman are not reduced to sharing a small flat just to find somewhere to live - in fact, the vast majority of people don't have to share their dwelling. Food is not in short supply. Et cetera, et cetera.

In short, then, worth reading as an insight into the preoccupations of a bygone time, but as a novel, mediocre, and as a prophetic piece of work, risible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the hype... sadly, 6 Sept. 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stand On Zanzibar (Paperback)
I bought and read this based on all the hype on the amazon site. One of the 50 best SF books etc (blah blah). Man, is it dated. It is rooted in the 60s. Which makes it interesting from that POV, perhaps. It's a long book, which I found to be something of a slog. So much of it didn't ring true, and the impression mostly was that the author had a very big axe to grind. I'm glad I've read it but I wouldn't read it again, nor would I recommend it to anyone. Sorry, m8s!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Stand On Zanzibar
Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner (Paperback - 12 Aug. 1999)
£7.73
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews