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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you thought today's world was crowded....
Imagine a world where human population explosion is not feared, but deemed to be highly desirable and wonderful. A world in which any and all sexual restrictions have been abolished, and faithfulness to one's husband or wife is deviant and abhorrent. A world in which most people live out their entire lives inside giant thousand-storey skyscrapers which cater for their...
Published on 27 Sept. 2010 by W. Robinson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Its an okay book but for me personally i would have rAther less descriptive sex and more plot. Plus i found myself skipping past pages i found boring which made no difference to where i could pick up from. Good idea though
Published 7 months ago by Nic


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you thought today's world was crowded...., 27 Sept. 2010
By 
W. Robinson "Big Bill Robinson" (Slough, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The World Inside (Paperback)
Imagine a world where human population explosion is not feared, but deemed to be highly desirable and wonderful. A world in which any and all sexual restrictions have been abolished, and faithfulness to one's husband or wife is deviant and abhorrent. A world in which most people live out their entire lives inside giant thousand-storey skyscrapers which cater for their every physical need. Such is the world of this fine SF novel.

Silverberg uses his fertile imagination to the full in this book, creating a world of the middle-distant future, where the human population of earth is 75 billion, and increasing rapidly. Vast "urban monads" stand starkly on the earth, each housing literally hundreds of thousands of people. No-one is permitted to leave. A family with only four "littles" (children) is strangely small - most families have eight, ten, twelve children. Vast tracts of land beneath the monads is given over to intensive agriculture, to feed the uncountable millions who live within the world inside....

It's a very original basis for an SF novel, and it works well. However, potential readers should be aware of Silverberg's propensity to write very frankly about sex! In fact, a mate of mine described this as not SF but SP - science porn! You have been warned.

That said, it is a great book. How do the people live their lives? What are their hopes and fears? Can they ever escape the monads and walk on the earth? You will have to read it to find out! The book is not too long, and I also love the ending, which I won't reveal here obviously.

Silverberg has written a huge amount of high-quality SF, of which this book is an example. Not quite a 5-star, but 4 is about right. If you like SF this is a good one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satirical, sexual, shocking science fiction., 8 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The World Inside (Paperback)
This will not be for everyone: the frankness and frequency of the portrayals of sex in this book make it the sort that one finds difficult to lend or recommend to friends. You, however, I don't know, so I can recommend it to you.

The Urban Monad is a strange and rather scary dystopia: Sexual promiscuity is not so much encouraged as enforced; procreation is the ultimate aim of a high-rise society that embraces the challenges of sustaining incredible population growth, entirely for its own sake! It sounds like (and to a certain extent it is) a rather grubby and adolescent exercise in sexual fantasy by an author who, apart from being a hugely prolific writer of thoughtful Sci-Fi, was also the pseudonymous peddler of vast quantities of erotic pulp. But, when the reader is acclimatised enough to the story to see past the smut, a transformation occurs. This book is somewhat of a stylistic departure for Silverberg as a novelist, but the multiple-short-story form doesn't stop him weaving in his usual themes of the struggle of the individual against outside control or their own destiny. We observe this bizarre society through the eyes of various citizens of the vertical city, and see that Silverberg is actually satirising human social mores, sexual politics and the behaviour of a species whose enduring economics is one of sex, food, shelter and status. That said, there is still a great deal here which is aimed purely at titillating Sci-fi's core audience of spotty hetero (or virginal, theoretically hetero) males, but hey, what's wrong with a little of that now and again?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tower blocks and free love, 24 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The World Inside (Kindle Edition)
Part of the joy of reading old science fiction is seeing how the author's own times intrude on their vision of the future. Written in the late 60s, Silverberg imagines an Earth of 75 billion, the vast majority living in 1000 storey concrete tower blocks, and so closely packed together all notions of privacy and marital fidelity banished. It's a dystopia that spends a lot of effort convinces the population they've never had things so good - any dissent(going 'flippo') is treated with 'moral engineering'(brainwashing), or summary execution.

The things it doesn't predict are as telling; the 'post-venereal world' would last another decade before HIV appeared, and massive central computers disappeared in the 80s(I used to work on a mainframe, that was scrapped in 1990). Nor is there any mention of environmental problems beyond population density.

Still, it's an enjoyable, if slow starting, read, with a growing menace, as the characters' lives fall apart in Urban Monad 116.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, 23 July 2014
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This review is from: The World Inside (Kindle Edition)
Its an okay book but for me personally i would have rAther less descriptive sex and more plot. Plus i found myself skipping past pages i found boring which made no difference to where i could pick up from. Good idea though
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