Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best of SF?, 9 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Space Merchants (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I am not usually a reader of science fiction, but I was persuaded to read this book because it was described as one of the best of its kind. The story is set in the far future where large advertising agencies dominate society, including governments, and the rest of the population (the `consumers') have their needs `invented' and then catered for by a elite group who work for the agencies. Mitch Courtney is a copywriter and member of the Board of one of the two biggest agencies. He is given the task of heading a new project to colonise Venus, with the aim of turning it into a gigantic consumer-driven economy, and at the same time to provide raw materials for Earth. Along the way, a rival executive, Runstead, who also wanted to head the project, kidnaps him. Mitch is shipped off to South America as an indentured labourer. There he meets consies; members of an environmental resistance group, and sees how actual consumers live. He manages to get posted back to New York and makes contact with Kathy, a doctor he had hoped to marry, although she has dropped him. There follow a series of adventures (including attempts to kill him by a rival agency who want to take over the Venus project) involving various characters, some of whom, including Kathy, and even Runstead, turn out to be dedicated consies. Gradually he `sees the light' and realizes the harm the agencies have done. It ends with him fleeing from arrest, and re-united with Kathy, they board a space ship to start a new colony on Venus with a couple of hundred other concies, whose places on the ship have been organised by Runstead.

Readers of SF obviously have to take a lot of things on trust. For example, we are not told how Mitch got from the glacier where he was mugged to a ship en route for South America. Neither are we told how the idealistic consies are expected to survive on Venus and re-create their Garden of Eden. Leaving that aside, the story (remarkably relevant today, given that it was written fifty years ago) is not bad, although with a predictable ending, and the writing is acceptable. But if this is really the best of SF novels, I am rather disappointed. It is not something to stretch your imagination, but something to read on a long journey.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Sep 2013 19:04:41 BDT
Yes , thanks for revealing the whole story in your review. How very thoughtful of you

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2013 20:52:38 BDT
I am pleased to have been of help.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Brian R. Martin
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 499