Customer Review

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious now, but in the 60's this was taken seriously., 12 Sep 2010
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

[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
 

Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 May 2013 08:11:21 BDT
M. Kaldezar says:
Your review is typical of someone who vehemently denies "climate change" and the problems we have with our food chain , over population etc......horse meat anyone? Apart from that a well written review

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2013 13:35:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jul 2013 16:30:33 BDT
SF writers don't predict the future (ACC aside), they suggest possible futures based on extrapolations from current trends. When SoZ was written, people - even politicians - took the environment and over-population seriously (Richard Nixon, of all people, set up a raft of environmental legislation in the US, for example). This was the era of "Silent Spring" and the Club of Rome report. It also was just before the impact of the green revolution, developed by Norman Borlaug and others, transformed agricultural production. However, these problems didn't go away, and are now very pertinent.
As for the writing. Well, form is temporary, but class is permanent - SoZ is class - a brilliantly structured way of looking a complex, fragile, world. It is of its time, of course. Maybe the original reviewer should read the "Dangerous Visions" anthologies for some context?
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (29 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
£8.99
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,833,812