- Also check our best rated Children’s Book reviews
Odd John (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 8 Mar 2012
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
The book that gave the world the term Homo superior.
From the Back Cover
Introduction by Adam Roberts
John Wainwright is a freak, a human mutation with an extraordinary intelligence which is both awesome and frightening to behold. Ordinary humans are mere playthings to him. And Odd John has a plan - to create a new order on Earth, a new supernormal species. But the world is not ready for such a change . . .
Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950)
Educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and Liverpool University, Olaf Stapledon worked for a shipping office in Liverpool and Port Said before returning to lecture at Liverpool University. His books included the SF classics Last and First Men and Star Maker.
'Stapledon is the great classical example . . . the ultimate SF writer' Brian Aldiss
'Olaf Stapledon was one of the most creative thinkers of our time' Greg Bear
978 0 575 07224 4
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
John Wainwright doesn't look like a superhero. He has bulging eyes, a big brow and the features of a foetus. People who look at him are both repulsed and fascinated. He uses his looks as a test of character, other people's character that is. He is beyond testing.
John Wainwright doesn't act like a superhero. He kills a policeman among others. He has affairs with both genders and with his own mother (probably). He bullies others to learn about them and himself, like a scientist conducting experiments with rats. He isn't weighed down with an overwhelming sense of responsibility because of his great gifts. His most usual response is to laugh.
John Wainwright doesn't think like a superhero. He is a maths prodigy, an inventor, he uses his brain. He philosophises; he cares about 'spirituality'. He does not care about homo sapiens, either to rule or destroy us. He is 'homo superior' and only cares about his own kind.
John Wainwright doesn't have powers like a superhero. Oh yes, there's the telepathy, the telekinesis, and assorted psi abilities. But before all this, he has total control over his own psychological and physiological responses. He reads books like other kids drink milkshakes. He can learn a foreign language in two weeks. He composes music that no-one else can appreciate...Read more ›
What makes Stapledon unique is not the subject matter, but the way he deals with it. The story is told through the eyes of the narrator, an adult human, who is a friend of the Wainwrights. The narrator describes John Wainwright, i.e. Odd John, as a child and through his development growing up and the events that take place. Stapledon's works always have a strong philosophical approach to them, and "Odd John" is no different. He doesn't attempt to show the world through John's eyes, but rather the reaction of a "normal" human to a super-human, and the reaction of humanity to the realization that homo-superiors exist.
Stapledon looks at moral and ethical issues of the interaction between the two species. Man kills animals often enough, so if homo-superior considers homo-sapiens animals, would they have any ethical problem with killing them? Would homo-sapiens have any problem defending their existence by murdering off the homo-superiors before they become too strong? There are a couple aspects missing from the philosophical discussions which occur between the narrator and John, and those are the ideas of sentience and intelligence.Read more ›
I am working my way through the SF Masterworks collection and this is up there with the best of them.
Well written and imaginative. Cleverly thought out.
Leaves lots for the reader to fill in.
Enjoyed this thoroughly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This may be an old book now but it hasn't dated and is quite superb. A genius writer.Published 17 months ago by P. Hughes
I do not understand people writing it is a masterpiece. Unless Olaf Stapledon was 12y old when he wrote it.Published 17 months ago by Serge Berthier
Well written and an interesting story to boot. This predates the X men and yet it features homo Superior! Read morePublished on 17 May 2014 by Blue Card
Although the style is a little dated now, this is one of those seminal works which have influenced so many other authors and stories that it is worthwhile reading the original.Published on 19 May 2013 by Amazon Customer