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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 June 2017
What a great story and well written if very dated. However the archaic relationships depicted between men and women depicted are a great reminder about attitudes in the past.
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on 22 September 2017
One of those books that certainly deserve the description of masterwork. Despite being over fifty years old the subjects that Aldiss coverers are still relevant today.
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on 1 September 1999
One man's search for meaning in a dysfunctional world... it's a common theme for Brian Aldiss to take up. This book, however, is perhaps a little more accessible than titles like Hothouse or Non-Stop, which also explore this theme. This is largely because Greybeard is set in the still recognisable world of Oxfordshire, England, albeit set in the near future in a world seemingly devoid of children. The novel has a very haunting and melancholic quality to it but ends on an inspired note. Recommended reading... and you don't have to be a fan of science fiction to enjoy this.
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on 1 July 2017
A trip down the Thames and a trip through time where excessive radiation caused by nuclear weapons being set off in the upper orbit has caused sterilisation to humanity and many land mammals. Children are no longer born, or are they? Greybeard, aka Algy Timberlane, is contemplative on this voyage of recollection and discovery. Whilst not quite the masterpiece that Non-Stop is, this is still one of the better sci-fi novels from Brian Aldiss.

Ray Smillie
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on 7 December 2013
Don't normally enjoy Science Fiction, but enjoyed this novel. I thought its use of the term "senile delinquents" was a wonderful alternative to the more normal "juvenile delinquents". I read the book because it is featured this month on BBC World Service Radio's excellent World Book Club, and I am looking forward to listening to Aldiss responding tomorrow to questions from both a studio and worldwide audience. (By the way, I can thoroughly recommend this programme, which has caused me to read all sorts of book I would not normally buy. Also, I am sure most of us have that empty feeling when finishing a book. So it is great to finish a book, knowing one still has this programme to look forward to). Finally, perhaps on a rather inward note given that my partner and I are "childfree", it would have been good if Aldiss could have touched on the advantages of a couple not having children - this is particularly apparent to me where I live in Africa - average 6 to 7 children per woman and a population doubling every 20 or so years, carries with it many negative features.
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on 3 September 2017
Set in a post apocalyptic world in which radiation has left humanity sterile. This is a poignant and thought provoking reflection on mortality. It is written with an unpretentious but engaging realism. The dialogue of key characters is well written making them refreshingly three dimensional. On the back of this I will be reading more Brian Aldiss and more of this SF Masterworks series.
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on 29 July 2014
Another masterpiece by Aldiss.
I could not put down this amazing novel that raises so many ethical and philosophical points in an effortless and gripping way.
I had read 'The Children of Men' (PDJames) unaware that is was derivative from this masterpiece. I did think it was good and then it was made into a film, which I liked, but having read Aldiss' novel, I wish they would have made a film about this one novel.
I loved it!!!!
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on 13 February 2014
Another thoroughly absorbing and wonderfully literate work by SF Master Brian Aldiss. While dealing with an almost unbearably maudlin premise; our world made infertile by the ill-considered detonation of Atomic warheads in the earth's atmosphere; Aldiss writes so well, and with such sublime humanity, that one can't help but feel rather optimistic about the recuperative powers of man.

Each zesty, colorful vignette is beautifully realized by Aldiss, and one is quickly immersed in the wholly absorbing narrative of Greybeard, and his delightful wife Martha's stoic exodus through the myriad adventures they have along the Thames estuary, and the much hoped-for sanctuary of the sea.

I'm sure Greybeard must be one of the most elegiac journey's into the inevitable demise of our natal planet; as there is such a grand wit and effervescing, searching mind at work behind this exemplary novel.

Mr. Aldiss I salute you! 'Greybeard' has not not only proven to be an inspirational tome for generations of writers; it is also an earthy, impassioned, richly woven tale which shall remain a must-read for all those who genuinely appreciate great literary art.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 August 2009
I enjoyed this book but I don't think it really lived up to its potential. The first few pages got me hooked right in, very cinematic descriptions, I could visualise how the first scene would look like if it were a movie. The characters were interesting but could have been developed more as some were only superfically described. I also wanted to know more about the deeper feelings of these people who couldn't have children. Aldiss does explore this somewhat, but I think this is where he misses a trick. It just doesn't delve deeply enough into the issues that this scenario raises.

If you like this genre of book then I would certainly recommend reading it, it was certainly enjoyable and well written. It was difficult for me to get hold of though, it seems to have been out of print for a while so if you can get a second hand copy in any condition it's worth grabbing.
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on 25 February 2002
A nuclear accident unleashes radioactivity on the earth rendering the population sterile. As the population ages the earth decays to the dark ages frantically grasping for the myth of children still being born.
An interesting idea, well developed with good character generation. Unfortunately just lacked that special something which renders a good book a classic!
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