Make Room! Make Room!

Make Room! Make Room!

Book - 2008
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The world is crowded. Far too crowded. Its starving billions live on lentils, soya beans, and --if they're lucky--the odd starving rat.

In a New York City groaning under the burden of 35 million inhabitants, detective Andy Rusch is engaged in a desperate and lonely hunt for a killer everyone has forgotten. For even in a world such as this, a policeman can find himself utterly alone....

Acclaimed on its original publication in 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was adapted into the movie Soylent Green in 1973, starring Charlton Heston along with Edward G. Robinson in his last role.

Publisher: New York : Orb, 2008
Edition: 1st Orb ed
ISBN: 9780765318855
0765318857
Branch Call Number: FICTION Harrison
Characteristics: 284 p. ; 21 cm

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thomd
Jul 29, 2015

Author Harry Harrison wrote in 1984 about the technique of background-as-foreground - the story for the main characters is really a means to capture the readers attention and draw them to the greater truth of the setting. He uses this to great effect in Make Room! Make Room!

This novel shows what the world will be like "if we continue in our insane manner to pollute and overpopulate Spaceship Earth." The observed limitations of oil and aquifers play right alongside the conflict between farmers and city dwellers. Disease plays only a small role here, but then the scope of the novel is roughly 6 months.

The main character is a policeman, with side stories covering his target and a judge who influences his duties. These characters and the various side characters are well described and interesting, and only once (towards the end of the book) does the story digress into a few pages of exposition as Sol rants about birth control and sustainable development.

As you probably know, this book was appropriated and turned into a movie. Well, some of it was. Harry Harrison wrote all about it in an article published in Omni, which fortunately lives online here - http://www.iol.ie/~carrollm/hh/soycan... The book of course doesn't contain cannibalism, and when Soylent shows up, it is where it makes more sense - Soy and Lentil steaks.

All in all, a really excellent book. Though published nearly 50 years ago, it is still quite relevant today, and a very good read. Recommended!

mrmervis Jul 11, 2013

A great story with engaging characters. Some of the politics is still relevant today.

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