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DYING INSIDE [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert Silverberg
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 12 1973
In 1972, Robert Silverberg, even then an acknowledged leader in the science fiction field, published a book that was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. More than three decades later, Dying Inside has stood the test of time and has been recognized as one of the finest novels the field has ever produced. Never wasting a word, Silverberg persuasively shows us what it would be like to read minds, painting an unforgettable portrait of a man shaped by that unique power; a power he is now inexorably losing.

Acclaimed upon first publication by SF critics and mainstream reviewers alike, Dying Inside is overdue for reintroduction to today’s SF audience. This is a novel for everyone who appreciates deeply affecting characterization, imaginative power, and the irreplaceable perspective unique to speculative fiction of the highest order.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

“One of those rare novels that manages to be at once dazzling and tender.”—Michael Chabon on Dying Inside

Dying Inside is an artist’s summit that doubles as an intimate allegory of the artist’s quandary.”—Jonathan Lethem

"Now widely regarded as Robert Silverberg's masterpiece, Dying Inside, first published in 1972, has just been reissued in a handsome trade paperback with a new preface by its author, one of science fiction's most distinguished writers . . . It's insane that Dying Inside should be subtly dismissed as merely a genre classic. This is a superb novel about a common human sorrow, that great shock of middle age -- the recognition that we are all dying inside and that all of us must face the eventual disappearance of the person we have been."--Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Silverberg has written the perfect science fiction novel for people who don’t like science fiction.”—The New York Times Book Review on Dying Inside
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

A SFWA Grand Master and the winner of five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards, ROBERT SILVERBERG, author of the bestselling Majipoor series and dozens of other books, is one of the giants of science fiction and fantasy. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, writer Karen Haber.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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By John Kwok TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Long hailed as a classic of 1970s science fiction literature, Robert Silverberg's "Dying Inside" is an emotionally riveting character study of a telepath confronting the loss of his power. Set in the near future - in this case the later 1970s - "Dying Inside" is a compelling exploration of the mind of telepath David Selig; a gripping and poignant examination of himself as he recalls his past , considers the present, and fears for a future without his telepathic powers. It is also an incredible journey cast as a fictional memoir, recalling how David became aware at a young age of his unusual mental ability. Remembering too the tangled web of loves won and lost, especially with those rare few who became fully cognizant of his telepathy. Silverberg draws heavily on his undergraduate life as a Columbia student, and his Jewish-American heritage, but this tale is no mere fictional recasting of Silverberg himself; instead David Selig comes across as a most credible, and realistic, character who barely shares some of the traits which readers may choose to associate with Silverberg himself. So wonderful a character study is "Dying Inside" that it shouldn't be regarded as one of the finest science fiction novels of our time; it is quite simply, a superb work of 20th Century American literature written by one of the most elegant prose stylists working in science fiction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Aging and regret from a sci-fi perspective Jan. 11 2004
Format:Paperback
Robert Silverberg started out in the outlandish word of sci-fi pulps and has written about countless fantastic worlds and peoples since. But the novel that is often considered his best is one of his more earthly, Dying Inside.
Dying Inside is the story of David Selig, an aging New York loafer who is loosing his ability to read minds. The novel takes a non-linear approach to examines Selig's life, flip-floping between his childhood feud with his adopted sister, his uncomfortable friendship with a callous young man with similar powers, his uneasy romance in that uneasy year 1968 and his depressing present, forging term papers for Colombia jocks and losing his powers.
What is remarkable about Dying Inside is that Silverberg writes more about old flames, squandered youth and other ordinary lost opportunities than about special abilities. Silverberg is writing about (and writing about quite well) a person who wasted extraordinary potential, something anyone of a certain age can relate to. The further one reads Dying Inside, the more it becomes apparent that the book is not about superpowers but about life and aging from a unique perspective. For science fiction lovers or fans or anyone merely looking for a good novel, Dying Inside is sure to be a winner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Psychological Study of Mortality April 16 2002
Format:Paperback
Robert Silverberg is a genius and this is deservedly regarded as one of his masterpieces. This semi autobiographical novel was written in 1972 and is set in 1976. The main character David Selig is a New Yorker with a strange gift for reading people's minds. He is in his early forties and is slowly losing this talent. He has been a ... loner all his life living in slums and only working enough to support his meager needs. He currently ghost writes term papers for Columbia University students to get a few dollars together and is unable to hold a normal job. He occasionally must rely on his sister for both moral and financial support but his relationship with her is ambivalent. Their love hate relationship dates from his earliest memories of hating her for taking away his parents attention.

There is a humorous account of ten-year-old David with a child psychologist. Selig and Silverberg clearly have no use for the field of psychology. He amuses himself with the psychologist: given the Rorschach inkblot test he tells the quack the first things that pops into the psychologist's mind. He sees that the doctor thinks that the solution to his psychological problems is that he have a sibling and recites these thoughts verbatim back to him.
If one takes the loss of telepathy as a metaphor for the loss of youth and the realization that one is no longer young, then this book becomes an examination of the horror of facing one's own decline and eventual demise. There comes a time in everyone's life when you realize that you are getting old, that you are not going to live forever. You become aware of physical decline or gray hair or mental lapses that signal the coming of advancing age. Hemingway said that any story, if taken to it's logical conclusion, ends in death.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 1 of the BEST SF novels of the 70s Sept. 10 2002
Format:Paperback
Along with THE BOOK OF SKULLS and DOWNWARD TO THE EARTH, this is 1 of Silverberg's very best novels, & 1 of the finest science fiction novels of the 70s. An intimate portrait of a telepath losing his powers, the book Dscribes the depression of that loss, as well as the exaltation of David Selig's gift. The brilliant writing U can almost take 4 granted -- it's Silverberg. What's really stunning is the painfully up-close, intimate, personal portrait U'll get of Selig & the people in his life. It's so vivid, indelible -- U'll feel like U've met this person. There's even a happy ending. It makes 4 an amazing, rewarding mind-movie. An all-time classic -- the fact that it didn't win either a Hugo or a Nebula Award (which both went to Isaac Asimov's 2nd-rate THE GODS THEMSELVES) is 1 of the major lapses of R time.
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