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Make Room Make Room Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1978

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, Nov 1978
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (November 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425040437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425040430
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
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Product Description


“Harrison’s fictions constitute one of the main monuments in modern SF.” —Paul Di Filippo, SciFi.com
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Harry Harrison is an American science fiction author best known for his character the Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wanted to read this book because the classic Sci Fi B-movie "Soylent Green" was supposedly based on it. Not having seen the movie I thought I would read the book before watching the DVD. The hook of the movie is the stunning realisation that "it's made of people!" but the book's plot is the investigation of a murder set in an unbelievably over populated City of New York. The only apparent similarity between the book and the movie is the word 'soylent', NOT 'soylent green' just 'soylent'. The phrase 'soylent green' does not appear anywhere in the book and nothing is made of people except the ever-present crowds.
In spite of the non-alignment with the movie, this is a pretty good book. I have enjoyed Harrison's writing before and his writing style is engaging as well as entertaining. The reader instantly sympathises with the main character, Detective Andrew Rusch, as he wakes up to yet another scorching day in the population choked city. The most entertaining part of the book is not really the murder mystery but rather the gritty reality of living in a city where nearly every essential to living is in dangerously short supply. Particularly interesting was how well Harrison depicted the cancer of apathy that infected an overwhelmed bureaucracy. That apathy is only set aside for one case when the murder of a high-ranking mobster causes the politicos to pressure Rusch's superiors to find the murderer.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I came to this book originally because it was described as the basis of the movie "Soylent Green" (1973.) It took some time to realize that the movie was not a synopsis of the book but a different story.

This book as is with most sci-fi (this is not really a sci-fi but a future story) has a decent story but is a thin mask for a rant about over population. And the evils that are about to fall on us as a result.

The basic story is of people interaction as they survive a government that cannot cope with over population. Reading about day to day living conditions is very depressing.

The book could have been cut by seventy-five percent and still made the point and the story. We follow characters as they diverge and converge in a standard who-done-it and why detective story.

If you have not seen the movie the story is quite decent. Just do not skim the pages looking for Soylent green. By the way the story is very explicit on what Soylent and meat flakes are. It is detailed enough that you can use this for a cook book.
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By Rose TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 23 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It’s clear by reading this book that Harry Harrison was an environmentalist. Maybe he was a ‘60s "be as one with the environment" hippy or perhaps he was just a forward-thinker. Either way, the book is filled with his prophesies of global collapse. He was pretty close in a couple of the predictions – he thought the world’s population would hit the 7 billion mark in 1999 and the US population would be at 344 million. The other predictions were off but that’s not to say they won’t happen. The world Harrison created is one possible outcome of humanity’s consuming tendencies.

The book is set in New York which has become a welfare state. In this world, most animals are now extinct because of us. Fresh water is hard to get and is doled out at filling stations in minute quantities. Regular showers are a thing of the past. Topsoil has mostly eroded and what farmers there are left are battling with the Government for water. Most people live on crackers and cannot afford much else. Nutrition deficiencies are apparent in most of the children now. There is very little work and even if you could find a job, the income tax rate is now at 80% to pay for those who don’t work so no one really gets ahead. Crime is rampant with people doing what they must to survive.

The story follows Andy, a police detective. He lives with one roommate in a tiny apartment. He meets a woman named Shirl while he is investigating a murder. Her boyfriend’s murdered but she didn’t do it – it was a senseless death that happened while someone was breaking into his home (another person just trying to get by). Since it was her boyfriend’s place, she has to move out at the end of the month. Andy and Shirl get to know each other and he invites her to live with him.
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