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More Than Human [Paperback]

Theodore Sturgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 29 1998 Vintage
Theodore Sturgeon vision of mankind's next step.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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About the Author

* #28 in in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written* 'The corpus of science fiction written by Theodore Sturgeon is the single most important body of science fiction written by anAmerican to date' Samuel R. Delany* 'He brought things to science fiction that had never been there before: eloquence, passion, a love of life, and a fiery poetry that found its natural expression in prose' Robert Silverberg* Winne --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human is, quite simply, one of the best and most original science fiction novels of all time; it is also one of the more neglected classics in the field. This magnificent example of literary science fiction belongs on the same shelf as Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land and Alfred Bester's first two novels. I was already a Sturgeon fan before reading More Than Human, but even I almost scoffed at comparisons of this novel with the work of William Faulkner (my literary hero). Much to my surprise, though, there is indeed a Faulknerian aspect to this novel. The narrative radiates traces of stream of consciousness and moves quietly back and forth in time from place to place as it approaches the essence of a philosophical revelation from multiple levels. For this reason, you will most likely either love or hate the book, for its greatest strength is very likely, to some readers, its greatest weakness.
More Than Human is such a unique novel that some individuals may not consider it science fiction at all; the science wrapped into these pages is of the most abstract and philosophical sort, centering on the question of the future evolution of the human race. The novel is broken up into three very distinct sections, each division marked by a shift in both emphasis and viewpoint. Initially, it can be a little difficult to get your bearings after one of these jumps, but all of the pieces of this giant puzzle come together in the end; I would qualify this by saying that the ultimate resolution happens in the reader's mind and is not necessarily spelled out by the author on the final page. The novel features some rather surprising plot twists along the way, and sometimes the reader may think Sturgeon has wandered far off the beaten track.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelieveable Jan. 25 2003
I am a teenage writer and I just got finished reading this book. the whole time I was like, "This is SF?!" Astoundingly beautiful, compellling, awesome. Rivals the best fantasy ever written. This is the level of greatness that takes years upon years of hard work to reach, and still most never get this good. Heck, I'm just going to say it.
This is the best science fiction novel ever written. If you are a writer of fiction--whether it be fantasy, sci-fi, or general--you must read this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Astounding 50 Years Later March 21 2003
Okay, how many science fiction novels from the 50's have REALLY stood the test of time? 'More Than Human' is devoid of slimy aliens, ray-guns, faster than light travel, time machines, robots, or any of the other "stereotypes" non-sf people associate with 50's science fiction. Well, what DOES it have going for it? How about:
Sturgeon was a thinker with a tremendous imagination. I caught myself grinning often at several of his lines, at how he avoided clichés and gave fresh ideas to simple scenes and concepts. In the first section, "The Idiot," I was reminded of the opening of Faulkner's 'The Sound and the Fury.' (Yes, comparing Sturgeon to Faulkner is NOT a stretch!) The way Sturgeon gets inside Lone's head and lives there is amazing. Wonderful writing that still reads with freshness 50 years later.
Six misfit outcasts, each with a unique gift, form a new step in man's evolution, a gestalt of unbelievable power. I won't go into the social, political, and moral implications of such an idea (Read the book), but the concept by itself is interesting. What Sturgeon does with it is fascinating.
I have not researched Sturgeon very much, but from what I have gathered, he was somewhat of a rogue who loved to examine the dark side of the human psyche. This and his inability to be confined to a nice neat label come across in the writing to present a story that is exciting, awe-inspiring, and most important, honest.
If you've only read a few sf writers from the 50's (such as Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, Bester, Simak, etc.), expand your horizons with Sturgeon. You won't be sorry.
233 pages
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By Jessica Strider TOP 500 REVIEWER
Pros: parts 2 & 3 are brilliantly written with an interesting message, very diverse cast of characters

Cons: part 1 has several purposely obscure but important pieces of information, 1950s racial situations/terminology

This is the kind of book that makes me question my 'if I'm not enjoying it, stop reading it' policy. The book is split into 3 parts, and I actively disliked part 1 while finding parts 2 and 3 brilliant. Had this not been a review book, I would have stopped reading in part 1, which would have been a shame. Part 1 introduces the decently large cast of very diverse characters including a mentally handicapped man, a baby that won't grow, two black girls, etc. It does this by jumping from person to person, often giving descriptions via characters who see the world... differently. Lone, for example, is mentally challenged and only towards the end of the section does he develop speech and anything close to a 'normal' understanding of events. But his scenes are still written in an understandable way.

The author, however, purposefully obscured certain events in this part of the book making the reader guess what's going on. By the time you understand the situation, you have to go back and reevaluate what's happened. For example, there's a father who has secluded himself and his two daughters on a piece of land. It's easy to assume from things in the text that he's sexually abusing his oldest daughter. Or maybe he's just beating her to drive out her sexual awakening. Or maybe nothing abusive is happening at all besides the girls being locked up. Even after finishing the book I'm not sure which it was, though later events make me assume it's the second scenario.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best and only book of it's kind.
Damon Knight in his review at the time of the original publication said "It's a single story that goes from here to there like a catenary arc, hits one note like The Last... Read more
Published on June 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Like X-Men from Faulkner
Havine read the much-anthologized "Baby Is Three" multiple times, I've just read this entire "novel. Read more
Published on March 21 2004 by Trace Reddell
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing��.
What a wonderful concept for this book, written by one of the "old masters" of SF, and a beginning that sucks you in and compels you forward.... Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by Schtinky
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as William Faulkner
I once had my English Professor at University , in the 1960's,
read this novel. And he said, "This is as good as anything Faulkner wrote."
Enough said!
Published on May 31 2003 by Albert A. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best SF book ever...
The title of this review says it all. If you haven't read this book, your life is incomplete.
Published on Nov. 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous speculative fiction
Theodore Sturgeon was a great writer and this is one of his best books. Expanded from the novella "Baby Is Three," which makes up the second of the novel's three parts,... Read more
Published on Dec 22 2001 by John S. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars The ending makes the story
A very good tale. According to Sturgeon ,the next step in human evolution is not only about having mental powers ,but also functioning on a sinergetic level. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2001 by "phyed-rautha"
5.0 out of 5 stars creapy view on furure human evolution
Sturgeon describes from the inside out, what it's like to be a Homo Gestalt, a new type of being, the next evolutionairy stage of mankind, in which a group of differently ESP... Read more
Published on Dec 18 2000 by mathilde de gardin
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite of all time
I have read this book several times and yet I could read it again and I know I would still get the same shock, the same feeling deep inside. Read more
Published on July 4 2000 by "cupojava1"
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