Mockingbird Hardcover – Jan 1980
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"Mockingbird will become one of those books that coming generations will periodically rediscover with wonder and delight." ---The Washington Post --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Back Cover
"A moral tale that has elements of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Superman, and Star Wars."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Set in a far future in which robots run a world with a small and declining human population, this novel could be considered an unofficial sequel to Fahrenheit 451, for its central event and symbol is the rediscovery of reading."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Because of its affirmation of such persistent human values as curiosity, courage, and compassion, along with its undeniable narrative power, Mockingbird will become one of those books that coming generations will periodically rediscover with wonder and delight."--The Washington Post
"I've read other novels extrapolating the dangers of computerization but Mockingbird stings me, the writer, the hardest. The notion, the possibility, that people might indeed lose the ability, and worse, the desire to read, is made acutely probable."--New York Times bestselling author ANNE MCCAFFREY
"Walter Tevis is science fiction's great neglected master, one of the definitive bridges between sf and literature. For those who know his work only through the movies, the lucid prose and literary vision of Mockingbird and The Man Who Fell to Earth will come as a revelation."
--AL SARRANTONIO, Author of The Five Worlds saga --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Many of the scenes I recall from the novel are so vivid...but it is the more disturbing messages that Tevis was trying to convey through this masterpiece that really cut me to the bone. Robert Spofforth, the human/android that is all too human, who desires the world to die so that he might die, is one of the more fascinating (and disturbing) characters I've ever encountered in fiction. I've always found myself sympathizing with Spofforth even though he is a repugnant abomination, not quite human, not quite machine,but something in between, whose deep melancholy (and latent anger against the humanity which created him) is somehow touching, but chilling, all at the same time.
A magnificent novel that everyone should take up without delay. You won't be disappointed. Tevis' grasp of language and his central message about the value of human emotion in the face of technological error and decay has lost none of its potency today.
Another Tevis masterpiece. Written simply and exactly from the point of view of two of the three main characters and narratively from the third.
The adventure is terrific, the plot is solid and the twist, although it doesn't exactly come as a surprise, it puts the reader in the perspective of the drugged population for a moment who would not dare to imagine. Tevis accomplishes this easily by making everything else so perfect that the reader, while marvelling at what he is reading, is distracted from the direction it is taking him in.
There are many books you do not need to turn the page to know what is going to happen next, their plots loosely following a formula. Loosely enough that the content feels new, but enough that you don't feel that the author had anything of importance to say. This not one of those books. Tevis is not one of those authors. I was constantly surprised by the direction the story went in and barely anything that I was expecting to happen- happened.
But the best part of the book for me, was the way Tevis managed to describe the world through the words of Bentley. Bentley was a simple, lonely man struggling to understand a whole new world that had opened up to him. He writes like a child, yet not childishly. He is a man who is experiencing everything for the first time, teaching himself and expanding his horizons while he reads; his loneliness, breifly muted with his almost spiritual connection with dead authors and poets instigating feelings which he previously had no words to describe.
I get the feeling that the larger part of Bentley's character closely resembles Tevis' own, just as Bryce's did in Man Who Fell. Somehow they are always teachers.Read more ›
One thing I like about science fiction is the use of present trends to extrapolate the shortcomings of our current directions.
In this way, science fiction "about the future" has never been really "about the future", but instead about the time we currently live in, enlivened by scientific or social speculation.
The key issue, though, is how to keep the ideas fresh and relevant, because so many of these novels have been written.
Mockingbird avoids the "oft told tale" pitfalls that can too easily beset this genre. Tevis accomplishes the task by
creating believable characters, biting satire, and a pacing that is both leisurely and consistently interesting.
We are in a time when humankind's pursuit of happiness has
been reduced to the pursuit of pleasure. Mechanical inventions have eliminated the need to read, to write or to work.
The zero hour work week is imminent.
Who happens to the soul when it is freed from the mind?
Tevis answers the question brilliantly. This book is
a solid, strong read--it's a linear text, with little
time wasted on metaphysical author's voice. It uses quiet (if piercing) satire liberally, but not to the distraction of the plot. Tevis shows us a future all too much like our present,
only the trains have stopped running on time. My only criticism is that we are shown all the "no exit" spots in this dysfunctional world, but too few of the ways of escape.
Highly recommended. Anyone who thought Tevis' Man Who Fell to Earth was a bit difficult to follow will find this one
a breeze and yet a very thought-provoking book.
Most recent customer reviews
One of the best SF books I've read, and I'm a SF fan. Highly recommended.Published 4 months ago by Mariner36
Although some elements are all too familiar from post-apocalyptic fiction, there is an appealing newish combination of them in this tale. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Globalgirl1977
This is a great book. I'm currently a high school senior (as of Spring 2004). Most likely, I haven't completely read 7 novels since I was concieved; but this book has sparked a... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004 by Eric
I sought this book out using Amazon's new "full-book" search feature. I had read it as a kid, but couldn't remember the title or the author. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2003 by H. Coffill
I think the other reviews explain and commend this book pretty thoroughly, I just wanted to add one more 5 star review. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2003 by M. Rosen
If I had a classroom of students before me, no matter what the subject I was suppposed to be teaching, I would give them Mockingbird. Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2003 by Dorothy C. Resch
This is one of the first 'good' SciFi books I came across as a teenager. The quality of the story-telling and the 'mood' created by the characters and the setting were quite... Read morePublished on May 9 2000 by John
I began using Mockingbird in my college classes when it first came out; and, even though it went out of print, I still used it, when I could find copies. Read morePublished on March 22 2000 by William Doxey