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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on September 25, 2002
Robinson's Red Mars formula of intriguing, well-researched colonization and terraforming technologies forming the background dressing for long-winded, asinine political polemic from a dozen cookie-cutter Ralph Nader campaigners continues here, with even less success than in the original. The laughably demonized transnational corporations are at it again, not content to wrack Earth alone with the spasms of war and environmental catastrophe which are apparently their sole modes of economic activity. The noble Marxist settlers, meanwhile, continue their endless bickering over whether the lifeless geology of Mars is a sacrosanct natural environment that can only be poisoned by the presence of humans, while stirring up in rebellion against the oppressive capitalists. While "Red Mars" made settling Mars incredibly easy, prepare to keep suspending your disbelief as a multi-talented physicist now also becomes an expert at genetically engineering life to adapt to the Mars environment, while also designing interplanetary ballistic missiles for the People's Revolution in his spare time - despite being lobotomized by the baddies.
Our red heroes also get a few new friends, including a new Mars-born generation who may or may not have supernatural hippie powers, and a few new émigrés from Earth for whom fondness for surfing replaces the white cowboy hat as the emblazoned symbol of their Good Guy status. It's a shame, because one of them starts out the novel looking like an actual meaningfully different character, and a step outside the tedious Robinson norm, in a terse scene where his frying pan symbolizes his estrangement from his wife and other attachments to Earth. As soon as he gets to Mars, though, he catches the virus that apparently infects everyone on the planet with a disease that makes them talk and act like mass-manufactured new age hippies from UC Davis.
A few slight hints at redemption are offered, such as a passage where the purple sky of the Martian dusk effectively conveys the pathos of a Russian main character, and at the end of the novel, when an intriguing engineering solution allows the rescue of a doomed city of colonists. But it's scant consolation for all the many hundreds of wasted pages of yawn-inducing rant. I actually picked up Blue Mars after finishing this one, with one iota of hope left that it might offer some redeeming virtue to explain why each of these three novels was awarded either the Hugo or Nebula Prize. A few pages into it, I gave up and swore off Robinson forever. In one emphasized passage, a young Martian proclaims, "I don't give a damn about Earth." Well baby, we don't give a damn about you either.
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on November 11, 1998
"Green Mars'" tiresome socialist agenda succeeded in committing the worst sin in fiction. Halfway through the book, I was so bored by the foolish politics that I realized I didn't care about any of the characters or their plight (with the exception of Sax, the only sympathetic character in the entire trilogy.) Towards the end of "Green Mars," I realized that not only did I *not* care, I actually *wanted* most of the characters to be killed, have their revolution fail, and have the transnationals take over. When an author's political agenda succeeds in actually turning your readers against your protagonists and their struggles, then, IMO, your story has failed. A monumental failure -- skip it.
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on September 21, 1999
I waded through Red Mars and have been given Green Mars as a present. I haven't finished reading it yet and really don't know if I can be bothered wasting the time to complete this.
It's a terrible novel, very badly written and if the attitudes expressed in the book actually reflect those of the author, then... (propriety and adherence to the guidelines for submissions to Amazon prevent me from completing this statement).
It certainly should win a prize as one of the most boring, poorly written novels ever. I'm wondering if I can exchange the book for something more readable and enjoyable-in fact, anything would be better than this!
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on November 5, 2002
The book is a bore. The writing is bloated and rambling. I stuck it out and finished "Green Mars" but I wouldn't do it again.
This is the second installment in the "Red Mars-Green Mars-Blue Mars" series. It is every bit as bad as "Red Mars" and that's saying something. The book essentially involves political quibbling several hundred years in the future about issues that defy both relevance or real comprehension. Forget it.
There must be something that has caused this book to sell well. It wasn't the prose, the plot, or the characters. I don't know what it was.
Try something else.
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on August 31, 1999
Ok, the first book, Red Mars, was a slog but at least it was new, very well written with lots of mind-numbing detail. Repeat that for another 624 pages and it starts to get very... heavy... going... In fact, this has become the definitive "I'll just read this other novel and then I'll get back to it" novel - and its not a 3 book burner, its getting way up there in the double digits now. Toooo ssssllllloooowwwww and heeeaaavvvvvvyyyyyy to progress with no enjoyability factor
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on March 10, 2002
The science was OK but the fiction was decidedly female, even feminist, and rife with 1990's-style political correctness. Unworthy of a Hugo. Try Dan Simmons or Vernor Vinge instead.
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