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He, She and It Mass Market Paperback – January 23, 1993

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reprint edition (January 23, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449220605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449220603
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this diverting tale of the 21st century, Piercy explores a world where information has become a commodity more precious than gold.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is Piercy's first full-fledged foray into science fiction, although Woman on the Edge of Time ( LJ 6/1/76) flirted with the genre. In the 21st century the world has been ravaged by environmental disaster and war, with much of the populace living in corporate domes. Depressed over child custody problems with Josh, her ex-husband, Shira Shipman returns to her childhood home, one of the few free Jewish towns. There she falls in love with Yod, an illegal cyborg created to defend the town against attack. Filled with fantastic technological description, the plot zooms to a page-turning climax. A story of a golem in 17th-century Prague told by Shira's warmhearted grandmother mirrors the action. While not as visionary as Doris Lessing's "Canopus in Argos" novels, this projection of a world with a computer for a soul has the ring of reality. As usual, Piercy's women are strong and sympathetic. With the exception of Yod, her men are either frivolous or cold. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/91.
- Harriet Gottfried, NYPL
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed and the story lines moves quickly along.
Amazon Customer
He feared an economic elite and felt that the most important role of the executive branch was to resist the formation of such an economic elite.
Robert Moore
Admittedly I read this book a while ago now... but I made all my friends read it... and it is one of the few novels I have read more than once.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read Chapter 3 and was hooked("Malkah Tells Yod a Bedtime Story" - pure poetry)! I felt right at home. Rarely have I read a science fiction novel which explores inner life so well. Nor one which so successfully analyzes its moral issues from the intelligent woman's point of view. One is reminded of Golda Meir, holding informal cabinet meetings in her kitchen while making chicken soup. The book examines the high-tech net as a tool for a simple low-tech ethnic collective which can exist on its own apart from impersonal futurist worlds nearby seeking to invade. The characters debate the destiny of their advanced, powerful protective robot. One of the robot's creators is a (high-tech) grandmother who tells the robot the Yiddish fable of a Golem who was created to protect the Jews of Prague from pogroms in 1600. We keep returning to the fable - it creates just the intuitive symbolism we need to explore the novel's ethical concepts without losing track of the action. The book unfolds as a mystery, a love story, a question - I found myself reading to answer the unexplained, enjoying the beautifully crafted journey, and staying up all night to do so.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Had this book not been a gift, I would never have thought to pick it up. Science fiction, Jewish mysticism; these are not subjects which immediately draw most people in. I'm eternally grateful I did give this book a chance, however, for it is definately one of the best books I have ever read. Weaving together two parallel stories, (the legend of a "Golem" created to protect the Jews in Prague's Jewish Ghetto in the 1600s, and the contemporary story of the cyborg Yod), Piercy has created a view of the future a la Margaret Atwood. Yet Piercy's view of the future, while almost as threatening as Atwood's in The Handmaid's Tale, contains the ever present spectre of redemption. While the characters in He, She, and It may live in a forebidding time when corporations rule the world, they maintain a level of autonomy over their own lives, and the knowledge and power to someday create a world more suited to freedom than that in which they currently reside. Piercy's book is fascinating on a number of levels. It is simultaneously the story of a mother's love for her child and the lengths she will go to when that relationship is threatened, a strong community and the familial, religious, and communal ties that bind a group of people together, a cautionary tale of corporate domination, a fascinating hypothesis of both the possibilities and dangers of modern technology, and above all, a romance. The elements of Jewish history and mysticism add to the excitement and passion of the book, enabling the parallel Piercy draws between the past and the future to flow naturally, and add to rather than detract from the book's clarity. Nor are the characters sacrificed for a well-developed plot. Piercy spends just as much time creating the characters who enable her story as she does on the story itself.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"He, She and It" is an intoxicating book about the future. From a technological perspective, the lives portrayed in the ultramodern societies of Tikva and the Y-S Enclave is right on target. How far away are we really from the Earth that Marge Piercy describes? With the impending war with Iraq on our heels, maybe the 2 Week War of 2017 where a terrorist launched a nuclear device that destroyed the world as we know it, is not so futuristic after all.
"He, She and It" is a love story between Shira, a woman of the modern world and Yod, a cyborg. Piercy cleverly parallels the story of Shira and Yod with that of Chava and Joseph. Joseph, the golem of Prague's Jewish ghetto in the 15th century. Although the stories of Yod & Joseph are the heart of Piercy's novel, let me also share with you the technological perspectives.
In "He, She and It", Piercy describes some of the most amazing technological advances. The first and most astonishing of those is Yod, the cyborg. Yod looks just like a human, yet he has the power of a large bomb within him. What is even more surprising about Yod is that he has feelings and the ability to learn from social interactions. In other words, Yod can teach himself from experiencing the environment.
Piercy also mentions many other new technologies that come about after enclaves of monolithic corporations replace governments (is this really so far-fetched?). There is a new field, psychoengineering, an interface between people and large artificial intelligences. Shira is able to tell time simply by thinking that she needed to know what time it was and then reading the internal clock on the corner of her cornea in an eye that has retinal implants, used to correct hereditary myopia!
Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By richard smith on May 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I originally read this book as a required college text in modern literature. I've since lost the book but plan on buying a replacement copy.
I've read all 14 of the previous reviews and I have to agree with them all. Yes, feminism and an arguement against corporate - political states and male - dominated societies are present in this book. True as well that there are unfavorable stereotypes in the novel. The novel still has great merit.
At its best, "He, She and It" is a thought provoking parable about the consequences of the paths we may find ourselves on. At its worst, it's a new addition to the cyberpunk genre which is far better than anything Gibson has produced to date. Whether you agree with the views expressed in the novel or not (I personally don't), the story is still an entertaining and well-written diversion.
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