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Make Room! Make Room! (RosettaBooks into Film Book 10) [Kindle Edition]

Harry Harrison
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
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Book Description

Movie lovers might recognize Make Room! Make Room! as the basis for the 1973 film Soylent Green, which starred Charlton Heston. While Soylent Green has become a cult classic, fans of the novel have taken issue with its interpretation of what Harrison was really trying to say. Concerned about audiences losing interest, the creators of the film made cannibalism and not overpopulation (as it is in the book) the thematic focus of the story. As a result, fans of the movie and critics alike may want to visit the story in its original unbowdlerized form.

Make Room! Make Room! is set in the year 1999 and the world has become a grim and terribly overpopulated place, bleak and foreboding. This sets the premise for Harrison's novel, and fans of his earlier more comic works may be surprised at the seriousness of this novel. Although Harrison's fears did not become a reality for the inhabitants of New York or the rest of the United States, the novel remains nonetheless a gripping, thought-provoking work about privacy, deprivation, and desperation.

A teeming New York City and a detective's pursuit of a killer and nefarious racketeer comprise this novel. While the novel contains elements of classic detective fiction--the hard-boiled protagonist, the seductive mistress, the portraits of corruption and perfidy--Harrison's true concern is less the story itself and more the opportunity the story offers to give the reader a glance at a dismal and broken world. The state of overpopulation has altered life in innumerable ways, and Harrison is keenly interested in documenting the catastrophic effects of this burden on all human relationships.


Harry Harrison has published over forty novels in the course of his writing career, including the West of Eden trilogy, the popular Stainless Steel Rat series, Make Room! Make Room!, and the graphic novel Death World. His novels have been translated into over twenty-five languages. In 1973, Harrison was honored with the Nebula Award for science fiction and fantasy. He lives in Ireland.


From classic book to classic film, RosettaBooks has gathered some of most memorable books into film available. The selection is broad ranging and far reaching, with books from classic genre to cult classic to science fiction and horror and a blend of the two creating whole new genres like Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man. Classic works from Vonnegut, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, meet with E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. Whether the work is centered in the here and now, in the past, or in some distant and almost unimaginable future, each work is lasting and memorable and award-winning.

Editorial Reviews


“Harrison’s fictions constitute one of the main monuments in modern SF.” —Paul Di Filippo,

About the Author

Harry Harrison, author of innumerable science fiction novels and stories, divides his time between Ireland and California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 420 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (July 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,579 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic October 30, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book scared the hell out of me when I read it as a young teenager back in the 60's, because it was so believable. I was sure this was what the future of America held. At the time, overpopulation was a big issue, what with books like Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, The 20th Century Book of the Dead by Gil Elliot, and so on, dramatizing the issue. There seemed no doubt in many people's minds that something similar to the world portrayed in this novel would be the reality in 35 years if nothing were done to halt the population explosion, and since nothing really was being done in that regard, this seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Well, 35 years later the world hasn't quite worked out this way, which still amazes me no end, although David Brin's recent novel, Earth, is an updated reprisal of this theme. Harrison's book is still a great read. Another book on the same theme that came out a few years later was John Brunner's novel, Stand on Zanzibar, which won a Hugo award for that year. So if you enjoyed this book you might also want to try these two novels.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Exciting as the Movie August 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It isn't often I like a film better than the novel on which it was based, but there is always the occasional exception that proves the rule.

MAKE ROOM! MAKE ROOM! is the novel that inspired the film SOYLENT GREEN, notable for its (at the time) shocker of an ending and the fact that it was Edward G Robinson's last film (and he delivered a wonderful performance that even got tears from his normally wooden co-star Charlton Heston). While the basic premise of the novel and the film are similar, the two versions take the story in entirely different directions.

The setting is the one thing that novel and film have in common: New York City, sometime in the not-all-that-distant future (1999 in the novel, 2022 in the film). Blanketed in a smog that turns the air brown, and sweltering under an oppressive heat wave, the basic setting may well be the most disturbing aspect of both the novel and the film, because climate change is now a reality and we may very well be heading where they point if we don't do something to stop it.

Overcrowded, with 35 million inhabitants crammed into what housing there is like so many sardines, Harrison's novel is even grimier than Orwell's NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, though the influences of Orwell, Huxley, and Zamiatin are in evidence here.

So the premise isn't terribly original, but let's face it: the futuristic dystopia is a sub genre of science fiction, which by its very nature makes it somewhat narrow, and similarities are bound to crop up. Harrison makes up for what he lacks in originality by making his characters real people. This is perhaps the only area in which the novel is superior to the film, since with the exception of Robinson's character most of the cast is right out of Central Casting.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars nothing wrong with the story . . . . August 21, 2008
Format:Kindle Edition
My less than stellar review is based on the ridiculous number of spelling and other editing errors. I don't know it is exclusively in the Kindle edition, but there was even a passage that made no sense, and then that same phrase showed up a paragraph later where it was supposed to be. I know the book was not expensive, but I still question if it was worth the money for such a poor quality edition.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim depiction of the future January 19, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Make Room! Make Room!" is an excellent sci-fi novel which envisions our overcrowded future. It is a very entertaining read, with vivid characters and a neat premise. The book will make you realize how much you take simple things like drinking water and living with only your family members rather than strangers. I think this book needs to be reprinted, and am saddened that more books of this nature aren't written today.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly, better than the movie October 7, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love the movie Soylent Green, which is based on this book, and had heard that the book was substantially different than the movie. Many of my favorite ideas from the movie - the whole 'soylent green is people' concept, Sol's poignant suicide scene - are not present in the book; the plot lines are substantially different. Instead, the book develops a sensitive and beautiful relationship between the cop, Rusch, and the girl from the apartment, Shirl. These characters are exactly as they are in the movie, as are Sol and the police chief, but are more fully explored in the book. The background is the same dystopian vision of an overcrowded future. In the book I found this interesting backdrop used to tell a very realistic and somewhat bittersweet love story. Highly recommended.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Room! Make Room! Read it! Read it! August 1, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book comes from a time when the environmental movement was just getting under way, and Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb" enjoyed pride of place on the bookshelves of environmentalists everywhere. It was also a time when it was easier to discuss overpopulation without drawing charges of racism. In the book (presumably), and in the 1973 movie Soylent Green (definitely), most of the characters and people seen in the street are white, as they would have been in 1966 and 1973. Hence there was no need to discuss issues of immigration and demographic shift, which are closely linked to America's soaring population today. As a result, in both the book and the movie, the issue of overpopulation is completely de-ethnicized, which makes it a universal, human problem. For that reason alone everyone should either read the book or see the movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I didn't dislike the book
Sort of a meh storyline. It was probably much more interesting in its time, but I don't think it has held up well with time. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Special K
It was the basis for the movie Soylent Green, but the comparison is so vague you may not notice. It simply can't be seen as a companion to the classic film, nor can it be... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Tabbygail
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 3 months ago by M. L. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars A1 Satisfaction!!
It was just what I wanted & was delivered on time in great condition - Thanks I love it!!
Published 3 months ago by Peter M. Knodel
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie...
We read this for our book group. Good choice.

I re-watched the movie, it seemed a little hokey (dated).

(I cheated I listened to the synched audio book.)
Published 4 months ago by petrovich
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The purchase went smoothly and I received the eBook promptly.
Published 4 months ago by Lisa
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it
Better than the movie that came from it (Soylent Green), this book has a number of intertwining stories that keep the reader's attention. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jason Frey
2.0 out of 5 stars Fear of the Great Unwashed

This book, which I discovered after watching the film Soylent Green, is interesting as an historical account of what some were worried about in the 1960s. Read more
Published 4 months ago by AvisE
4.0 out of 5 stars A Map of our Times - Future Imperfect Tense
... well told, and very interesting. I read mysteries rarely and sci-fi even less often, but this story kept me engaged. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Woesong
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale of distortion society
I wanted to read this book before I watched the movie. I can honestly say, it's not what i expected. Still a classic story.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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