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More Than Human Paperback – December 29, 1998
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A masterpiece of provocative storytelling. --New York Herald Tribune
The corpus of science fiction written by Theodore Sturgeon is the single most important body of science fiction written by an American to date. -- Samuel R. Delany
He (Sturgeon) 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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
We are first introduced to Lone, an intellectually incapacitated young man with the ability to hypnotize telepathically. After witnessing a murder and escaping death himself, he lives untamed in the forest, gathering other social outcasts who gravitate toward his cave. There's Janie, with a seemingly unlimited faculty for telekinesis; Bonnie and Beanie, two toddlers who have learned how to teleport themselves; and Baby, a mute whose body is stunted but whose brain is structured like computer. (Sturgeon's insistence on incorporating different races and both sexes as equal partners living together as a new evolutionary species was, in 1953, years ahead of its time.)
This history of this team--the newly evolved Gestalt species--is recounted in three extraordinarily different stories. Even the prose style varies: the opening section has the feel of a Gothic horror story combined with a Jack London tale; the middle is written entirely as teasing banter between a new member of the Gestalt squad and his shrink; and the final chapter could be a Depression-era tale by Steinbeck (or, more precisely, an episode of HBO's "Carnivale").
The book's shortcoming--and it's not insignificant--is Sturgeon's tendency to hammer home the import of his stories. Each of the three endings abandons subtleness and representation for bluntness and pontification; it sometimes seems that the author presents each resolution in the same manner he would reveal a mathematical proof.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this books thirty or so years ago and it still is a great read.Published 14 months ago by carolyn marshall
The next step in human evolution will be small groups of people with complementary talents in ESP ranges. A truly visionary book written fifty years ago. Read morePublished on September 24, 2006 by CV Rick
I've read the praise and then read the book... and came away only mildly entertained.
"One of the greatest/finest science fiction books ever!"
Really? Read more
I just finished an old copy of this book that was literally falling apart. I received it amongst other vintage sci-fi paperbacks and was going to pitch it due to it's condition,... Read morePublished on July 21, 2006 by requin
...but the plot was good too. This book might suffer a bit from character bloat. There was potential here for a series of books and far more character development; some actors... Read morePublished on May 22, 2006 by blakletter
"More Than Human" by Theodore Sturgeon is a ground-breaking novel and the winner of the International Fantasy award in 1954 for fiction. Read morePublished on August 19, 2005 by Dave_42
This early-50s SF classic from Theodore Sturgeon somewhat resembles "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke, in that seemingly weird kids actually herald the next step in human... Read morePublished on March 22, 2005 by doomsdayer520
I picked up this book over the summer based on the rave reviews of my amazon colleagues. I'll admit to being surprised at first, for the cover (which looked modern) distracted me... Read morePublished on February 14, 2005 by Christian Hunter
This book was written over 50 years ago (as evidenced by certain word choices) and is very original and entertaining. Read morePublished on August 29, 2004 by Dan Donlin