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Spin Paperback – January 1, 1980


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Paperback, January 1, 1980

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: NY (1980)
  • ASIN: B000N7ICK0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

I really liked the characters in this book.
Lovetoilet
Spin is a fantastic and intriguing science fiction book, with well developed characters and a fascinating story.
David G. Phillips
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thoughtful, and thought-provoking, sci-fi.
Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By John Joseph Adams on June 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Spin is a superb novel full of Big Ideas, but those Big Ideas don't come at the expense of rich character development as is so often the case with books of this sort. Wilson has a real knack for creating characters one can empathize with and can really grow to care about. The family relationship depicted here, between the narrator, Tyler Dupree, and his childhood friends Jason (the genius) and Diane (his first, unrequited love), is the real driving force of this novel, and is what makes it such a compelling page-turner. The prose is clean and fluid, and Wilson expertly paces the book, keeping the reader engaged and anxious to find out what comes next. This can be tricky in a novel that spans several subjective years (and billions of relativistic years), but Wilson pulls it off marvelously.

Spin is exactly the sort of novel that I think we need to see more of, one that infuses the reader with that gosh-wow sense of wonder that many writers seem to have forgotten is the reason we all fell in love with the genre in the first place.
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114 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Chris Lee Mullins on December 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I managed to snag an advanced copy of this novel last week, which I finished in about a day and a half reading during lunch breaks, bathroom breaks and the hours before bedtime. As per usual, Wilson does an excellent job of keeping me up at night.

For those who are familiar with Robert Charles Wilson's work, "Spin" should come as no surprise. Most of his novels feature a conflicted protagonist who is caught up in storms of intrigue and extraordinary circumstances. Wilson's stories typically focus 70% on the characters and 30% on the science. His characters walk away from these experiences utterly changed, for better or for worse. Their arcs aren't always pleasant but usually realistic. You could easily put yourself into their shoes.

"Spin" is no exception.

As the previous reviewer pointed out, Wilson's one weakness is his endings. The endings are usually a rush to tie together loose ends, explain away anything that wasn't properly explained before. "Blind Lake" fell into this trap. "The Chronoliths" did not. Thankfully, "Spin" falls into the latter catagory.
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91 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Amy on February 21, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert Charles Wilson's "Spin" tells the tale of the earth being cloaked in a time-warping membrane, put in place by unknown entities. It's also the tale of Tyler Dupree and his privileged best friends, twins born to the couple his mother works for as a maid.

The story weaves the past and the present, starting with Tyler's early life with his mother in a small guesthouse across the lawn from the big house. That's where the twins, Jason and Diane, reside uneasily with their powerful and sometimes cruel father and withdrawn, alcoholic mother.

One night the three youngsters sit talking on the lawn, peering in at a grown-ups' party in the big house. Suddenly, the moon and the stars are no longer visible. They're blocked by the membrane, which is quickly dubbed the Spin.

After that, the story becomes a search for knowledge.

The world wants to know the meaning of the Spin. Tyler wants to know his place in the world. To understand that, he must also understand his relationship with the twins. There's Jason, whose brilliance and hunger to know who put the Spin in place astound Tyler. And there's Diane, whose search for redemption breaks his heart.

This is also where "Spin" starts spinning in place. Does it want to be a science-fiction tale whose main characters come of age? Or a coming of age tale that takes place in a science-fiction setting? It's as if Wilson wants both, and as a result, almost ends up with neither.

There are compelling facets to "Spin," but there are also long passages where the story is beautifully worded, yet the action is plodding.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Justin Hogan on May 28, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The problem with this book is that it never delivers the goods. It's either an idea in search of a story or a story in need of more interesting ideas.

The actions taken by the characters make zero impact on the final outcome of the Spin. None. *snore* Well, maybe the characters can save the novel? Nah. Jason Lawton is flat as a pancake, the obsessed scientist. Diane Lawton isn't much better. Tyler Dupree can't be called one dimensional because that would require that he actually do something other than hang around Jason and Diane.

How about the ideas? The Spin itself is kinda cool. It could have been the setting for a really interesting novel. Everything after that though... civilizations squander resources until they kill themselves, a big chain of intelligent asteroid huggers, and some explorations into the human response to certain doom. These ideas simply aren't explored enough to interest me.

A number of elements in the story are just cliched or clumsy. As an example, Tyler Dupree likes Jazz. This doesn't advance his character but it does get him out of a jam later. I guess I was supposed to pat Wilson on the back for that little detail but where other authors might make it a seemless affair, the first thought that came to my mind was "tacked on." The mean tycoon father, the alcoholic mother... have I stepped into a soap opera?

I'm not trying to say the novel is terrible but it's so... mediocre. Did any of the Worldcon members(the people who vote on Hugo Awards) actually think this deserved to be set up beside novels like "Double Star," "Dune," "Ringworld," "The Gods Themselves," and "Fahrenheit 451"? I'd like to award "Spin" a Big Meh.
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