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Dying Inside Paperback – March 3, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“One of those rare novels that manages to be at once dazzling and tender.” ―Michael Chabon on Dying Inside

Dying Inside is an artist's summit that doubles as an intimate allegory of the artist's quandary.” ―Jonathan Lethem

“Now widely regarded as Robert Silverberg's masterpiece, Dying Inside, first published in 1972, has just been reissued in a handsome trade paperback with a new preface by its author, one of science fiction's most distinguished writers . . . It's insane that Dying Inside should be subtly dismissed as merely a genre classic. This is a superb novel about a common human sorrow, that great shock of middle age -- the recognition that we are all dying inside and that all of us must face the eventual disappearance of the person we have been.” ―Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Silverberg has written the perfect science fiction novel for people who don't like science fiction.” ―The New York Times Book Review on Dying Inside

About the Author

A SFWA Grand Master and the winner of five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards, ROBERT SILVERBERG, author of the bestselling Majipoor series and dozens of other books, is one of the giants of science fiction and fantasy. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, writer Karen Haber.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; 2 edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765322307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765322302
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Robert Silverberg's "Dying Inside" is one of the great classics of SF literature. The protagonist, David Selig, is a telepath whose rare talent has brought him no pleasure. He leads the life of an outcast, a voyeur, with his gift as his keyhole. When his telepathy deserts him he is left stranded-
(Pauses). (Sits silently, head bowed). (Finally, sighs forcefully). (Prepares to whip self to indignant frenzy).
This world just isn't fair. You know that, you don't need me to tell you. But every so often an injustice so flagrant and so heinous occurs that I need to grab the nearest passerby and scream it at him. You're here, and I'm mad, so put down that mouse and listen. Have you read this book yet? Have you read "The Catcher in the Rye"- you know, "the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged," etc., etc.? Go read them. I'll wait- done yet? Good. What do you think? They're both excellent, aren't they? You really feel the turmoil and pain and angst of both Caulfield and Selig after reading them. So why has this book attracted only a handful of reviews, while "The Catcher in the Rye" has attracted- let me check- over 1000 reviews? Why does "The Catcher in the Rye" appear on all the "100 Greatest Novels of the Century" lists while "Dying Inside" doesn't? I'll tell you why- look at your copy of "Dying Inside," and look for those damning scarlet letters "Science Fiction." That's why. "The Catcher in the Rye" is serious literature; "Dying Inside" is science fiction.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bear with me briefly while I go on a bit of a rant (part one of it at least) here, this book here represents only a very small part of what may be one of the greatest single spurts of output science fiction or the literary world has ever known. You see, during the seventies, Mr Silverberg came up with no less than thirteen masterworks of science fiction, not a sequel or connected book in the lot, each one a completely unique and searing study of people and the possibilities of science fiction as a whole. Once I heard about these, I knew that I had to get as many as I could and so I go to find them and lo and behold, how many do I find in print. Exactly none gentle reader. None at all, and the horrifying part is that at least two of these are Hugo winners (Time of Changes and the book I'll be reviewing in a moment). Why is this? What is this? Oh well, more on that as I chug along with the four classic period books that I own. This is the first one I read here, Dying Inside in case you've forgotten and it simply made my mouth drop open. The story is one that we're partly familiar with, man has great powers, uses them in a silly fashion and then realizes that he's losing them. Flowers for Algernon is another gem on this theme but in a lot of ways David Selig is even more of an innocent than poor Charley.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What's that you say? You don't like sci-fi? Never really cared much for the intergalactic battles, laser guns, strange aliens, godlike heroes and exotic, vuluptuous vixens of traditional space opera? Books like CATCHER IN THE RYE and PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT are more your thing? Well, here's a science fiction novel you can finally sink your teeth into! The sci-fi is kept to a minimum, but the emotion and sheer humanity of it all are in full swing. The only science-fictional element here is the fact that the protagonist has ESP. We encounter him in middle age, his extrasensory power beginning to wane. Plot threads are few and uncomplicated, but the themes are large, complex, richly and poignantly rendered: death, love, maturity, subjectivity, society, solitude, entropy. This is a very literary novel, with quick but astute references to Aeschylus, Eliot, Joyce, Kafka, Ginsberg, even Shakespeare. The setting is the New York City of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, mostly in and around Columbia University. This is not a plot driven novel, but more of a character study. Through a narrative that alternates between first and third person, you find out about the protagonist's life--his childhood, his loves, his existential outlook and spiritual yearnings. An Amazon reviewer described this novel by writing that "DYING INSIDE is to middle age what THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is to adolescence." I would say that's exactly right, and gives you a good idea of what to expect. Silverberg is a great prose stylist and has created a clear, distinctive voice for David Selig, the main character. The story works on the heart strings without being maudlin. The protagonist is flawed, true (I even disliked him at times, just as with Holden Caulfield), but, in my opinion, redeems himself by the end.Read more ›
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