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Make Room Make Room Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955
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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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As I read the book, I did have images of Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in my mind, but this is nothing like the movie. I really enjoyed this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by RobinW
This has always been one of my favorite SF books. It's wonderful to be rereading it!Published 1 month ago by legf7
Knowing that this book was the basis of the movie “Soylent Green,” I expected a very different book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bernie Gourley
“There was nothing to do, no place to go, the city pressed in around him and every square foot of it was like this filled with people, children, noise, heat.”
Make Room! Read more
Although this novel was the basis for the movie Soylent Green, it is NOT like the movie. It's basically a noir novel set in a then-future 1999 NYC as the world is going slowly to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by jost4566
I'd seen the movie "Soylent Green" the year it first came out, but I had never read the book before. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tamara
This is one of my all time favorite books. It was the perfect mixture of a Dystopian overcrowded bleak future with a detective twist. Read morePublished 5 months ago by brandi
Soylent Green the movie was a classic. How it was based on this novel, I'll never know. This is definitely a waste of time. Try to find a copy of the movie instead.Published 5 months ago by Fisherbill