Sinful Ones Paperback – January 1, 1986
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- Publisher : Baen (January 1, 1986)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0671655493
- ISBN-13 : 978-0671655495
- Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,563,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Mr. Carr lives a rather mundane existence, not any different than most people around him. He arrives before 9:00 and leaves after 5:00, he returns to his apartment, sleeps, and repeats the process. The standard diversions: go to a bar, go to a party, drink.
His life isn't any more or less eventful than anyone around him, he's doing what everyone else is doing. But somehow, Carr finds his life to be rather empty, without purpose. Its not any different from anyone else he "knows", ...but it doesn't appear to matter to anyone else but him. The sensations of being alone in a crowd continue. He follows his repetitive routine of life, feeling ever more disconnected.Something is clearly "off" in his interactions, people seem to behave like preprogrammed automatons, ...and Carr has somehow fallen a bit out of the collective rhythm. Something is clearly wrong", but he can't quite articulate it, or place it in the proper perspective.
Then one day, he meets a frightened younger woman on the run from a group of strange pursuers.
For anyone else who has never felt quite on the same level of "frequency" with our ever more homogenized, conformist, bland monochrome world, ...this story explains it all.
The woman, Jane, tries to keep him out of it, but Carr eventually learns that everyone has a "pattern" that they're expected to follow throughout life. As long as a person stays in their pattern, everything is fine. When a person does omething unexpected, or otherwise goes out of their pattern, it's like they aren't just invisible, they suddenly don't exist, until they return to their pattern. In other words, the universe is a giant machine.
I really enjoyed this book. It's very thought provoking, and Leiber is a great author, so this is also very well done. For something short, and very different, this is the book.
I found "The Sinful Ones" by Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) uninteresting, convoluted and stuffed with unnecessary dialog and descriptive passages that contributed little to the story line. Perhaps "psychological thrillers" with supernatural overtones was a hot topic in the 1950's but I could not buy in to the author's viewpoint. Perhaps it was the fact that until page 93 we, the readers, were finally let in on the BIG MYSTERY which was frankly quite an anticlimax.
As a long time reader of science fiction I was pleased to read this very early effort by Fritz Leiber. Nonetheless I would not recommend it to new readers unfamiliar with his major works.
The main character is a 39 year-old interviewer for some sort of employment service. A girl he meets is his guide to the strange and frightening world. A world of automatons and sinful ones. The wall-eyed blond, the young man without a hand, the affable seeming older man. And the beast. The setting is Chicago in the 50's and, while I'm not familiar with the city, it seems a good evocation of the era.
Interesting to note that Leiber rewrote the sex scenes, t least in the version I read. Apparently the original publishers did the same thing to him in the 50's! So they are fairly modern. But what is the Triangle of Venus?