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Vurt Paperback – January 15, 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you like challenging science fiction, then Jeff Noon is the author for you. Vurt, winner of the 1994 Arthur C. Clarke award, is a cyberpunk novel with a difference, a rollicking, dark, yet humorous examination of a future in which the boundaries between reality and virtual reality are as tenuous as the brush of a feather.

But no review can do Noon's writing justice: it's a phantasmagoric combination of the more imaginative science fiction masters, such as Phillip K. Dick, genres such as cyberpunk and pulp fiction, and drug culture.

If this tickles your fancy, you should definitely consider the sequel to Vurt, Pollen, or Noon's lighter and more accessible Automated Alice, a modern recasting of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

British novelist Noon debuts with a futuristic tale of a hallucinogenic drug that spins users into virtual worlds.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Vurt (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st St. Martin's Griffin ed edition (January 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312141440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312141448
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I personally really enjoyed this book, but I've also enjoyed other works by Noon, so maybe it just comes down to my taste. I could see why some wouldn't like it, it's not revolutionary or anything. I did however, find the characters to be compelling and realistic and I didn't have a problem with the dialogue as suggested in another review. Then again I've done a lot of drugs, hung out with addicts, squatters, and punks, and generally enjoy books about these topics. The characters reminded me of old friends I've had and the scenerio was exciting enough to keep me interested.
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By A Customer on July 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
Vurt, by Jeff Noon is one of the most creative books that I have read in the sf&f world. It seems almost like a combo of A Clockwork Orange (the way Jeff Noon invents words, deriving them from words already in existance; also the all night Vurt-You-Want is analagous to the Korova Milkbar), Neuromancer (the general style of writing, cyberpunk theme), and Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland (the sort of mysticism that surrounds the plot, how a child is chasing down something that seems trivial to others, how he encounters a strage and almost magical world, paralelling to reality), and finally of Tekwar (the theme deals with the solicitation of drugs that don't exist in the non fiction world, and the battling that goes along with them). The plotline is very simple when you strip it of detail, which is part of why it becomes such an intriguinging, such a simple plotline bears such a complex plot. I think that Jeff Noon did a commendable job on his first book, and look ! forward to reading more books by him.
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Format: Paperback
Please don't read Vurt if you are a sub-culture literature snob. And don't read it if you are a Sci-Fi elitist. And if you like to intellectualize the merit of a work against the established canon (even if that canon is considered cultish or underground or whatever) or critique it within a particular lineage, please stay clear of this book.
I can see why this book is not for all. I can even relate with the negative reviews it has been receiving on this web site. If I were to remove myself from the emotional and the more intuitive responses this novel evokes in me, I too might label it drug-obsessed and not the most original; or the writing style somewhat pretentious and over-the-top.
But, whether because I stem from a culture of electronic music, psychedelic drugs, and crusty fashion or because I tend to romanticize everything in life to death, this book has captured and moved me deeply.
So please, read this book if you too are a dreamer, like me. And read it if you've ever found yourself looking over that field of shattered glass, like an illusion gleaming, hiding the scum and the stench of Anytown-Bottletown, hoping for something better. Searching for a reality more satisfying than this, because you've always known this world is not your own. Linking the hunger with sexual love then discovering (in letting it go) that the insatiability goes far beyond.
It's about escape. This book is a momentary escape.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It really should be one star. But one star means I hate it. Hate is such a strong word for such a weak book.
Because I loved JDATE this was recommended. No. This is not Burroughs . This is a pale imitation of psychedelic literature. I had no burning desire to re-read or think about what I had read. The incest was just creepy, the feathers as an obvious phallic symbol were creepy. The writing and story just plodded along.
Please rethink before you give a 5 star rating (unless you are being paid I suppose) for many of us are starting to look past five star ratings. I now seek out the 1 - 4 and see the overall feelings about the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book!

It has a definite pulp feel and patterns after authors like Philip K. Dick and William Burroughs, writing about strange psychedelic experiences in surreal dystopian futures. In fact the writing is nowhere as good as either of those authors, and there are places where the narrative is scattered and loose. But overall it's a wonderful ride, one that doesn't come around very often.

Many elements of this strange story are unforgettably hallucinatory. The world the story takes place in is developed quite well. Finally, the story, in the end, could probably be read somewhat allegorically, and it is possible that there are intimations at deeper levels of purpose and symbolism than I am now aware of.

It's a fun, and moves fast, and is full of beauty and strangeness that, again, the combination-of is quite rare. I do recommend it, especially for fans of alternate-reality stories.
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By A Customer on April 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
"A young boy puts a feather into his mouth..."
From the first sentence of the book, I was drawn in. I forced myself to read only one chapter at a time, to actually consider what I'd read and let it sink in, and that made this book that much richer. To me, it heralded back to Clockwork Orange. The Stash Riders (made up of Scribble, Beetle, Mandy, and Bridget) have their own vocabulary grown from the world they inhabit - where feathers can hold their fondest dreams or worst nightmares, where the worst poison comes from dreamsnakes, where pure is poor, and where shadowcops lurk above every all-night Vurt-U-Want.
Scribble is a young man, not so out of the ordinary, who wants nothing more than to have his sister back again. That want drives him to a destiny he'd not even considered, gaining and losing almost everything in the process.
I'm enamoured with this book. It stays on my nightstand so I can hear Scribble tell his story whenever I want. Let Jeff Noon take you into his tangibly ethereal world.
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