Make Room Make Room

Make Room Make RoomThe World Is Crowded Far Too Crowded Its Starving Billions Live On Lentils, Soya Beans, And If They Re Lucky The Odd Starving Rat In A New York City Groaning Under The Burden Of Million Inhabitants, Detective Andy Rusch Is Engaged In A Desperate And Lonely Hunt For A Killer Everyone Has Forgotten For Even In A World Such As This, A Policeman Can Find Himself Utterly Alone Acclaimed On Its Original Publication In , Make Room Make Roomwas Adapted Into The Movie Soylent Green In , Starring Charlton Heston Along With Edward G Robinson In His Last Role McDonald s springs to mind Monsanto too Color me happy andthan a little surprised to be decorating this review with as many stars as I am because I went into this novel with pretty subdued expectations I would say expectations on par with those I hold for the latest cinematic embarassment by Mr Dickoless Cage I know that s not very nice, but I will never, never forgive that talent free ass bozo for effectively castrating Ghost Rider in front of the general public, despite being a self described fanboy of the character The g Color me happy andthan a little surprised to be decorating this review with as many stars as I am because I went into this novel with pretty subdued expectations I would say expectations on par with those I hold for the latest cinematic embarassment by Mr Dickoless Cage I know that s not very nice, but I will never, never forgive that talent free ass bozo for effectively castrating Ghost Rider in front of the general public, despite being a self described fanboy of the character The guy should be tied up in a Pulp Fiction style basement and JAMhandled by the gimp WOW, okayI am way off on a tangent here aren t I let s get back to the book.Where was I Oh yeah.So leaving aside shitty actors with no ability, this is an excellent novel and a very welcome surprise Written in 1966 but taking place in 1999 the story posits a world reaping the results of massive over population and the depletion of natural resources.which of course we know could NEVER really happen and is just one of those wacky SF ideas these weirdo writers come up with Hmm Anyway, while loosely framed as a mystery involving a hard boiled detective investigating a murder, this plot device is really just a means by which the author explores the future society of New York City population 35 Million, as opposed to the just under 10 Million of present day 2011.What really grabbed me by the fruits about the story is the terrific sense of place the author establishes through random, but well chosen, details about life in this future New York Harrison is able to seamlessly weave into the narrative the most fascinating snapshots of the world without resorting to big, drawn out expositional paragraphs I was very impressed by his control over his story This novel is a lesson in exceptional world building.We learn significant background details such as information involving food riots, foodstuffs made from plankton, soy bean and lentil steaks, ever increasing prices of commodities, water shortages, debates about birth control, and that all of the characters suffer from physical ailments resultng from mal nutrition or disease The author provides this well fleshed, intricate picture of the world without dropping major dumps of info that would clog up the natural flow of the story Well done, sir Well done indeed In addition to the exceptionally delivered background info, the characters are very much three dimensional and act pursuant to complex and subtle motivations This kind of high level development is unusual for this kind of short 60 s science fiction novel Again the author exceeed expectations and his ability to do that consistently is worthy of serious kudos To sum up, this is a terriific story While not up to the all time great status of a book like Stand on Zanzibar which is my standard for this kind of science fiction story , this is certainly an outstanding story and among the best of its type that I have read.4.5 to 5.0 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Here is a 1966 novel about 1999 which is good, honest, miserable fun The main guy who is a cop gets to be really happy for about two pages and after that it s back to worrying about absolutely everything It s New York City and the population has skyrocketed to 35 million The whole damn country has kind of collapsed There are noprivate cars Tobacco is a thing of the past There are meateasies This is because you can get your meat but you have to know where But pretty much everything Here is a 1966 novel about 1999 which is good, honest, miserable fun The main guy who is a cop gets to be really happy for about two pages and after that it s back to worrying about absolutely everything It s New York City and the population has skyrocketed to 35 million The whole damn country has kind of collapsed There are noprivate cars Tobacco is a thing of the past There are meateasies This is because you can get your meat but you have to know where But pretty much everything is now scarce because Americans in the 30 years between 1966 and 1999 ate everything and used up everything whilst all having ten kids who then had another ten kids each, it seems.You wouldn t want to live in this version of New York City You wouldn t want to even visit it for ten minutes.CHUNK This humble word is Harry Harrison s absolute favourite No idea why If you had a shot of vodka each time he uses the word CHUNK you d be dead of severe alcoholic poisoning before page 90 My own favourite word is GALLIMAUFRY but you don t see me shoehorning it into every review willynilly Willynilly is another of my favourite words.BILLY NO MATES A THEORYMy latest literary insight is that in most novels, especially thrillerish ones, the protagonist has no friends Check the last three novels you read I think this is because it would make the story too complicated and annoying for the author would get in the way of the action Make Room Make Rooms two main characters begin with one sort of friend for him and none for her Novelists, this is very unrealistic People have friends Even I have friends Our hero s friend is nothingthan a SOCK PUPPET so that Harry Harrison can explain his ideas of how overpopulation killed the USA and will kill the whole human race unless we embrace birth control The message of this novel couldn t be clearer if Harry Harrison personally came round to your house and nailed it to your forehead With another copy to be cellotaped to your bedroom mirror.HARRY ADMITS I GOT IT WRONGIn a one page afterword written in 2008 at the age of 83 HH says How right were my predictions Pretty bad in most of the general details but then he does say there s too many damn people and the developed world is soaking up all the planet s resources Which we know He predicted the population of NYC would increase from 8 million in 1966 to 35 million in 1999 which is RIDICULOUS But there is now a city Chongqing which Wiki tells me has reached 30 million And others aren t far behind Shanghai, 24m, Delhi, 21m The biggest population growth is in the developing world, and this tells us that HH didn t understand the part which says that there is a correlation between affluence and family size So the families of western people shrank over the 20th century I can see this in my own family grandparents generation 9 or 10 children parents generation two or three my own generation one or two or NONE I LIKED IT Even though it s a bit of a miseryfest, it zips along and HH has a real relish for all the horrible details.A CHUNKy three stars from me If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Malthus Make Room Make Room by Harry Harrison Original Review, 1980 08 19 Pournelle s virulently infectious optimism is severely misplaced Other people have already pointed out that his strategy involves the probable abandonment of Earth and the bulk of its population what the hell, they re just gooks anyway I ll just add that even RAH 2018 EDIT Heinlein saw this approx 30 years ago in FARMER IN THE SKY a character acknow If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Malthus Make Room Make Room by Harry Harrison Original Review, 1980 08 19 Pournelle s virulently infectious optimism is severely misplaced Other people have already pointed out that his strategy involves the probable abandonment of Earth and the bulk of its population what the hell, they re just gooks anyway I ll just add that even RAH 2018 EDIT Heinlein saw this approx 30 years ago in FARMER IN THE SKY a character acknowledges that even with the huge ships in use they can t possibly take offthan a fraction of the population increase or absorb it in a colonial world they re simply hoping to have some racial survival after Earth is ruined A science fiction classicQuite unlike the movie, Make Room, Make Room is a gloomy, glimpse into a New York burgeoning with too many people The movie that is loosely based on it is Soylent Green Andy Rusch is a city cop who is overworked and underpaid He has one friend, Sol, an old man who also shares a room with him During the investigation of a bigwig s murder, Andy meets a gorgeous woman who was the mistress of the newly deceased They hit it off As Andy investigates the crime, he and Shi A science fiction classicQuite unlike the movie, Make Room, Make Room is a gloomy, glimpse into a New York burgeoning with too many people The movie that is loosely based on it is Soylent Green Andy Rusch is a city cop who is overworked and underpaid He has one friend, Sol, an old man who also shares a room with him During the investigation of a bigwig s murder, Andy meets a gorgeous woman who was the mistress of the newly deceased They hit it off As Andy investigates the crime, he and Shirl get closer, but will she be satisfied with a common man after living the high life in a world in which very few live decently Before we had dystopian novels being pushed out like crazy in the 2000 s, Make Room, Make Roomcame out in 1966 and brought up a bleak and disturbingly believable dystopian future world, one filled with extreme overpopulation, pollution and madness It s still just as chilling today, in fact the 21st century has made it evenbelievable than it used to be, making for a frightening but very intriguing book.If you re a fan of the 1970 s film Soylent Green, well, Make Room, Make Roomwas the Before we had dystopian novels being pushed out like crazy in the 2000 s, Make Room, Make Roomcame out in 1966 and brought up a bleak and disturbingly believable dystopian future world, one filled with extreme overpopulation, pollution and madness It s still just as chilling today, in fact the 21st century has made it evenbelievable than it used to be, making for a frightening but very intriguing book.If you re a fan of the 1970 s film Soylent Green, well, Make Room, Make Roomwas the basis for that film And the film s memorable scene with the detective screaming out SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE IT S MADE OUTTA PEOPLE, WE GOTTA STOP EM SOMEHOW isn t in the book So if you re reading Make Room, Make Room expecting a movie novel, you won t find that but you still won t be disappointed Make Room, Make Room is an amazing novel with a nostalgic feel but a timeless message A great book, depressingly enjoyable It s amazing but I don t think i have ever read this book before So when it came up as a Group Read for the Apocalypse Whenever group, I voted for it and bought a kindle copy One of the best decisions i ve made.It is set during 1999 in New York and proceeds all the way to the millennium Now obviously it is 19 years past that date, and so it is interesting to see what Harry got right , and boy was it a lot That said some of the future as portrayed by A great book, depressingly enjoyable It s amazing but I don t think i have ever read this book before So when it came up as a Group Read for the Apocalypse Whenever group, I voted for it and bought a kindle copy One of the best decisions i ve made.It is set during 1999 in New York and proceeds all the way to the millennium Now obviously it is 19 years past that date, and so it is interesting to see what Harry got right , and boy was it a lot That said some of the future as portrayed by Harry is an over exaggerated view of what occurred.Population out of control, horrendous pollution, over use of all the Earth s natural resources are just some of the issues facing the Earth andespecially the citizens of NY in this novel Into this add a police force that is severely understaffed and over stretched A police force that might spend only a few hours on each of the numerous murders that occur on a daily basis That is until a fixer and supplier for some very wealthy people is murdered Then pressure is brought to bear on the police force to solve this case quickly and not to just let it go Add into the mix a beautiful girl, an old man with memories of pre problem days, a loyal and trustworthy bodyguard, a group of demonstrators known as the Eldsters that d be me , some religious nuts thinking the end is nigh and a young boy on the run.A great story, depressing but enjoyable in the fact it is wonderfully written So mankind gobbled in a century all the world s resources that had taken millions of years to store up, and no one on the top gave a damn or listened to all the voices that were trying to warn them, they just let us overproduce and overconsume until now the oil is gone, the topsoil depleted and washed away, the trees chopped down, the animals extinct, the earth poisoned, and all we have to show for this is seven billion people fighting over the scraps that are left, living a miserable existenceSo mankind gobbled in a century all the world s resources that had taken millions of years to store up, and no one on the top gave a damn or listened to all the voices that were trying to warn them, they just let us overproduce and overconsume until now the oil is gone, the topsoil depleted and washed away, the trees chopped down, the animals extinct, the earth poisoned, and all we have to show for this is seven billion people fighting over the scraps that are left, living a miserable existence and still breeding without control So I say the time has come to stand up and be counted Is overpopulation still a thing When was the last time you heard it discussed I don t know the answer to that, there are opposing views on whether overpopulation still poses a significant threat to all of humanity or, since population growth has stabilized in many countries, some demographic analysts are saying that it is no longer a serious matter Nowadays climate change is generally viewed as apressing issue.In the 60s overpopulation was perceived as a major threat and it is one of the dystopian tropes often used by sci fi authors Several overpopulation sci fi novels have become classics of the genre, John Brunner s Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look Up by the same author, and Robert Silverberg s The World Inside spring to mind However, for me, the one emblematic sci fi book on this subject is Harry Harrison s Make Room Make RoomMake Room Make Roomwas first published in 1966, it is set in the then future of 1999, starting in August and ends shortly after midnight of January 1st, 2000 In this version of 1999, the global population is seven billion, food, water, electricity and living accommodations are scarce In New York, where the novel is set, millions of people are living on the streets, public transportation is no longer in operation, and all basic necessities are strictly rationed Wheat crackers have become a staple food, and meat is mostly only available in an artificial form called soylent meat , produced from soya beans.But how do you tell a story about overpopulation The concept does not seem to lend itself to conventional plotting Harrison does this by focusing on just a few protagonists rather than writing an epic but fragmented novel about a large cast of characters Detective Andy Rusch is the main character of this book, he shares a cramped little apartment with Sol, a retired engineer Andy is assigned to investigate a murder of an important businessman called Michael O Brien who is, in reality, a gangster with political connections O Brien lives in a walled off luxury apartment with access to unlimited electricity and water supply, they even have air conditioning This is where Andy meets Shirl Greene, O Brien s girlfriend who was living with the murder victim and now has to move out The two predictably form a relationship To the readers the identity of the killer is not a mystery it is a destitute teenager who attempted to burgle the apartment, and was caught in the act by O Brien and accidentally killed him in self defense The first half of the book is so focused on the murder investigation that I did wonder how this is a novel about overpopulation, let alone a sci fi novel However, the dystopia is always there in the background, in the state of Andy s apartment, the people lying on the street that he has to step over to get into his home, his roommate powering their refrigerator by hooking it to a bicycle and cycling like mad In the second half of the book, the murder investigation fades into the background and an accident causes sea water to seep into the water supply which is quickly shut down Water become evenstrictly rationed and is only available from water stations which has to be carried home in bottles and buckets Children are beginning to contract kwashiorkor, a form of severe protein energy malnutrition hitherto nonexistent in the US Living condition deteriorates throughout the narrative and a massive city wide riot seems imminent Make Room Make Roompaints a grim and depressing picture of an overpopulated New York, it frighteningly depicts the dehumanizing effect of overpopulation The way of life we take for granted is not sustainable under such conditions, even the simple human interrelationships between family members and friends are corroded by the constant suffering and hardship Make Room Make Roomis not a fun read as such, it is too harrowing for that, but it is a good, thought provoking read It is quite well written, with a clear straightforward prose, the characters are well developed and sympathetic The fact that the actual year 1999 was nothing like this is not a reason to dismiss this cautionary tale out of hand For all we know, Harrison has only overestimated the timing but the catastrophe he depicts here is still possible.Notes The film adaptation of Make Room Make Roomis much better known than the book It is a 1973 movie called Soylent Green It departs from the source material in many details especially the titular foodstuff , but is true to the book s spirit Q Is overpopulation still a problem A Yes No Maybe Harry Harrison is one of the popular sci fi authors during the 60s through to the 80s, his popularity declined a bit from the 90s onward Sadly he passed away in 2012 Make Room Make Roomis atypical of his output He tended to write fast paced, lighthearted sci fi adventures, like his signature series The Stainless Steel Rat, my personal favorite of his book is West of Eden.Quotes The millennium is here, now, upon us a populous world of souls awaiting His call This is the true millennium False prophets said it was the year one thousand, but there arepeople here in this single city than there were in the entire world at that time Now is the hour, we can see it nearing, we can read the signs The world can hold no , it will crack asunder under the weight of the masses of people We can go without washing for a while, it won t kill us, and when the water is connected up again we can all have a good scrub It s something to look forward to Face it, this city is through What they need here is animal trainers, not policemen This whole country is one big farm and one big appetite There s just as many people down South as there is up North and, since there s no public transportation, anyone who tried to walk to the land of sunshine would starve to death long before he got there People stay put because the country is organized to take care of them where they are New York City trembled on the brink of disaster Every locked warehouse was a nucleus of dissent, surrounded by crowds who were hungry and afraid and searching for someone to blame Their anger incited them to riot, and the food riots turned to water riots and then to looting, wherever this was possible First thing, Forget about the movie Soylent Green which was based on Harry Harrison s novel about overpopulation, Make Room Make Room There is no Charleston Heston screaming , Soylent Green is people and nothing about cannibalism What we have instead is a very effective and disquieting look at a future where overpopulation is rampant and food and water sources are depleting While he centers his story around a New York detective and a accidental murder, Harrison isinterested in de First thing, Forget about the movie Soylent Green which was based on Harry Harrison s novel about overpopulation, Make Room Make Room There is no Charleston Heston screaming , Soylent Green is people and nothing about cannibalism What we have instead is a very effective and disquieting look at a future where overpopulation is rampant and food and water sources are depleting While he centers his story around a New York detective and a accidental murder, Harrison isinterested in depicting his character spersonal responsse to their environment Sol beautifully played by Edward G Robinson in the movie and the best thing about the film is most memorable with his ability to remember the past and his examination of where they went wrong His soliloquy on birth control still rings true today Yet all the novel s protagonists are nicely developed Considering the topic, this is actually a fairly subtle novel and one of the best novels by veteran Sci fi writer Harrison Highly recommended with a strong four stars Of course I remember the movie Soylent Green I saw it at the drive in gazillions of years ago, and many times since But let me tell you, as dramatic as the movie is, with Charlton Heston as main character Andy Rusch giving the infamous scream of view spoiler Soylent Green is PEOPLE hide spoiler there is actually no soylent green in the book at all There are red crackers, seaweed crackers, brown soylent soy lentil steaks and eventually small soylent burgers supposedly with a smoky bar Of course I remember the movie Soylent Green I saw it at the drive in gazillions of years ago, and many times since But let me tell you, as dramatic as the movie is, with Charlton Heston as main character Andy Rusch giving the infamous scream of view spoiler Soylent Green is PEOPLE hide spoiler there is actually no soylent green in the book at all There are red crackers, seaweed crackers, brown soylent soy lentil steaks and eventually small soylent burgers supposedly with a smoky barbecue flavor So there is no eating of view spoiler people hide spoiler here There is not much eating of anything, because there is simply not much food Or water Or electricity Or personal space And this makes the book feel muchterrifying, because it is easier to imagine our world becoming exactly like Harrison s New York City Written in 1966, the story takes place during the last six months of 1999 Okay, we do all know that the world survived the big leap from the year 1999 to the year 2000 But Harrison s dedication shows us what he was concerned about at the time he wrote this book To Todd and Moria For your sakes, children, I hope this proves to be a work of fiction. There are 35 million people in New York City Andy Rusch is one of them He is a detective on the police force, sharing living space with an old man named Solomon Kahn Andy is assigned to investigate a homicide, and at first it seems to be cut and dried, another case to be dealt with as quickly as possible and forgotten But due to a bit of paranoia and misinterpretation on the part of certain people in control of things behind the scenes, pressure is put on the police force to find the killer, not simply to mark the case closed without a proper investigation In the process of histhorough detective work, Andy gets to know the victim s girlfriend Shirl, who becomes very important in his own life The reader spends time with the killer, we even see him commit the crime, but does Andy ever catch him But the police procedure is only a tiny part of the story The main theme is the lack of everything that makes a city a decent place to live Water and food rations are small and often cut Electricity is iffy, there are no cars on the streets, but they do fill once vacant lots where homeless people crowd into their abandoned bodies for shelter Of course some people do manage to live in air conditioned luxury, and even buy beef from the meatleggers There are always people who can get you things for the right price and others who have that price Overall the feel of the book is grimy, hot, sticky, hopeless, and extremely crowded Solomon spends time in the second part of the book talking about why the country has turned out the way it has, and his words feel like something we could be hearing today Or perhaps should be hearing today As I said earlier, it is very easy to imagine our world becoming Andy s world A few natural disasters, a littleclimate change, one or two dozencrooked politicians, lots and lots ofpeople and there we are I agree with Harrison s wish in his dedication However, it does seem that we are well on the way to making this statement by Solomon a reality One time we had the whole world in our hands, but we ate it and burned it and it s gone now

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  • Paperback
  • 153 pages
  • Make Room Make Room
  • Harry Harrison
  • English
  • 12 March 2019
  • 0425040437