Make Room! Make Room!

  • by Harry Harrison
  • Narrated by Eric Michael Summerer
  • 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The 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 35 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 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was adapted into the 1973 movie Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston along with Edward G. Robinson in his last role.

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Customer Reviews

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A darkly compelling vision of the future

An outstanding reading of Harry Harrison's classic distopian vision of a future, in which mankind is on the verge of breeding itself to death, having consumed virtually all the world's resources as the population continues to grow at an exponential rate.

In the cities, food and water are subject to rationing for all but the corrupt and wealthy few. Homelessness is rife, with most of the population living on the streets or in makeshift shelters. It's against this backdrop that New York detective Andy Rusch investigates the murder of a wealthy - and very shady - businessman, hooking up with the dead man's moll in the process.

This main thread of the novel is a police procedural, with shades of '30s pulp detective fiction. While gripping in its own right, it serves primarily to provide a context in which the protagonists - Rusch, his girlfriend Shirl and Billy Chung, a young boy for whom a life of crime and misfortune are an inevitable consequence of his impoverished circumstances - interact with the drab, mundane horror of the world they live in.

Make Room! Make Room! has been on my to-read list for years and this audio rendition perfectly realises everything I'd hoped the book would be. The novel is unrelentingly dark, teasing listeners with a tantalising glimmer of hope, only to snatch it away in an instant.

While some of the social issues Harrison confronts have perhaps lost their immediacy (in most of the western world, at least), others, including environmental depredation, global overpopulation and the class divide are still every bit as relevant as when the book was first written.

The text is also of particular interest in the context of the time it was written, with a progressive (if typically bleak) attitude to women's and civil rights that's not found in many other stories of the era.
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- Katerina

Not what I expected

Any additional comments?

I bought this on the strength of the film Soylent Green, but it feels more like Bladerunner without the gunfire.
"Soyent" added components to the book that gave the story more of an edge, while the book just meanders without really getting anywhere.

However, there IS a seriously good point about over-population. I just believe that other writers have done better in this area.

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- Stephen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 23-06-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios