Make Room! Make Room!

Paperback, 233 pages

English language

Published Feb. 3, 2009 by Penguin Books.

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3 stars (5 reviews)

A gangster is murdered during a blistering Manhattan heat wave. City cop Andy Rusch is under pressure to solve the crime and captivated by the victim's beautiful girlfriend. But it is difficult to catch a killer, let alone get the girl, in crazy streets crammed full of people. The planet's population has exploded. The 35 million inhabitants of New York City run their TVs off pedal power, riot for water, loot and trample for lentil 'steaks' and are controlled by sinister barbed wire dropped from the sky.

21 editions

Review of 'Make Room! Make Room!' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I enjoyed reading this book. It starts off almost as like a detective novel but the intrigue soon dissolves into the background and in the end it is more like a portrait of a possible dystopian future without much of a story. Despite being published in 1966, it successfully predicts the problems we have now of running out of resources. However it blames this squarely on over-population rather than over-consumption and reads like a manifesto for increased access to birth control as the solution. I think this is what dates the book a little because I get the impression that we now have quite good access to birth control and education about that, at least where I live, yet we are still heading towards the catastrophic future predicted in the book. In a way the dystopia in the story seems almost reassuring viewed from a modern perspective where we are …

Review of 'Make Room! Make Room!' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

It's the future - 1999 in fact! Over 7 billion humans, 35 million of them in New York City where a cop, a gangster's moll and a street kid all collide on their no longer separate searches for food and water security. Shanties, tent cities, people living in ships and cars that can't move because there's no more oil. Sounds like Harrison only got the date wrong...

It's an odd book tackling the question of over-population back in the 1960s when it seems to have first been taken seriously (though not by policy makers, plainly). The story is told quite seriously which may come as a surprise to folks familiar with Harrison's OTT spoof/satires starring the Stainless Steel Rat and the points are made deftly - except towards the end when one of the characters turns into a talking head and starts handing out lectures about contraception, Catholicism and politics. …