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

Most Helpful

Excellent book, well read

An excellent dystopian view of the future, "Make Room! Make Room!" shows a world that is depressingly believable...vastly overcrowded cities, failing infrastructure and the struggle to secure the basic necessities (especially water) dominate every-day life. The book is very prescient; it reflects current concerns over environmental destruction and exhaustion of natural resources, which seemed remote and hypothetical when the book was published in 1966 (only 4 years after "Silent Spring" started the environmental movement).

The novel is written as a police procedural set in the New York City of 1999. Making the protagonist a detective was effective as it allowed the reader to see many aspects of the "Make Room!" world in a natural manner. However, between the setting and the realities of police work, the book is very bleak.

The movie "Soylent Green" was loosely based on "Make Room! Make Room!" Very loosely. More accurately, the movie setting was taken from the book and some of the plot elements, but the story, the themes and the conclusion are very different. For example, there is no "soylent green" in the book at all. If you've seen the movie, you haven't read the book, or vice versa.

Those who want to study such things might want to compare "Make Room! Make Room!" to the more antiseptic future envisioned in "Brave New World" (which was written about 35 years earlier).

Summerer's narration is quite good. He really pulls the listener into the story, and his reading is well paced and the characters are voiced distinctly without much apparent strain on Summerer's part, or the listener's (it helps that there aren't really all that many characters).

In conclusion, an interesting, if depressing, listen.
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- Joel D Offenberg

Unable to see

New York City is expected to hit 19 million this year, but according to HH when he wrote this book in 1966, NYC was going to hit 35 million by 1999. England was suppose to be one huge city. Resources were almost completely exhausted. In NYC water, food, housing and most everything is rationed. People live in huge ships anchored in the harbor, they also live in cars that have been pushed into huge parking lots. Cars don't run anymore. The police are inept and most murders go unsolved.

I know it is easy for me in 2012 to be critical of something written in 1966. Had this been written strictly for entertainment I believe that would be true, but this was written as a political statement by HH for planned parenthood. Most of the top sci-fi writers of the fifties and sixties wrote books warning us against overpopulation. Today they write about global warming, trying to scare us with a political statement. I am not saying they are wrong, I just believe it is important to look at some of the causes authors took up in the past and see just how wrong they got it. These authors did not see the advances in agriculture. They did not see the decreasing family size, due to changes in society. They did not have the vision to see just how large the world really is.

The book is written in two parts. I found the first part to be a bit slow and I did not find the love interest between the cop and the whore to be believable. Part 2 was more believable and more interesting, not enough to recommend the book, but if you do have it, you will want to continue listening.

My favorite books about overpopulation are Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside" and Frederik Pohl's " Space Merchants".
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- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."

Book Details

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