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Limbo 90

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  248 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Altho Bernard Wolfe has written several plays, most for television, it is principally for his 1952 science fiction novel Limbo that he's best remembered. Penguin Books republished this work in a slightly abridged form in 1961, claiming it was "the first book of science fiction to project the present-day concept of 'cybernetics' to its logical conclusion". Taken from this v ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published 1961 by Penguin Books (first published 1952)
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Tony Gleeson Perdóneme por tomar tanto tiempo para encontrar su pregunta. Y favor de pardoner mi español -- He oído que el libro ha sido recientemente publicado en…morePerdóneme por tomar tanto tiempo para encontrar su pregunta. Y favor de pardoner mi español -- He oído que el libro ha sido recientemente publicado en una nueva edición y, por lo tanto, podría estar disponible a través de un buen vendedor de libros. ¡Buena suerte!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Althea Ann
Jul 08, 2016 Althea Ann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This month's post-apocalyptic book club selection.

What a morass of sludge!!!

Wolfe wrote this book after undergoing psychoanalysis with Dr. Edmund Bergler, a follower of Freud. Full and immediate disclosure: I do not have a high opinion of the theories of Freud, and Bergler's theories, as interpreted in this book, seem like they might be even further off-the-mark concerning sexuality.

When undergoing Freudian analysis, the subject is encouraged to focus in on himself at length to try to obtain bet
...more
Aaron Doty
Dec 24, 2013 Aaron Doty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from its other serious and manifest flaws (preachiness and tiresomely repetitive philosophizing being the most obvious) this book has serious issues in its portrayal of women and sexual relationships. This vision of the future is mired in rape fantasies and misogyny. Very uncomfortable reading.
Chris
A post-apocalyptic book that examines the propensity of humans to war and the ideal of pacifism, Bernard Wolfe takes the notion of "disarmament" to an unprecedented level. Although Limbo is an excellent book for exploring how violence and pacifism can escalate to extremes, both on a personal and a national level, it unfortunately fails to acknowledge any kind of alternative viewpoints such as the principle of non-aggression. Thought-provoking and quotable, this book rates favorably against simil ...more
Jason
I wanted to admire this novel for a few reasons: the author's backstory is fascinating (he was a pornographic novelist, was immersed in the blues-jazz music scene and wrote about it, and he was a secretary or guard for Leon Trotsky in Mexico); I enjoyed a couple of his short stories in Ellison's DANGEROUS VISIONS series, and the novel LIMBO has made a number of Top 100 Best Sc-fi novels consistently. But, alas, this massive novel was a massive disappointment.
LIMBO is a post-WWIII novel of one I
...more
Mjhancock
Sep 12, 2011 Mjhancock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Parts of it seem a little bit drawn out, the psychology-based sections really lost me, and the misogyny didn't really age well. But the book's other aspects, from its examination of the cyborg figure to its discussion on the role of the machine in modern culture are all amazingly prescient for its time. It's classic, somewhat psychedelic 50s sci-fi.
Erik Graff
Oct 02, 2008 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wolfe fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I read this dystopian novel because its author, Bernard Wolfe, had been one of Leon Trotsky's secretaries during his Mexican exile and had written The Great Prince Died (1959) about him.
Lisa
Aug 19, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My sister is in an apocalyptic book club, and they're currently reading this book. I'll be in town for the discussion, so I read it, too. The quote on the cover comparing it to 1984 and Brave New World got my hopes up, but Limbo ended up annoying me.

I feel like Bernard Wolfe was just using the character of Martine to express his own brilliant ideas and clever witticisms, and I didn't find any of it that brilliant or clever. I felt at times like I was reading the bible of a religion I don't care
...more
Devin
Feb 26, 2011 Devin rated it did not like it
The author sets up a ridiculous straw man, and attacks that rather than address any real issues. This is done through terrible prose, and horrible misogynistic views. While it is one of the first science fiction books to deal with cybernetics, it does so in such a ham-fisted way, that the book is best left forgotten.
Tess
Nov 30, 2015 Tess marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Literary & Cultural Theory After 1900: post-human cyberpunk
Jose Vera
"Limbo" ha sido una lectura larga y difícil. Me animé por este libro debido a comentarios que lo ponían al nivel de "1984" y "Un mundo feliz", pero nada más lejos de ello.

Aunque fue escrito en 1952 plantea una serie de conceptos muy adelantados a su época pudiendo considerarse a este libro como uno de los precursores del cyberpunk. Desde computadoras que controlan naciones hasta miembros artificiales con los que se reemplazan los naturales "Limbo" presentó en su momento ideas innovadoras.

La hi
...more
Lisa
Feb 22, 2017 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"- Que pourraient-ils en faire de mal ?
- Ce genre de connaissance peut prêter aux abus, ce ne serait pas la première fois.
- Tu as quelque chose à proposer ?
- Si tu me l'avais demandé plus tôt, je t'aurais fait une proposition tout ce qu'il y a de plus concrète, répondit gravement Martine. J'aurais dit : au lieu de détruire les lances, les flèches empoisonnées et les couteaux fabriqués en secret par les affligés, planquez-les et veillez à la rouille."

"Brusquement sa voix parut fléchir et s'éteind
...more
Giacomo Boccardo
Nov 19, 2010 Giacomo Boccardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solo uno scrittore con una laurea in psicanalisi poteva concepire una visione così allucinata: una società in cui si cerca la pace tramite l'immobilità, indotta dall'amputazione volontaria degli arti e dall'eventuale sostituzione con protesi ipertecnologiche. La gerarchia sociale è influenzata proprio dal numero di arti rimossi, pertanto i quadri-amp sono i più rispettati, seguiti dai tri-amp e dai bi-amp. I più radicali arrivano alla castrazione e vivono, senza alcun arto, dentro a ceste di vim ...more
Nazim
Jan 06, 2014 Nazim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: golden-age-sf
First off, I want to say it is not THAT good as George Orwell's 1984 as the blurb says. that's for sure!

The book sets us in a post apocalyptic world. The WW 3 had happened. The nukes and H-bombs wiped out Paris, Johannesburg, London, Roma and other European cities. During and after the war Nuclear technology reached its culmination. Now it is even possible to give a man, mostly injured after-battle soldiers or amputees, entirely artificial extremities working with implanted nuclear power plants.
...more
Max Ampuero
Es una novela algo espesa, pero de apoco va abriéndose paso en la mente del lector.
Tom Britz
Jul 21, 2016 Tom Britz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long time to get into the world of this book. Since it was written in 1950 and extrapolated that 1950's world into the world of 1990 along with all of the Cold War hysteria and the fear of the Bomb. The premise of the book was so far out there, I couldn't even get my mind into it. But to my amazement, Mr. Wolfe did actually make the world seem plausible.

The so called premise was; after an all-out 3rd world war and the major use of nuclear weapons, the few remaing habitable areas (Th
...more
Tony Gleeson
Nov 21, 2008 Tony Gleeson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After resolving to go back and re-visit this (and see if it still rates five stars) for many many years, I finally did so. If anything, Wolfe's 1952 masterpiece had more to offer me than it did in my younger days. Wolfe was a wonderful writer, cynical and puckish, and best of all for me, he loved puns. This book bristles with them. I discovered dozens of new cultural and historical allusions that probably made little or no sense to me back then (Vedanta, William James, Korzybski, Norbert Wiener, ...more
Jeffrey Greggs
A real curio of 50s dystopian writing, antiwar and skeptical of pacifism at the same time. The prose is uneven–elegant and ponderous by turn–and Wolfe is a little too fond of long streches of Freud and Weiner. Nevertheless, there are some indelible images and a good bit of solid literary thinking. If Wolfe had engaged a better editor, the book would not only be a classic of speculative fiction (JG Ballard cited it as the main inspiration for his own career), it would also be a classic of Western ...more
Claudio
May 19, 2011 Claudio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciencia-ficción
Un libro sesudo, lleno de referencias y explicaciones sociológicas y freudianas, que es un alegato en contra de la guerra, pero también contra el pacifismo. En sus páginas hay críticas a todo el sistema social basado en las mentes enfermas de sus componentes, y al tiempo un alegato a favor del desviarse de la norma.
Es un libro complejo, a veces se hace lento, pero sin duda es algo interesantísimo.
Clayton
May 21, 2013 Clayton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Wow, what a great read. I almost hesitate to place this on my sci-fi shelf because it hardly seems a fitting label for it. Still, it's a much different view on the cyborg notion than I'm used to, and it's valuable to have perspective. Really it was just fascinating all of the way through. Yes, some parts did drag a bit, and Wolfe can be a bit talkative at times, but it was all worth it.
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I have vague, yet paradoxically clear memories of this book - about a society that has evolved believing in the value of amputation because then they can develop the strength of their upper bodies... a society at war.
Perakee
Dec 21, 2015 Perakee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably a turning point in my life as 15 y.o. avid Sci-Fi reader. The moment I went from glamourous adventures and space-operas to serious, adult story-telling.
Ana Abel
Jul 16, 2009 Ana Abel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: año-2009
Mortalmente aburrido, pedante, machista y lleno de filosofías baratas.
Angie
An above average sci-fi novel. Inventive and at least not formulaic. Good, although somewhat obvious use of "dis-arm-ament" as a social metaphor.
Frank
Sep 02, 2016 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Read this back in the 70s. Sci-fi novel about cyborgs.
Mary
Dec 20, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago. I want to see if it's as good as I thought it was when I was in college. Yep, still enjoyed this book. Wonder why they never made a movie out of it.
Alan
Liked the book well enough to seek it out 20 years later and reread it. Now another 20 have gone by and I can't remember much about it.
Michael
Sep 12, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Radical equalitification leads to total disarmament.
Clint McRae
Interesting concepts but needed some serious editing.
Mark
Mar 26, 2011 Mark is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Much like Kirsten Dunst's character in the movie CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL, this book is crazy and also beautiful.
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“Is deviation from the locally approved norms always and everywhere to be taken as disease?” 5 likes
“They could not all be right. At least, some had to be more right than others. Or less wrong.” 4 likes
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