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Limbo 90

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  164 ratings  ·  23 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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(showing 1-30 of 537)
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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
Mjhancock
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.
Aaron Doty
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.
Nazim
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
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
Tony Gleeson
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
Giacomo Boccardo
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
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
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
Speedy
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
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.
Devin
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.
Clint McRae
Interesting concepts but needed some serious editing.
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.
Erik Graff
Jun 12, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Mary
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.
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.
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.
Popvoid
One of the great forgotten classics of dystopian literature. He managed to predict the modern primitive movement in 1953.
Mark
Mar 27, 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.
Ana Abel
Mortalmente aburrido, pedante, machista y lleno de filosofías baratas.
Michael
Radical equalitification leads to total disarmament.
Lolakay
um. you just have to read this one.
Dan Varrette
Dan Varrette marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2015
Alexa
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Shawn Lebrun
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Feb 28, 2015
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“Is deviation from the locally approved norms always and everywhere to be taken as disease?” 4 likes
“The human being must always be central, not the products and objects of his skill and energy.” 2 likes
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