To Live Forever
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To Live Forever

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Garven Waylock had waited seven years for the scandal surrounding his former immortal self to be forgotten. He had kept his identity concealed so that he could once again join the ranks of those who lived forever. He had been exceedingly careful about hiding his past.

Then he met The Jacynth. She was a beautiful 19-year-old, and Garven wanted her. But he recognized that a

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Mass Market Paperback
Published by Tor Books (first published September 1956)
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This is the first Vance novel I've re-read and it was pretty damn awesome the second time around. It is on one level a fairly typical Vance narrative where an amoral protagonist claws his way through a rigid, highly-organised society, only to bring the system crashing through and then become a space explorer.

But with Vance, the details are everything. There are the wonderful proper nouns - Vance's characters just have the best names ever - The Jacynth Martin, The Grayven Warlock and so on. His...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

In Clarges, a city in the far future, humans have conquered death. Unfortunately, there's just not enough room for billions of immortal people to live forever, so they've passed the fair-play act which divides society into 5 phyle which must be maintained at certain population ratios. Those who choose to participate in fair-play must register in Brood, the lowest phyle, and receive 82 years of life, after which an "assassin" visits and takes them away in a...more
Metaphorosis
Wikipedia quotes Floyd C. Gale as saying "frighteningly logical...[t]he sick, inbred society of Vance's imagination comes fully alive, even though his characters remain mere symbols."

I really can't say it better than that. Where most Vance work is focused on atmosphere, attitude, and of course punctilio, Clarges (previously and better titled To Live Forever), is unusual in being a fairly direct exploration of a concept. The Clarges society is tightly restricted in space, and the bulk of the popu...more
Ron
To Live Forever was published in 1956. Before Sputnik, before the Pill, before Vietnam. Like 1984 and Brave New World, it was one man's guess where the future might head. It reflected the extent and limits of that day's science and sociology. In that regard, Vance must be allowed whatever vision he wanted to present. It was probably radical and hip then.

At the functional level, however the story features a "hero" who is hard to like, a society which seems simultaneously repressive and ridiculous...more
Kayla
Cool book. It's amazing how the main character is a murderer, but for some reason you want things to turn out right for him. What a creative idea, earning immortality by what you accomplish. Jack Vance has such vivid descriptions, and a great vocabulary.
Jon
Actual cover of my paperback edition:

description
Matthew
Clarges by Jack Vance
aka To Live Forever

Clarges—previously published under the title To Live Forever—is a fantastic early standalone Vance SF novel, which speculates about a future where—seemingly beneficial—scientific advancement has held back man's potential to colonise the stars. This was perhaps the first Vance novel to really strike gold—excluding The Dying Earth which was a short story collection—and shows many of the characteristic traits which adorn his later works. Clarges is a great ex...more
Fantasy Literature
In Clarges, a city in the far future, humans have conquered death. Unfortunately, there's just not enough room for billions of immortal people to live forever, so they've passed the fair-play act which divides society into 5 phyle which must be maintained at certain population ratios. Those who choose to participate in fair-play must register in Brood, the lowest phyle, and receive 82 years of life, after which an "assassin" visits and takes them away in a black hearse. By significantly contribu...more
Chris Hawks
Halfway though this book, I wasn't sure what to think. The main character was a nice enough guy, but also a murderous, conniving opportunist. And he's the main POV character, so it was difficult to feel much involvement in the story, because I really thought he deserved to die. It became much more enjoyable once I realized that the story wasn't about him; rather, it's a story about the downfall of a society that rations out immortality to its citizens, with the protagonist as the catalyst, not t...more
Lera
An adventure story with just a bit too much exposition, with a predictable end. You can believe its Vance's first novel (c 1956).

He describes a future resulting from the discovery of an immortality treatment, with a rigid society structured to cope with the Malthusian implications. You may either opt into the caste system that grants a maximum additional lifespan for each successive level, or allow nature to take its course and live out your natural span without fear of euthanasia. Its never cle...more
William Mansky
A strange sort of reverse murder mystery where all the protagonists are immortal. Surprisingly for the era, the protagonist is not infallible or omnipotent; he's not even emotionally impervious. And, without giving too much away, love (lust, really) may not conquer all.
Sue
I have an old, beat up copy of this book, with the front cover MIA. It's a really good book that delves into power, money, and social power. It's one sci-fi book that I'd use when teaching a sociology course dealing with any of those areas.
Andy
Decent Jack Vance book about immortality/cloning, and human rights. Basically think LOGANS RUN without the OUTSIDE bits. Everyone acts like dickbags, and are massive hyprocrites.
Nawfal
Dystopian novel which questions fairness, class society, and the actual meaning/purpose of striving. Not a great novel, but not a bad one, either.
Bruce
Nov 14, 2007 Bruce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
One of the classic SF novels of the 50s that still holds up as a good read today.
Balland
The main idea of the book is original but the synopsis is really disappointed.
Andrew
Minor Vance - his first novel - but still enjoyable.
William
Fascinating but tragically flawed characters.
melvinhiddenelder
One of the best of 1950's pulp science fiction!
Matt
Matt marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2014
Zephyr
Zephyr marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2014
Dave Olsher
Dave Olsher marked it as to-read
Jun 11, 2014
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5376
Aka John Holbrooke Vance, Peter Held, John Holbrook, Ellery Queen, John van See, Alan Wade.

The author was born in 1916 and educated at the University of California, first as a mining engineer, then majoring in physics and finally in journalism. During the 1940s and 1950s, he contributed widely to science fiction and fantasy magazines. His first novel, 'The Dying Earth', was published in 1950 to gr...more
More about Jack Vance...
The Dying Earth Tales of the Dying Earth: The Dying Earth/The Eyes of the Overworld/Cugel's Saga/Rhialto the Marvellous Suldrun's Garden (Lyonesse, #1) The Eyes of the Overworld The Green Pearl (Lyonesse, #2)

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