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Race Against Time
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Race Against Time

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  795 ratings  ·  29 reviews
John Smith is just a typical teenager growing up in a typical American town...Or is he?

He has a dog -- that can climb trees and understand very complex commands. He has parents -- who watch him constantly, taking notes when they think he's not looking. He has a girlfriend -- a girl he's never met, whom he has been told he must marry.

John knows that something is wrong, but

Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 15th 1986 by Tor Fantasy (first published 1973)
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Community Reviews

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This was my first venture into Piers Anthony- and I was reading it as a break from Wuthering Heights- talk about extremes!

I have read various takes on this same idea- one of my son's favorite books was Running Out of Time, where a young girl finds that instead of living in 1840, she is living in 1996 in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site.

I liked the resourcefulness of the teens involved, but my favorite character was Canute the gomdog who can climb trees!
Diana Sandberg
Er. Reasonably well constructed scifi, fairly simplistic interpersonal relations, and a breathtaking premise - that racial purity is necessary to save humanity. Yikes.
For years I have meant to read novels by Piers Anthony. I just did and I'm wondering why I waited so long. While Race is written for youth it has messages for adults as well.

The story is told by young John Smith, a white American boy becoming a man who is living in a small town supposedly located in Nebraska. Several inconsistencies have begun to trouble him. There is the peeling color of the skin of many of the inhabitants of Newton. Why cannot John go beyond certain environmental limits outsid...more
Although somewhat controversial topics are raised on the subject of racial differences (the main character is one of only two "purebred Caucasians" left in the world and later finds there are only two "purebred Chinese" and two "purebred Africans," while the rest of the world is "Standard," apparently an amalgamation of all races who have apparently hunted down and killed all the other races for the most part), the book is nonetheless a very interesting bit of pulp fiction from the early 1970s....more
Samuel Lubell
SF-John Smith is growing up as the all American boy in the 1960s except that little things don't match the way they are supposed to be, such as his dog with extendable claws and the ability to climb trees. His parents have him write letters to a girl he never met but was told he will marry. The two develop a rather obvious yet never broken code and John goes exploring (which is never discovered) and learns that he is really in a zoo in the future. When his bride-to-be is supposed to arrive there...more
Chrissy Moon
I forgot about this book.

I read this many years ago when I was a young whipper-snapper. I remembered this book recently and have been trying to find it in stores, to no avail. I guess I will have to give in and order it online so I can have a copy for myself.

This book changed my life in many ways. It's probably my favorite sci-fi book. It really makes you think, what would happen if all the races intermingled and mixed so much that they no longer existed, just one 'standard' race? And what would...more
Leanna Aker
I always like a Piers Anthony read. As with most of his science fiction, the themes are a little "in your face." This one is a "society encounters monumental damage and decay...... racial discord.... preservation of race" kind of theme. John is living in an American town in the 1960's, and is set up to marry a girl named Betsy that he hasn't met. He starts to suspect something odd is going on for many reasons, one of which is that his skin color is real. Those people in his town paint on skin co...more
TheIron Paw
Piers Anthony is a good story teller, and this book provides a decent yarn. However, one of his not uncommon failings is to use a good story to promote an ideological perspective (see also "Bio of a Space Tyrant"). That is the case in this novel. I think however that he missed his own point in this book: the author rather explicitly states his theme to be the importance of racial diversity for human development while the lessons drawn from the story would point more to the importance of cultural...more
Julie S.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I felt unfulfilled with the ending of this book. My response was, "That's it?" and not in a good way. I was also unimpressed with the story in general from the storytelling element to the plot within itself, though I did enjoy the discussion on the octal counting system. Maybe if I was a younger teen, I'd have enjoyed this book more than I did.
Dec 05, 2008 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Piers Anthony fans
Recommended to Julie by: read other Anthony books
This is a sort of warning about the future of man. I'm not really sure if what he is saying about race/ethnicity would really be kosher in today's book market. I do remember finding it really interesting how he used such diverse cultures as a backdrop, including the ancient kingdoms of Africa (part of the gold/salt trade). Definitely worth a read.
This science fiction book written in 1973 was interesting to read in the context of today's global issues of climate change, pollution, and ethnic and religious conflict. Piers Anthony has good insight into some potential paths of self destruction for our world. The characters are shallow and the story a little disjointed at times.
Crissy Moss
John Smith lives a very average life in middle america, or so he thinks. Though he has a girlfriend he's never met, and must marry. Then he crosses the boarder and finds everything is not what it appears to be.

An interesting point of view of culture, society, and "keeping up appearances".
This... Interesting premise, and some baseball bat style politics, but... overall it left me sort of weirded that I bothered to finish it. I should have known that if I didn't fully remember reading it the first time it wasn't worth a second, but I'm stubborn.
Sean Randall
Though not the first time I'd read this one, I got little more out of it than before. Reminded me of a Heinlein Juvenile in substance (though not tone). The idea has merit, but the characters are so flat as to be relatively transparent.
I read this in junior high and can't even believe I remembered the name. GO LONG-TERM MEMORY!

Actually, long-term memory fail, cos I can't remember how it ends.

I will not be re-reading to find out. Sorry!
I'll always remember this book because when I asked my parents what "prehensile" meant, they told me I should stop reading books with "made up words" in them. :D
The book was classic Science Fiction, and it made for a good read. It doesn't age as well as some other Sci-Fi because the whole race issue seemed a bit politically incorrect to me.
Great book. I couldn't put it down. The ending was slightly anti-climatic, but it was good nonetheless. Highly recommend it.
Alex Stronach
It's quite an entertaining book. It's a quick read but with some smarts thrown in. Over all worth checking out.
It was somewhat interesting, but it definitely felt like a short story that was waiting for completion.
An interesting sci-fi'ish book. It was a quick reak, but the end left a lot to be desired.
Kaylynn Johnsen
I really liked this story. Humanity, race, the future. What and who are we?
OK... but Anthony is generally better than this....
Grade B+. Also read 1989, grade B.
Reread August 2008
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm...more
More about Piers Anthony...
On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, #1) A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1) Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3) Bearing An Hourglass (Incarnations of Immortality, #2) The Source of Magic (Xanth, #2)

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