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Beggars and Choosers (Sleepless #2)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  2,041 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Kress returns to the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning world of Beggars in Spain to tell a new tale in an America of the future, strangely altered by genetic modifications. Wracked by the results of irresponsible genetic research and nanotechnology and overburdened by a population of jobless drones, the whole world is on the edge of collapse. Who will save it? And for whom?
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published September 15th 1994 by Tor Books
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Kress displays her flexibility and versatility in Beggars and Choosers by effectively alternating the narrative between four extremely different voices. Beggars and Choosers picks up about 15 years after Beggars in Spain ends. The world is further enmeshed in economic and social upheaval, and we now have the "Super-Sleepless" even more cognitively advanced than their Sleepless progenitors, and thus, more feared. More questions than answers here, but well worth considering, nonetheless.
Feb 20, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Beggars in Spain (Sleepless, Book 1) a while ago and simply devoured it. I only recently realized it was part of a trilogy, and I really enjoyed revisiting this world. I love how it is science fiction but is more based on concepts and humanity rather than science - and that continues in this second book.

Although I didn't love it as much as the first one (which is in my all time top ten kinda of love), it was extremely engaging and kept me present in the moment throughout the entire book.
Jul 11, 2010 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Social SF lovers who've read Beggars in Spain
Part of my "Finish the series already!" month.

I really, really loved this book! I don't use love very often with books - partly because I can't choose a select few to elevate above the others. Mostly I don't say I love a book in a review because who am I to say that you will love it too? But this book? Loved it.

Like Beggars in Spain, Nancy Kress focuses on societal development as seen through the eyes of different caste individuals in the United States. I don't want to giv
It's been a long time since I'd read Beggars in Spain (November 2007! even longer than I thought), so it's a bit hard to get into this book... But I remember how amazing I thought the first book was, and some character names trigger memories. The book seems like the plotline will not be related, other than you know the whole setup, the world.

Okay, well that was a bit of a letdown. The first book was better, as much as I recall of it. I've now got the third book, and the first the re-read.

What th
Picked this up in a dusty old bookshop somewhere in the Haight while my cousin was searching for a copy of some Marxist literature that he'd left on the Bart. It looked like proper old school sci-fi and had aromatic ring structures on the cover, you know the type. It cost a dollar.

I thought I didn't like it at all, I think there may have been some sort of a prequel that would have helped with the beginning but I settled into it a bit. Some interesting ideas about how genetic modifications could
Melissa McCauley
This book picks up about a decade after the end of BEGGARS IN SPAIN and mainly follows the path of the Super Sleepless on Earth, specifically Miranda Sharifi, the brilliant granddaughter of Leisha's nemesis from the first novel. American society has become more stratified than before, where the wealthy working class called "Donkeys" literally buy votes by providing bread and circuses for a large uneducated welfare population called "Livers". Of particular interest is the character of Drew Arlen, ...more
Steven Grimm
Nov 12, 2010 Steven Grimm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book doesn't really stand completely alone; if I hadn't read "Beggars In Spain" I would have found it fairly confusing. But even as a sequel, it is somewhat aimless. There is no real antagonist, and the protagonists spend much of the story wandering around waiting for the next thing to happen to them. There are a few interesting ideas here (such as the relationship between the Livers and the donkeys, which flips the traditional notion of the working and leisure classes on its head) but they ...more
Ben Babcock
My golden standard when it comes to stories of genetic manipulation and its effects on society is Gattaca. I've only seen it twice, I think, yet its impact on my consciousness (and conscience) remains clear in my mind. Growing up concurrently with the Human Genome Project and watching the advancements in genetics that are happening in my lifetime, I am wary of what will happen if governments, corporations, and people do not reach a social contract on how we will treat this new capability. Corpor ...more
May 27, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The sequel is far better than Beggars in Spain the novel, but not quite as good as Beggars in Spain the novella (which is the first quarter of the novel.) Lots of thought-provoking politics and human behavior, but the biology was a bit less interesting than the previous book.

I'm probably the only person who reacted to people being able to get their macronutrients from sunshine and lying in the dirt rather than by eating by thinking, "But, the micronutrients!"
Jun 01, 2011 Starhen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sequel to Beggars in Spain explores the personal and political intersections of Liver (unaltered citizens), Donkey (the genemod elite), and (Super)Sleepless (super-intelligent, uber-elite operating behind the scenes) lives. The tenor and focus of the second of the "Sleepless" series is quite different from the first, as we witness most of the events of the book from the perspectives of those outside of power and ignorant of the (Super)Sleepless's true involvement and intentions. The Sleeple ...more
May 16, 2011 Maree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one felt faster than the first, with more outside exploration into the lives of Livers and donkeys, which was a nice change. I liked to see how the Livers thought about donkeys and SuperSleepless in comparison to how the Sleepless saw them in the previous book. To the livers, they seemed more like Gods than anything else. I think that I definitely like the book without a Sleepless perspective, because it leaves more mystery and allows the reader to relate to those they better understand. I ...more
James Shoop
Another reviewer described this book as 'aimless', and I think they were spot on. Of the new characters presented, only Billy Washington stuck with me, and the whole storyline with that guy in the wheelchair (forgot his name already...heh...) was tiresome. I can't get into the other thing I didn't like due to spoilers, but if you read the book than you can probably guess. I'll just say that a events were very abrupt. Very disappointing sequel.
Nancy O'Toole
The following review has spoilers for Beggars in Spain, the first book in the Sleepless Trilogy. There are no real spoilers for Beggars and Choosers.

Genetic modification has run amok in the 21st century, dividing America into two groups: genetically enhanced donkeys who rule the world, and livers who live work-free lives of supposed paradise. The tenuous balance between the two groups is about to topple over, but could the secret to survival be found with the ultra-intelligent SuperSleepers, who
Ward Bond
Nov 01, 2014 Ward Bond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In Beggars and Choosers, Kress returns to the same future world created in her earlier work, an America strangely altered by genetic modifications. Millions of ordinary people are supported by the efforts of the handsome and intellectually superior gene-modified, who are in turn running scared in the face of the astonishing, nearly superhuman powers of the Sleepless, who have their own agenda for humanity. The Sleepless, radically altered humans, have withdrawn from the rest of the race to an is

Oct 18, 2012 Kyrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm amazed that the plot line holds up so well in light of discoveries made currently. The same worries about gene alteration, the same problems of people considering themselves entitled to things, the same chasms between different classes understanding of each other.

Behind all the technology is a story about good people who care for each other, as well as caring for those they don't like so well, because it's the right thing to do.

While it could be called a sequel to "Beggars in Spain", you d
Nov 05, 2012 Devero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ovviamente ho letto la versione italiana che a quanto pare manca nel database.
Altrettanto ovviamente ho letto "Mendicanti in Spagna" che viene, cronologicamente prima.
Onestamente è un buon romanzo, quindi inferiore al precedente che era decisamente ottimo.
La distopia che descrive, con successivo "raddrizzamento" riuscito solo in parte, è la premessa per il terzo romanzo del ciclo. E presenta dei punti deboli di trama non indifferenti. Ma forse sono cose che verranno spiegate nel seguente "Mendic
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2013 Xerxessia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: utopien-weiblich
Wieder wirft Nancy Kress spannende Fragen auf:
Was geschieht mit Menschen, die völlig in komfortabler Abhängigkeit von anderen gehalten werden? In diesem 2. Band des Bettler-Zyklus werden die sog. "Nutzer" von den "Machern" mit allem versorgt. Das klappt aber nur, solange genug Geld dafür vorhanden ist - und das geht gerade aus!
Und eine weitere Frage wird gestellt: Wer darf darüber entscheiden, was gut ist für die Menschheit? Die genetisch veränderten "SuperS" tun es einfach - und das wirft zusät
Debbie J
Beggars And Choosers is a dystopian cautionary tale. It depicts what could result if science and technology’s leading edges become controlled by a self-chosen elite who don’t play well with others.

Nancy Kress paints a dark future world where today’s upper, middle, and lower classes have become the Sleepless, Donkeys, and Livers. People are largely classified by whether they’re genetically enhanced, and the highest caste belongs to a few who’ve been modified to do without sleep. The Sleepless us
Jan 06, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
"Y, sin lugar a dudas, la tecnología es darwiniana. Se esparce, evoluciona, se adapta, y deja fuera a los que no pueden adecuarse"
Dale Edmonds
Sep 19, 2013 Dale Edmonds rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really really good world building in how she went through the ramifications of the super sleepless from the first book and explored them. I liked the range of the characters, the careful slight stylization to show different voices, and there were lots of small vivid moments that made me slow down just to mentally picture them. I plan on buying both books just to have them there to reread again and think more about this. Not at all polemical, but much like The Sparrow, this is what political scif ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Sergio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Kress vuelve a dar en el clavo.

Es realmente impresionante cómo esta escritora es capaz de desarrollar una historia de carácter futurista, plagada de ciencia ficción y sustentarla sobre una actividad político-social totalmente creíble.

Es sin lugar a dudas una auténtica delicia y, como continuación de "Mendigos en España", se trata de una obra de ciencia ficción muy recomendable.

He disfrutado muchísimo no sólo con el ritmo y la historia de esta segunda entrega sino también con los debates
Jan 01, 2014 Anya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress is a stand along sequel to Beggars in Spain; the books have a classic sci-fi feel with multiple view points and heavy amounts of scientifically inspired plot developments in a futuristic world
After reading Beggars in Spain I had to get my hands on the second book because the first was so awesome. It took me a little bit longer to get to it than I’d hoped since I was trying to finish other books, and it took a bit longer to get through than Beggars in Spain, bu
Jul 05, 2015 KMO rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful rejoinder to Ayn Rand. This will be C-Real book club selection #3.
Oct 19, 2014 Tomislav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the middle book in Kress's Beggars trilogy (also known as the Sleepless trilogy).
Beggars in Spain(1993)
Beggars and Choosers (1994)
Beggar's Ride (1996)

This novel was nominated, and in the final ballot, for both Nebula and Hugo, but did not win either.

It is set in the world that comes after the events of Beggars In Spain, in which the Sleepless have attempted to isolate themselves from the rest of humanity, and the rest of humanity has stratified into Livers and Donkeys. Livers are the maj
Buena continuación de la saga pero muy ensombrecida por la primera parte que me parece de diez. En esta segunda parte tenemos nuevamente la parte más reflexiva y que te hace pensar sobre la estructura social o la manipulación de la tecnología. Aporta ideas geniales y te hace participe de los dilemas sociales que se crean posicionándote con unos u otros personajes.

El problema de este libro es que por partes se hace aburrido y en cambio en otras partes se acelera tanto que no terminas de hilar bie
Feb 25, 2015 Sooz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so I read Beggars in Spain a few weeks ago. it is the short and rather soft sci fi story that precedes Beggars and Choosers, which is a full-length novel and definitely leans more to the hard sci fi end of the spectrum that does Beggars in Spain.

as is often the case with science fiction, it took a while for me to really get into the story. after all, in sci fi, we are reading of different times and space and worlds and beings. we are exploring new ideas. there is one whole chapter in this book d
Apr 08, 2015 Rrrrrron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mid-to
I really wanted to like this book more. But I have major problems with the premise, and in this way, much of the book's ideology that follows from it. The basic premise is that the sleepless (those who live without sleep and remain in the vigor of youth past 75 years old - but without other enhancements) is some superior race. This clashes with reality where there are people who, if they stopped needing sleep, will just be as unintelligent or unambitious or unremarkable. Or somehow, being sleepl ...more
Jul 28, 2015 fromcouchtomoon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kress does rich, white women really, really well, in almost a contemptible way. Some readers might mistake these protagonists for heroes, but the experiment is too complex for that. "Who should control technology?" is the question and, while the ridiculous social labels threaten to wreck the whole thing, the question is engaging and earnest, while the plot twists are genuinely surprising.
Oct 14, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good, with a lot more focus on the donkey and liver populations than the previous book (which was mostly about the sleepless). The first book seemed like a deeper and more nuanced Atlas Shrugged type situation, whereas this one seemed more like a "society in the painful throngs of metamorphosis" novel - much more of a straightforward plot (not that that's a bad thing), and certainly less monologing that I can remember.
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Nancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spain which was later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest. She is a regular at Clario ...more
More about Nancy Kress...

Other Books in the Series

Sleepless (3 books)
  • Beggars in Spain (Sleepless, #1)
  • Beggars Ride (Sleepless, #3)

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“Miri once told me that there were only four important ques­tions you could ask about any human being: How does he fill up his time? How does he feel about how he fills up his time? What does he love? How does he react to those he perceives as either inferior or superior to him?

If you make people feel inferior, even unintentionally," she had said, her dark eyes intense, "they will be uncomfortable around you. In that situation, some people will attack. Some will ridicule, to 'cut you down to size.' But some will admire, and learn from you. If you make people feel superior, some will react by dis­missing you. Some by wielding power — just because they can — in greater or lesser ways. But some will be moved to protect and help. All this is just as true of a junior lodge clique as of a group of governments.”
“Things got said, the kinds of embarrassing things that don't go away. Tempers ran high. My paternal grandfather's teak desk required a new panel, which never quite matched the others. Intellectual debate can be very hard on furniture.” 4 likes
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