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Why Do Birds

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
It is the early 21st century, and Ed Stone says he's been in suspended animation since the 1930s--put there by aliens who have sent him on a mission: convince the nations of the world to build a massive vault, in which humanity's billions will lie in suspension and survive the Earth's impending destruction. And, the strangest thing of all is everybody believes him.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Orb Books (first published 1992)
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Ed Stone claims to be from the past. As he says in the second sentence of the novel, "I think I was kidnapped from nineteen thirty-one and brought here [2002], and I think the aliens sent me back to put the whole human race in a box." He is willing to accept that he may be crazy, but his clothing and fillings are period-appropriate, and he carries with him a seemingly-brand-new copy of Astounding Stories from 1931 (which has an odd role to play in the story as meta-commentary). He also wears a r ...more
Oct 01, 2010 Chuck rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2008 Bruce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
This book was a profound pleasure. I've been reading heaps of contemporary stuff that blather on and on filling page after page with fatty vacuous prose.

The writing here is so crisp and subtle. Very easy to read-- most of it is dialogue. And what an ear for dialogue Knight has-- the characterization and dramatic tension that he accomplishes with simple conversations is marvelous.

The plot is a page turner until the very end. maybe the end isn't what you wanted to have happen, maybe it's abrupt,
Jeremy Lyon
Jul 23, 2008 Jeremy Lyon rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
What I most enjoyed in this book was the sheer chutzpah of the main character, who with the help of an alien artifact sets out to build a cube big enough to hold the entire human race, and then convince everyone to get into it.

Damon Knight spends just the right amount of time considering the engineering and logistical challenges of such an undertaking. It's something of an enjoyable challenge to imagine how one would go about it.

His characters are entertaining and believable, but the plot seems
Jul 12, 2017 Aphrael rated it liked it
weird but interesting thought experiment. I would have liked to see more depth in the characters, I couldn't really relate to them much.
Fábio Fernandes
Jan 18, 2014 Fábio Fernandes rated it it was amazing
I was looking for this book since it was published, but I had no Internet then (circa 1993) and if I wanted to read it I would have to import it. (An acquaintance of mine had done it, and he wouldn't borrow the book.) It just went digital a while ago; I bought it now - and I'm not disappointed.

Damon Knight was a master of the trade. He could not only write good science fiction; he could write good fiction, period. He could also make you laugh. He could create the most implausible situations and
Sep 17, 2014 David rated it liked it
I probably would have given it 3.5 stars if I could. It was entertaining, and the ending isn't "typical", but as another reviewer mentioned, it seems like it should have been quite a bit longer. I never got the chance to connect with any of the characters, which is a big minus.
Aug 10, 2015 Elaine rated it really liked it
Nice, easy vacation read. Amusing.
May 29, 2013 Sven rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
An interesting premise, but it feels like this book should be twice as long - so much is left unsaid and unresolved.
Rose East
Oct 11, 2011 Rose East rated it liked it
I liked it, especially the end, which was uncompromising.
Nov 27, 2011 Lola rated it really liked it
??? WTF?
Keith rated it liked it
Feb 22, 2012
Mike Lietz
Mike Lietz rated it it was ok
Jun 30, 2013
Aaron Buchanan
Aaron Buchanan rated it it was ok
Apr 13, 2011
Teel rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2011
Joseph rated it really liked it
May 29, 2012
Ca53buckeye rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2009
Barry Hill
Barry Hill rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2011
Benoy Menon
Benoy Menon rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2017
Traa rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2015
Bob Strohl
Bob Strohl rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2013
Ry Herman
Ry Herman rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2017
Jeff rated it liked it
Jul 22, 2008
Aug 13, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
hmm. my first old school sci-fi. sort of feels like a hybrid of sci-fi and noir. quirky, easy.
Richard rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2009
Dan Goodman
Dan Goodman rated it did not like it
May 22, 2012
Vlrieg rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2011
Josh Wartenberg
Josh Wartenberg rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2015
David rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2010
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Damon Francis Knight was an American science fiction author, editor, and critic.
Knight's first professional sale was a cartoon drawing to a science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories. His first story, "Resilience", was published in 1941. He is best known as the author of "To Serve Man", which was adapted for The Twilight Zone. He was a recipient of the Hugo Award, founder of the Science Fiction and
More about Damon Knight...

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