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Vurt (Vurt #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  5,873 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Vurt is a feather--a drug, a dimension, a dream state, a virtual reality. It comes in many colors: legal Blues for lullaby dreams. Blacks, filled with tenderness and pain, just beyond the law. Pink Pornovurts, doorways to bliss. Silver feathers for techies who know how to remix colors and open new dimensions. And Yellows--the feathers from which there is no escape.

The beau
Paperback, 342 pages
Published January 15th 1996 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1993)
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I was given this book when it first came out in the early 90's and was completely blown away. I re-read the book last year and it still is as enjoyable as it was 15 years ago. Noon takes the reader through the drug riddled streets of future London. Everyone is addicted to feathers. You tickle your tongue with a feather and depending on the color of the feather you go on a certain trip. If you like to eat aliens, if you worship the game cat, if you think people should mate and have offspring with ...more
Jun 06, 2007 graycastle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hybridity scholars, scifi fans, video game fans, people who like good books
Shelves: scifi
This is such a smart book, but for some reason doesn't have the recognition that it deserves, at least not in literary circles. It speaks intelligently on hybridity, drug culture, game culture, created communities, fantasy spaces, writing as's just crazy good. I had a prof who called this a "game narrative," one of the first novels to use the conventions of video games as part of its narrative strucure, which is, trust me, extremely cool. I have a big love for this novel, and recomme ...more
I don't leave books unfinished very often, but I just couldn't bring myself to keep reading Vurt.
Noon's cyberpunk drug-culture epic strives to describe a psychedelic future/alternate Manchester, but fails quite obviously - halfway through the book, his cast of characters have yet to spend more than a few moments in the eponymous cyber-drug-world. In addition, his characters are wooden and, despite their depressing hijinks-filled lifestyle, largely uninteresting. I didn't care about them, and th
4 Stars

Vurt is one crazy weird and wild ride. A perfect setting for a David Cronenberg movie…Heck maybe even a little strange for him. This book is even more out there then John Dies at the End. The book is a blend of science fiction, the New Weird, and Cyberpunk.

This is not an easy read as I found it difficult to keep tabs at times and by the nature of the story itself things are not always clear. I applaud this novel and its vision, I just had problems with the characters themselves. I never b
Danie Ware
Dear Gods.

This isn't a book. It's an A1, tip-top, clubbing, jam fair. It's sandwich of fun, on ecstasy bread, wrapped up in a big bag like disco fudge...

Seriously. It's a technicolour concept album, existing somewhere between Alice in Wonderland, Akira and Trainspotting. It's sex and drugs and incest and feathers and dog-fucking; it's a fractal reality that I really, really wish I'd written.

I guess you have to have been there. If you have the right past - and if you've come past it far enough -
Ren the Unclean
Oct 08, 2008 Ren the Unclean rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cyberpunk fans.
Shelves: cyberpunk
This is a very strange book that stands somewhere between cyberpunk and an altered reality novel. It is written from the perspective of Scribble, a member of a gang that spends their time doing Vurt feathers, which are a means of entering a virtual reality experience that is presented as a drug induced shared hallucination.

Vurt is written in a very disjointed way, which gives you the impression that it is actually being written by Scribble. It is the story of his quest to find his sister who got
fugue state
Nov 26, 2013 fugue state rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of sci-fi, post cyberpunk
Blew my mind!

The first time I read it, a million years ago, proly around 1993 'ish when it was first published, I was so struck by its novelty that I kept buying more and more copies and I gave them to fellow partiers at raves.

Books, on the surface, they seem unlikely presents to hand out at parties of the rave variety. But when you connect with someone while E addled, magic ensues; magic, or perhaps more accurately you become consumed in a spiritual event.

E disintegrates your ego and it refo
Pawl Schwartz
Totally a quick beach book, but a really fucking cool beach book with interesting ideas, settings, and concepts throughout. Most of the book was narrated to quickly and simply for the dense interesting world it created. I was left wanting a lot more. I didn’t just want to hear the names of the cool things, I wanted to see them, to figure out what was going on and not have the story told and then filled out much much later. There simply was not enough information to go on for a lot of the book (a ...more
While it's not for everyone, I absolutely loved this book. With a dash of cyberpunk and a hefty dose of Phillip K. Dick's drug fueled, reality bending fever dreams, "Vurt" is a manic and violent trip to near future England where "pure" humans mingle with human/dog hybrids and robos (humans who have replaced most of their organic flesh with metal and plastic). A world where the the drug of choice is vurt: a drug, a virtual reality, and a dimension all in one. A world where the protagonist, Scribb ...more
May 05, 2008 RandomAnthony rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to RandomAnthony by: Gary!
I picked this up on Gary's recommendation when looking for some lighter fantasty/science fiction material between tough books. Thanks, Gary...I was not disappointed. The last 200 pages crackle in "don't want to put it down" fashion. I was reminded a bit of Lethem's "Gun With Occasional Music" in that a drug-addled protagonist had to work his way through a cast of underworld characters to find what he wants. If you were into that book, or like Gaiman, Gibson, or Stephenson, you'd probably enjoy " ...more
Sam Reader

"A young boy puts a feather in his mouth..."

I found this book at random, which, for some reason, makes sense. It just feels right that my first introduction to Jeff Noon would be at completely random, a completely accidental collision with the insane genius behind...well, Jeff Noon books, as Noon lacks a genre he can be pigeonholed into other than maybe, say, science fiction. And since at its core Vurtis about a bizarre, sometimes macabre, often tragic series of accidents,
I don't know if the later works of Jeff Noon grant him the status of full-fledged virtuoso, but his debut novel is one mad and insanely thrilling ride. A work of genius.

Set in a dystopian Manchester, this book focuses on Scribble, a drug-addled young man and his search of his sister Desdemona, lost to the "Vurt" universe; a series of shared virtual realities in which the user can feel pain or pleasure. Vurt World is only accessible through the use of different types of colored feathers. Scribble
Jeff Noon napisał „Wurta” dokładnie 20 lat temu, ale czytając tę powieść, trudno się domyślić, że od czasu jej premiery upłynęły aż dwie dekady. Utwór nie zestarzał się bowiem ani trochę — zarówno jeśli chodzi o treść, wizję, jak i język. Z okazji okrągłej rocznicy Wydawnictwo MAG postanowiło więc wznowić debiutancką książkę angielskiego pisarza, dodatkowo uzupełnioną o trzy premierowe w Polsce opowiadania. Całość ukazała się pod szyldem serii Uczta Wyobraźni, przygotujcie się więc na nietypowe ...more
This is an amazing and unique novel, exactly what I needed at the time! Judging by the other reviews on this book, it's either one you will love, or one that you just can't get to grips with. I personally believe if you have ever been involved with any sort of drug culture, you will likely be one of those who love it.
Vurt is just one of those books, whenever I had to put it down my mind just remained in that story, it is so addictive - like the feathers in the story that everyone is addicted to
Vurt started with a cool premise. A future Manchester UK filled with an assortment of new species of human, a new social structure, and, the central feature of the book, a new drug/game/escape from reality called vurt.

One of the problems with the book is that vurt is vurt. Through the entire plot, we're left kind of fuzzy as to what it actually is. People take feathers, and ... well we're not exactly sure what happens. They see things differently, but sometimes act parts out in the real world.
I had originally listened to this book on tape in the late 90's and remember really enjoying it, so I thought I'd see how it held up now. This is more cyber-acid than cyberpunk but you can definitely see the influence of Gibson and Stephenson here. I really enjoy the visual nature of the writing. This book is very much a series of alternate realities via acid trip-like descriptions. I didn't like the way he relied on the normalcy of a few sexual taboos to take you to a different world, I don't e ...more
Michael Alexander
Totally my kind of brain candy. Wish there were more stuff like this out there, and if I'd found this kind of thing when I was 13, my teen years might have been a fair bit different.

Cyberpunk-influenced psychedelic '90s technoheterotopia galore! People drugged out on mind-altering feathers! Old-school video game narrative structure. Giant dreadlocks with computer chips, and a countercultural incest-stained Orpheus retelling on top. The kind of thing you read in between Tank Girl and Grant Morris
Katie Cheng
I appreciate the vivid visuals and fast paced action, but could have used some of the drugs the author must have been tripping on to enjoy this book a little more.
Female characters in this book are less than people and more like objects. Well actually everyone is pretty much like a game avatar with a minor blip of a back story before you go tripping down the rabbit hole.
It's a book where you need to just enjoy the visuals and the journey and not worry about anything else like, why and who and m
A frustrating book full of startling ideas and images but delivered in an patchily coherent story. The world in which the entertaining but thin characters race around has rules that are never made clear and occasionally seem to change. A shame really, because when it's good, it's really good.
Maybe I'm just not a steampunk/ cyberpunk reader. Noon's novel is so consistently confusing and random it's more like a piece of abstract art with no context. Since it is extremely dialogue driven, I found it hard to reflect on the visual and conceptual setting, a large part of what makes up a good sci-fi. Imagine being constantly told what is happening and not where, when or why it is happening. The characters are constantly stoned and as a result hard to differentiate, there simply isn't enoug ...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I couldn't get into this one. I've not really read anything like this before and I think it was just a bit too far 'out there' for me. I couldn't really understand what was going on for the most part because I couldn't get used to the way it was written. It was fast paced which would add to the effect of the drug-use but I ended up skim-reading from the half way point because I just didn't connect with any of it. The places which I did understand were just a bit too disturbing. I'm not saying th ...more
Tara Spears
I re-read this a few days ago and had forgotten why I love Jeff Noon so much! Now I want to re-read the rest of his books I have. Vurt is literary love for me.
I read this book over a weekend while I was in college. This book is 100% brain candy (easily digestable with a sugary coating)! It was a fun ride, where feathers are the new drugs and the color and size of the feather dictates it's effect. Oh yeah, these drugs take you into a virtual reality. The crux of the story is what happens when someone takes a feather while they are in a virtual reality from another feather? If you like science-fiction, you will enjoy this book. I don't care for science- ...more
The first half was wonderful, rich and imaginative. I read through it in no-time at all. The second half was another story all together. Some parts were interesting, for instance the character who experienced complete physical dissolution and turned into a ball of explosive energy. It had moments. It took months to finish. The beginning was so gripping I thought persevering would payoff somehow. Not really.

I still give it 3 stars because the first half still lingers in my thoughts, now and again
Would not recommend; great concept, sloppy execution, poor development of characters besides the narrator, lots of weird grammar glitches, awkward dialogue outside of narrator's own thoughtspace.

The bad:

Sort of wish I'd known ahead of time that the love story revolved around incest. It could have been handled a lot better, considering the relationship seems to have been inspired by the kids' relationship with their father. Too bad that's never directly addressed.

A lot of the character relationsh
Allan Dyen-shapiro
I'm imagining the author of this book dropped a lot of acid. Or something of that sort.

Because nobody imagines a world like this without having done such.

So, part of this novel is in the real world, part of it is in a Vurt--a multiplayer hallucination that's actually sort of real and induced by drugs that manifest as a feather that one puts in one's mouth. One can be in a metavurt--a vurt within a vurt. There are shadow beings. There are crusties--hippie types--who go for the more peaceful drugs
L Pulliam
This is not a book for everyone. There is an incestuous relationship in this book, drug use, violence, familial abuse, and what may or may not be bestiality, depending on how you view hybrid dog-humans with fully sentient minds. However, if you can handle these elements, as well as a slightly manic, gonzo storytelling style, I recommend giving it a try.

The most common thing I hear from other people who have enjoyed this book is that it's reminiscent of Neuromancer or Clockwork Orange. Having rea
Christian Schwoerke
I would’ve never stumbled on this book had it not been for Dave Haslam’s Manchester, England, an absorbing, music- and politics-focused account of Manchester, with special attention given to the era between 1970 and 2000. In that book, Haslam cites several authors, and of Noon he particularly notes some of the Madchester influence, which I found was exactly right.

This is one of my shorter reviews, more a rhapsody than my usual way of recounting a book and the experience it afforded...

This is a
So my read of this book in 94 was the occasion of my first seeing genre sci-fi's big problem: endings. Who knows why, but people that write about the future generally can't end a book to save their lives.

This book had a brilliant set up, a great chase, fantastic writing about amazing virtual reality future drugs, wonderous speculation about the future and what it said about today, and the the worst, most hurried, unedited, junk ending you could imagine.

Do not read, you'll only get your hopes up.
Harris Mason
This is by far the best science fiction book I have ever read. It takes place in a future where entertainment in all forms has been replaced by virtual reality feathers called vurt. You can experience everything you could ever imagine and more. Just remember if you take a yellow you have to win the game or die.

It is a little hard to find Jeff Noon books sometimes but I have had luck with ordering them off Amazon. So if you are interested look there.
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Jeff Noon is a novelist, short story writer and playwright whose works make extensive use of wordplay and fantasy.

He studied fine art and drama at Manchester University and was subsequently appointed writer in residence at the city's Royal Exchange theatre. But Noon did not stay too long in the theatrical world, possibly because the realism associated with the theatre was not conducive to the fant

More about Jeff Noon...

Other Books in the Series

Vurt (4 books)
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“Expect to feel pleasure. Knowledge is sexy. Expect to feel pain. Knowledge is torture. ” 34 likes
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