Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vurt” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vurt (Vurt #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  6,143 ratings  ·  369 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vurt, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vurt

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
310th out of 5,071 books — 17,453 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
157th out of 2,254 books — 19,147 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯
Sep 20, 2015 ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ marked it as dnf
Shelves: science-fiction
I made it to the halfway point. It isn't that its terrible, there are elements I really like. But, overall, this just isn't my thing.

I've really made putting aside books I'm not loving a priority this year. As a result, this is one of (probably around) a dozen. It's not the books fault, I'm just not the target audience.
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 -
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
So, 23 year old me gave this 4 stars. 37 year old me gives it 3. I remember not being able to put this down, but I must have been in a weird book phase at the time.

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it this time through - but I did have to put it down from time to time to wrap my brain around what I just read. Also, the disjointed nature of reality vs Vurt is sort of cool, but it caused me to start losing interest at a couple points because I was not sure what was going on.

I think a special type o
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
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
Review to follow.
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
First of all let me just say this isn't my usual type of book so it was definitely a different experience for me. Because of this I felt like there wasn't enough world development in the beginning for me to really understand what was going on. Basically the book is about the protagonist, Scribble, trying to find his sister, who was lost in the Vurt. There's incest, bestiality (but is it really bestiality if they're half human?) and as I just said, half humans/half animals. Also an alien that you ...more
This book begins with this stunning sentence: “A young boy puts a feather into his mouth”... This boy took a “Vurt” feather (a drug) that gives him access to an alternative reality.
Then the reader is immediately immersed in a futuristic Manchester. He discovers Scribble, his gang of feathers addicts (the Stash riders) and a bunch of weird creatures (dog people, mechanicals, shadow girls…).
Jeff Noon’s fiction is a “vurt” dream with flashes images, distorted realities. It is also a dark dream wit
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
John Levon
Pretty out there, and fairly well-paced, but ultimately a conventional structure, with unsympathetic characters, wrapped in a very unfamiliar future world. Hard to get along with the writing style - too gonzo for me.
Addison Course
this is amazing, it decribes human existence in this modern hyper real world so well.
i'm currently back on the feather...
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
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
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.
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Synners
  • Only Forward
  • Fairyland
  • Bold as Love
  • The Hacker and the Ants
  • Air
  • The Night Sessions
  • Distraction
  • Dreaming in Smoke
  • Take Back Plenty (Tabitha Jute, #1)
  • Empty Space (Empty Space Trilogy #3)
  • Ascent
  • City Come a-Walkin'
  • The Influence
  • The Fortunate Fall
  • Ambient
  • The Old Men at the Zoo
  • Hello Summer, Goodbye
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)
  • Pollen
  • Automated Alice (Vurt, #3)
  • Nymphomation
Pollen Nymphomation Automated Alice (Vurt, #3) Pixel Juice Needle In The Groove

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Expect to feel pleasure. Knowledge is sexy. Expect to feel pain. Knowledge is torture. ” 38 likes
“In Bottletown, even our tears flicker like jewels.” 8 likes
More quotes…