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Vurt (Vurt #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  4,842 ratings  ·  287 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...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published January 15th 1996 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

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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
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...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...more
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...more
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
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
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 -...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...more
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....more
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...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
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
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...more
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.
Ruby  Tombstone [Uncensored or Else]
Page 121 - Not sure I can be arsed finishing this. I'm not enthused about picking it back up.

I find the idea of a drug experience being administered via sticking a feather down your throat to be a bit unlikely. Certainly it seems impractical. The feather would surely get all soggy? It just doesn't sound like something that would happen.
This work struck me as overwhelmingly sophomoric. Exceedingly melodramatic and emotionally juvenile, the saving grace of Vurt is the action, which is just interesting enough. Works about alternate reality and dystopic future have big shoes to fill and I don't think this one comes anywhere near its notable predecessors.
Vurt and Pollen made me become a Noon-addict. A mindblowingly fast, colorful whirlwind-tour.

A friend recommended "Vurt" to me with the words "Irvine Welsh writes on cold turkey, Noon while being high.". I think he is right.
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.
I was reading about The Matrix one day, for whatever reason, and this book was mentioned as a possible inspiration for that movie. I slung it on my Amazon wishlist and forgot all about it, until my sister got it for me for Christmas.

The novel is based in a sort of alternative reality Manchester, where man-dog and man-robot hybrids live side by side with "pures", and drug-like feathers can transport you into another world--Vurt. The plot revolves around Scribble, a feather user and gang member wh...more
Colin Bendell
Vurt is cyberpunk meets Requiem for a dream. The plot is simple: a scifi drug induced reality distorting quest to find the protagonists sister. It's a mindfuck with very little payoff.
A splashy forward story of an alternate world or "Vurt", that all can access... with the right connections. Feathers rule in this fun, future forward tale written in the 90's.

So what I do know is Scribble is desperately missing his sister Desdemona, She is lost in Vurt and apparently the only way to get her back is to going into Vurt from a Yellow Feather.

This did mess with my head, but overall I had a sense that I would never really understand it all, and to be honest I didn't. I reckon if you were a hardcore raver in Manchester, during the time this was written you are going to get this book.

I always felt like I was watching this from a far I could s...more
Addison Course
this is amazing, it decribes human existence in this modern hyper real world so well.
i'm currently back on the feather...
Scott Holstad
One thing that be said for Vurt is that it's unique. Another is that it's dumb as shit. In this so-called cyber punk novel, people are addicted to Vurt feathers. They actually partially swallow them and get off on some pseudo-psychedelic experience of virtual reality. Feathers have different colors, and they do different things. They also have different strengths according to their colors. Scribble is the protagonist, and he's on a quest to find his long lost love -- his sister -- who somehow go...more
Picked this up randomly at a library. Loved it. I've only met one person who'd also read it.
a nagyon elszállt a nagyon sablonossal
sej, haj, denevér, bennünk van a kutyavér
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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...
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