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The Man in the Maze
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The Man in the Maze

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  651 ratings  ·  39 reviews
It is the future, technology is advanced, lives are long, and the galaxy has been partially colonised by humans. Linking the disparate human worlds together are diplomats and agents who travel the starways. One of these men is Richard Muller, and now he has the greatest opportunity of his career.

Humans at long last have met an intelligent alien species. Muller is sent to m
#V2262, 192 pages
Published by Avon Books (first published 1968)
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The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Secret Garden (Children's Classics) by Frances Hodgson BurnettHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingThe Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick RiordanLabyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
Mazes and Labyrinths
25th out of 106 books — 73 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank HerbertThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Best Science Fiction
484th out of 1,660 books — 2,313 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jan 05, 2008 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Absolutely fascinating setting - an extinct alien race apparently grew more an more paranoid and built a maze around their city with each outward circle becoming more and more lethal. Potentially interesting protagonist - a man who became an inverse telepath (constantly broadcasting his feelings, particularly his base impulses/pyschosis/etc to those nearby) and repulsing everyone around him so that he feels driven to isolate himself in the middle of the alien maze.

However, I didn't find the sto
"Muller conosceva bene il labirinto, ormai. Sapeva tutto delle sue insidie e dei suoi miraggi, dei trabocchetti e delle trappole mortali. Viveva al suo interno da nove anni. Un tempo sufficiente a trovare un modus vivendi con quel luogo, anche se non con la circostanza che lo aveva costretto a rifugiarvisi."

Questo è uno di quei libri per cui ti fa troppo male dover usare l'etichetta sci-fi, perché è un autentico capolavoro della letteratura contemporanea. Nemmeno il più brillante romanzo di gene

Denzil Pugh

I pulled this sci-fi novel from the depths of my bookshelves, looking for the magic that existed in the writings of the masters of the genre. In so many science fiction books of the 50's and 60's, writers like Isaac Asimov, Clifford D. Simak, and Robert Heinlein concentrated on the ideas, the aspects of mankind progressing out of their own microcosm here and out to the universe. Once in the stars, most sci-fi writers found that the universal themes they thought about were also at the very core o
Aside from the blatant sexism infused throughout this novel, I really really enjoyed the main plot of the story and the three men both in the literal physical maze, as well as their own internal "mazes" of both emotional, psychological and moral design.

In the newer edition that I read, Neil Gaiman has written an introduction which does allude to the sexism/objectification of women though not with as much of a warning as I would have liked. There simply is no excuse for this theme both to the ex
Annie Flanders
One year I went to a book friend of mine's bookstore in Berkeley, CA because Robert and his wife, Karen, were going to be there. So I'm standing there in line, it's my turn and I said to him, 'one of my favourite books of yours is about this man in a maze, but I can't remember the title of the book.' Robert smiles at me and puts his finger on top of this book. So, of course, I bought another copy so he could autograph it.

Several weeks later, my boss and I were at a museum opening at the de Young
I grabbed this book off a shelf at the library they were selling for like 10 cents. I decided to give it a chance one night when I had nothing else to read. The book is actually pretty good. The plot is interesting, and the story is driven from the viewpoint of three men who are very well fleshed out.
Call me old fashioned, but I could have done without the scenes of sex. Actually there really was no sex, but he continually leads you up to the scenes and describes women as simply a way for men t
After a nine-year self-imposed exile to an alien planet, Richard Muller is called upon to be the saviour of humanity. However, there's one problem: he has come to despise the human race for their past treatment of him, and he feels he owes nothing to anyone.

On an ancient labyrinthine planet named Lemnos, Muller is alone aside from the native beasts which he hunts for sustenance. He has come here because, due to an alien operation which happened during a past intergalactic mission, he can't help
In retrospect, I'm willing to overlook the sexism, (Silverberg's character's are often ridiculously sexist) because the book is simply that good.
The hero, a man who chooses to act as diplomat to an alien race, is changed by them into something they can tolerate. Unfortunately, other humans, in particular his lover, are now revolted by his proximity; he literally makes her skin crawl. In anguish he retreats to The Maze.

Not a bad punishment for a chauvinistic SOB, don't you think?
Stuart Nager
This was the book that really got me reading, not only Science Fiction but reading in general. It was a borrowed book from my orthodontist's office, but I've read it many times since. Four stars for the book, but five stars for the experiences that it started me on. I still love reading it.
David Allen
Now among my favorite SF novels, this is a study in alienation, despair, ambition, physical perfection, ideals (both shattered and intact) and the human condition. Oh, and there's a maze. Gotta love a book with a maze.
I have very conflicting thoughts about this book. It's one of those that you love to hate, bc it's just so good at being bad. I feel like this book is a beautiful painting underneath that has been grotesquely defaced and damaged. It had the potential to be a wonderful story, brilliantly written; but it has all these nasty little marks on it that rob its beauty. One little sentence here and there that sticks out ugly and deformed.

One of the main questions of the book is, "Is humanity basically g
Sep 24, 2008 Isaac rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Isaac by: My brother Jake
Shelves: science-fiction
I've been looking for this book on goodreads for ages, I couldn't remember its title for the life of me. It is the best Science Fiction book I've read
Review in Italian and in English (below)

Romanzo assolutamente eccezionale, come tutti gli altri che ho letto di Silverberg. Come gli altri, si può leggere a diversi livelli e ha una profondità che a giudicare dalle altre recensioni non è spesso capita. Il Filottete di Sofocle è l'ispirazione di questa storia. La condizione umana, la fragilità della fiducia e il dolore del tradimento, il ritiro in se stessi, le difese psicologiche, la speranza per il genere umano, tutti questi sono temi trattati
Jack Moreno
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristina Luiz Apesar de este ser o primeiro livro de ficção científica no meu blogue, não foi o primeiro que eu li. Longe disso até. Houve uma altura da minha vida, julgo que deveria ter uns doze ou treze anos, em que os únicos livros que eu tinha acesso para comprar (sem depender de ninguém para o fazer) eram os de uma pequena papelaria/tabacaria ao lado de minha casa. Nessa papelaria, e nessa época, os únicos livros que se vendiam era uma colecção de bolso da Caminho (não estou certa) , que ti ...more
Jim Hoff
Robert Silverberg's The Man in the Maze transposes mythology (in this case Philocetes) in to a science fiction setting. Dick Mueller, like Silverberg's Minner Burris, is a man who has been transformed by aliens. In this case though, Mueller did not realise it until he re-connected with humanity. It was then that he discovered that something emanated from him which made him repulsive. It is almost unbearable for anyone to be near him for any length of time. Unable to bear himself or his burden on ...more
Patrick Nichols
A character-based SF tale that hasn't ripened with age. Beneath its paper-mache-trappings, it's a tale about man's journey towards introversion. Our yearning for communion with the other leads to tragic misunderstanding, and we recover by concealing ourselves ourselves within, and behind, a maze of lethal traps. Therein we await the patient explorer to penetrate our defenses and trick us back towards community. A middle-aged man's tale, the adventure of convolution.

The evocation of the murderou
Feb 07, 2009 Cassandre is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Présentation de l'éditeur
" Muller vivait depuis neuf ans dans le labyrinthe. Maintenant, il le connaissait bien. Il savait ses pièges, ses méandres, ses embranchements trompeurs, ses trappes mortelles. Depuis le temps, il avait fini par se familiariser avec cet édifice de la dimension d'une ville, sinon avec la situation qui l'avait conduit à y chercher refuge. "
Tous les hommes qui avaient tenté de pénétrer dans le labyrinthe de Lemnos avant Muller étaient morts d'une façon atroce. Tous ceux qui
Le centre d'une planète dont les habitants ont, a priori, disparu est occupé par un labyrinthe. Véritable chef-d'oeuvre d'ingéniosité en matière de pièges, d'une complexité démoniaque, ce monument constitue un barrage inviolable qui protège le coeur de la cité. Pourtant un homme se trouve au centre de ce dédale.
Un court roman de SF intelligent et original, une belle réflexion sur l'homme et ses travers. Même si ce livre possède un côté "aventure" assez plaisant, nous sommes ici bien loin du spac
Un planteamiento curioso, reflexiones interesantes y está bien escrito. Lástima que la historia que lo sustenta sea tan endeble.
El libro es algo flojo. Hay momentos donde parece que va a remontar, pero se queda en simples intentos. Es fácil y rápido de leer. Tiene un par de sorpresas a lo largo de la historia y poco más...
No es lo más recomendable para leer de ciencia ficción, ya que hay mejores libros.
Brian Smith
Really cool short novel with an interesting premise and nice story arc.

You'll just need to ignore the rampant sexism. In this book women are sex objects with perky breasts, nice legs and spend their time "yielding" to the men in the story. There are even virtual prostitutes that the men bring with them into space.
A man, trapping himself in a maze to protect others, or just shelter himself from the outside world. It's a bit obvious, but an engaging way to physically explain the walls and traps built up within the mind of a damaged man. The first 3/4 of the book kept me interested, and the successful mission felt unimportant to the plot. Ultimately the relationships built were what drove the story, despite the mission being brought to the front, the confusion of which is why I didn't rate it 4 stars.
A robust medium-hard science fiction novel about ends justifying means or vice versa and first (and second) contact. What I found most interesting was the creepy misogynist eugenicist human society peering out between the cracks of the story. It's a cop-out just to say "Silverberg was a sexist bastard"; he's written plenty of things that are much more nuanced and egalitarian. Take the world of the story as a thing-in-itself, and shudder... no wonder the aliens don't like them!
Romanzo appena sufficiente, piuttosto insulso.
Pregevole il tentativo di rinverdire il mito di Filottete, addobbandolo con una veste fantascientifica, ma oltre a questo non c'è molto altro.
Le prime cento pagine scorrono bene, poi il romanzo si trascina stancamente, diventando ripetitivo. Il finale è un'altra cosa che non mi è piaciuta molto: se fosse terminato una quarantina di pagine prima, la qualità non ne avrebbe risentito, anzi l'avrei apprezzato di più.
Little Icelander
Rispetto agli altri libri di Silverberg meritevolmente ristampati da Fazi ("Il libro dei teschi", "Morire dentro", "L'amore al tempo dei morti"), questo è decisamente più vicino alla fantascienza classica. Non male, ma manca la profondità dei precedenti.
Wow, the sexism of the novel seems to have aggravated a few people, I suppose justifiably, but still, I can live with that. Great story, complex, varied, clever use of advanced tech, cleverly created galactic political structure. Also complex and tortured characters. Lots of sex, which appealed to me at a young and impressionable age. I have re-read this a number of times over the decades. It is a good story.
Reseña en el blog:

Uno de los mejores libros que he leído de todos los géneros y de la ciencia ficción en particular. Brillante de principio a fin, una lástima que sea tan difícil encontrarlo.
Entretenido. Tal vez no es mucho decir de un libro que aparece en todas las antologías, pero su buen desarrollo queda para mi lastrado por la endeblez de las premisas que sustentan el argumento. El papel de la mujer en la sociedad del futuro mejor no analizarlo.
Francesco Galdieri
L'idea di base non � male, ma il romanzo � piuttosto limitato proprio perch� l'autore gira intorno a quell'idea per tutta la durata del libro, che non si evolve. Il risultato � quindi abbastanza noioso e scontato, dopo un primo impatto molto positivo.
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Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Sc ...more
More about Robert Silverberg...
Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine, #1) Legends The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 1 Dying Inside Legends II

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