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

The Man in the Maze

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  745 ratings  ·  53 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
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 1969 by Avon Books (first published 1968)
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 The Man in the Maze, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Man in the Maze

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,323)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
mark monday
 photo tumblr_mvf1p6pPO41rc4qtbo1_250_zpso6yx26hq.gif

fuck the world and fuck the people in it. right? fuck 'em. you spend your life trying to do things, accomplish things, putting yourself out there. do people even remember those things? does the universe even care? you are just a cog in the great world-machine that doesn't even want to know you, that doesn't recognize the things you've done. who could ever want you, you are a useless part now that you are

 photo BROKEN_zpsvhhmfeht.gif

you have many accomplishments, many great deeds. so why was that done to you, why are your
I’ve said it before and here see it demonstrated excellently again – science fiction is best when it works as a metaphor.

The Man in the Maze, Robert Silverberg’s 1968 publication, is a psychological study about an ancient alien world and alien technology, mysterious and incomprehensible, reminiscent of Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama and also similar to Bradbury’s There Will Come Soft Rains, as a dead planet is kept functioning by unfathomable extraterrestrial machinery.

I think Silverberg had an i
In one of Robert Silverberg's novels from 1967, "Thorns," the future sci-fi Grand Master presented his readers with one of his most unfortunate characters, Minner Burris. An intrepid space explorer, Burris had been captured by the residents of the planet Manipool, surgically altered and then released. Upon his return to Earth, Burris was grotesque to behold, resulting in one very withdrawn, depressed, reclusive and psychologically warped individual indeed. And a year later, in the author's even ...more
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
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
This is now my third R.Silverberg book and it is another fantastic 5-star read. Only one other author has so profoundly moved me like this...and that is A.C.Clarke. I highly recommend this book! At approximately 200 pages, it's a whole lotta bang for the buck. And for a proper review...refer to a spot-on GR review by "Denzil". Next is Shadrach in the Furnace.
Phenomenal novel , like all the others I've read by Silverberg . Like his other ones, it can be read at different levels and it has a depth that - judging by the other reviews here - is often ignored or not understood. The Philoctetes, a tragedy written by Sophocles, is the inspiration for this story. The human condition , the fragility of trust and the pain of betrayal , the withdrawal into oneself, our psychological defenses , all these issues are dealt with in the novel.

Just like Philoctecte
"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

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
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
John Loyd
The Man in the Maze (1969) 192 pages by Robert Silverberg.

This could be classified as a first or second contact novel, but I would more of the psychological variety. Dick Muller is the title character, a man who years ago made contact with an alien species, and when he returned, being in his presence sickened was sickening or depressing, so much so that he decided to exile himself to the maze on Lemnos. The maze was surrounded top and bottom by an impenetrable force field. Only through a doorwa
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.
Fantasy Literature
In one of Robert Silverberg’s novels from 1967, Thorns, the future sci-fi Grand Master presented his readers with one of his most unfortunate characters, Minner Burris. An intrepid space explorer, Burris had been captured by the residents of the planet Manipool, surgically altered and then released. Upon his return to Earth, Burris was grotesque to behold, resulting in one very withdrawn, depressed, reclusive and psychologically warped individual indeed. And a year later, in the author’s even mo ...more
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.
Lucien Romano
Although inspired by Sophocles' play Philoctetes, this isn't simply an SF version of a Greek myth. There are many intriguing ideas, including believably alien aliens who are non-humanoid in appearance and behaviour. However, the core of the story is the myth, where the protagonist is used to reveal humanity's true nature.

The only shortcoming for a modern audience is the lack of proper female characters. The few women are there simply to cavort with the men. Silverberg's version of Free Love mean
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
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
Dec 30, 2014 Georgene rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Georgene by: Philip Wickstrand
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this book decades ago, probably not too long after it came out. I was a big Sci-Fi fan in those days. This year, my son gave me this book, which I carried around in my purse for months reading a few pages now and again. Yesterday, I decided to finish it, so I did.

This book has stood the test of time well. While I am no longer the avid Sci-Fi reader I once was, I still found it to be an interesting story. Once really getting into it, the story kept me engaged until the end.
Overall this is a decent book, but for some reason my fancy was really caught by one particular detail in it; the method that the expedition seeking the Man in the Maze used to "solve" the deadly puzzles of the maze. (view spoiler). A great change from the usual expectation of this sort of thing, but so very realistic.
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
Max Matheson
Cool exploration of human-alien encounter and the possibilities after such. Intriguing, especially with us paucity of characters. Well written.
Pere Sanmartí
Robert Silverberg és sempre una gran lectura i aquest llibre n'és un gran exemple. Fa anys que me'l vaig llegir però n guardo un gran record
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 44 45 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Marune: Alastor 933
  • Fury
  • The Genocides
  • Other Days, Other Eyes
  • Special Deliverance
  • The Avatar
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighteenth Annual Collection
  • Search the Sky
  • Immortality, Inc.
  • Captive Universe
  • Far Rainbow / The Second Invasion from Mars
  • E Pluribus Unicorn
  • Trickster (The Silent Empire, #3)
  • The Forgotten Planet
  • Resurrection Man (Resurrection Man, #1)
  • Rogue Moon
  • The Best of John W. Campbell (US)
  • Tik-Tok
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

Share This Book