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3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  71 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
"Brunner was a giant of sf, dealing at his best with lived-in futures combining extrapolative exhilaration & the nightmare of future shock. 'Stand on Zanzibar' ('68) with its focus on overpopulation was his recognized blockbuster. It slightly overshadows its companion volumes 'The Jagged Orbit' ('69), 'The Sheep Look Up' ('72)--a scarifying polemic against pollution wh ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 221 pages
Published July 20th 1976 by DAW Books (NY) (first published 1967)
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The majority of the novel reads like a mainstream novel about a troubled psychiatrist trying to unravel the mystery behind a naked girl who was discovered wandering in the woods near a mental hospital. She speaks a language no one understands and doesn't seem to recognize commonplace items such as telephones or automobiles. As the novel progresses, the clues about her origin become more intriguing, even as the psychiatrist's personal life is falling apart. Interesting novel. The last 30 pages or ...more
Oct 06, 2012 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a while during the late 1960s and early 1970s, John Brunner was a major force in SF, and, along with Brian Aldiss and Michael Moorcock, a leading figure in the British "New Wave." Starting with "The Whole Man" in 1965, Brunner produced a string of important woks, including "The Squares of the City" and "The Productions of Time", and culminating in what has been known as his "dystopian quartet" - "Stand on Zanzibar", "The Jagged Orbit", "The Sheep Look Up", and "The Shockwave Rider." He also ...more
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 John Loyd rated it it was amazing
Quicksand (1967) 221 pages by John Brunner.

Paul Fiddler is a psychiatrist at the mental hospital in Chent. On his way home from work he stops by the local pub. A injured man comes in, saying he was attacked by a naked woman. With the mental hospital being near there is speculation that it is an escapee. It's not. The sheriff and Paul find the woman, not an escapee, but she doesn't speak English so they take her to the mental hospital.

The story follows Paul the entire way. He's mildly successful,
Bill FromPA
Oct 26, 2014 Bill FromPA rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
The description of this novel in David Pringle’s Ultimate Guide to SF intrigued me, so I put this ahead of other Brunner, The Shockwave Rider, Stand On Zanzibar, The Squares of the City and Times Without Number that I intend to read. I was surprised to find that this is barely SF at all – the 1968 Bantam edition I have identifies it only as a “Novel” on the spine and the cover illustration and text present it as an erotic thriller (“WHO WAS SHE WHO WALKED NAKED OUT OF NOWHERE???”).

This book can
Jun 23, 2016 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Others have complained that this is "hardly SF" or that Brunner shouldn't try to make SF literature. Both statements seem rooted in the fact that the action takes place in contemporary Britain, among everyday, believable characters--with the notable exception of Urchin--and there are no spaceships or other trappings of old-school SF. Yet, there is time travel and the possibility of a multiverse. If we must categorize it, this novel is SF, and it is literature.

As for the end, I agree it feels rus
Dans ce roman, John Brunner nous narre la lente et pernicieuse descente aux enfers d’un psychiatre qui souhaite, pour des raisons avouables (ou non), guérir une patiente.
L’un des points fondamentaux de ce roman étant qu’à aucun moment le lecteur ou le personnage ne peuvent déterminer si cette patiente est une malade mentale ou une anthentique étrangère. Sans vouloir diminuer le talent certain de Brunner, on sait depuis au moins Lovecraft que les asiles font partie des lieux où la réalité se dél
Aug 29, 2013 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
John Brunner's Quicksand
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - August 29, 2013

This is the 13th Brunner bk I've read & reviewed & I'm more than convinced of his genius by now. As I've often noted in other reviews, I'm reluctant to give a 5 star review to any writing that doesn't have formal experimentation.. but then I make exceptions & Brunner's a stunning one.

Quicksand is yet-another novel of his to use hypnosis. The others that I've read so far being The Stardroppers, The Evi
Tim Poston
Mar 15, 2014 Tim Poston rated it it was amazing
Superb on many levels -- including a portrayal of the craziness of a bad psychiatric hospital so vivid that my psych friends felt they had worked there.
Hypocrite Lecteur
Jan 22, 2016 Hypocrite Lecteur rated it liked it
"doing cleaning work"
Jul 31, 2013 Christopher rated it liked it
Fine little quasi-sci-fi novel with a horribly deceptive and inaccurate cover. Story of a mysterious woman that appears near a mental hospital with no memory, no knowledge of the world, and no language ability. A slow process of discovery between her and her doctor proves engaging and gives more insight into the troubled doctor's mind than hers, ultimately. More psycho-mystery than sci-fi, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Apr 01, 2009 Alex rated it liked it
Standard quasi-okay Brunner book. Mostly not very science-fictiony at all. I wish there had been a little more, uh, exploitation of the obviousness of the main character's insanity, but there wasn't. Some parts--the occasional time forking--were very well done, but I really feel like there was some meat to the book that Brunner missed. Could have been better, was much much better than say Children of the Thunder.
David Vanness
Mar 04, 2013 David Vanness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
My first Sci-Fi in ten to twenty years---but not much Sci-Fi. With a psychology minor made it fun, as it was written from the 'Shrink's' position. Paul's life was full of failures and Brunner had difficulty finishing the tale. But I did enjoy character interplays.
There are some interesting parallels with Lilith, I should reread this.
Erik Graff
Jul 19, 2009 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brunner fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Not one of John Brunner's best science fiction novels--an intriguing premise, a disappointing conclusion.
Mar 12, 2011 John rated it it was ok
Grade D-
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John Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie Ro ...more
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