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Make Room! Make Room!

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,134 Ratings  ·  339 Reviews
First published in 1966, Harrison's novel of an overpopulated urban jungle, a divided class system--operating within an atmosphere of riots, food shortages, and senseless acts of violence--and a desperate hunt for the truth by a cynical NYC detective tells a classic tale of a dark future.
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Spectra (first published January 1st 1966)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
Color me happy and more than a little surprised to be decorating this review with as many stars as I am because I went into this novel with pretty subdued expectations. I would say expectations on par with those I hold for the latest cinematic embarassment by Mr. Dickoless Cage. I know that's not very nice, but I will never, never forgive that talent-free ass bozo for effectively castrating Ghost Rider in front of the general public, despite being a self-described fanboy of the character. The g ...more
Marvin
Jul 08, 2012 Marvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
First thing, Forget about the movie Soylent Green which was based on Harry Harrison's novel about overpopulation, Make Room! Make Room!. There is no Charleston Heston screaming , "Soylent Green is people!" and nothing about cannibalism. What we have instead is a very effective and disquieting look at a future where overpopulation is rampant and food and water sources are depleting. While he centers his story around a New York detective and a "accidental" murder, Harrison is more interested in de ...more
Debbie Zapata
Feb 04, 2016 Debbie Zapata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
Of course I remember the movie Soylent Green. I saw it at the drive-in gazillions of years ago, and many times since. But let me tell you, as dramatic as the movie is, with Charlton Heston as main character Andy Rusch giving the infamous scream of (view spoiler) there is actually no soylent green in the book at all. There are red crackers, seaweed crackers, brown soylent (soy/lentil) steaks and eventually small soylent burgers supposedly with a smoky-bar ...more
Manny
Apr 02, 2012 Manny rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Good morning class! Now, hands up everyone who knows what Soylent Green is made of. Ah, that's very good. I'm glad to see you read your assignment.

I'm sorry, we're not quite finished yet. What is the book's original title? No, of course it isn't a trick question. You should have read it a little more carefully...
Tfitoby
Oct 29, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine piece of science fiction that grabs you from the start with it's world building and high quality writing and entertains for over 200 pages.

Soylent Green might have been people but Make Room! Make Room! is a story about a detective investigating a murder in a future world with a drastic problem with over-population and a lack of natural resources. The detective aspect works as an interesting framing story that allows Harrison to explore the nuances of his world - food riots, vegan diets, w
...more
Robert
Sep 04, 2013 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
It's the future - 1999 in fact! Over 7 billion humans, 35 million of them in New York City where a cop, a gangster's moll and a street kid all collide on their no longer separate searches for food and water security. Shanties, tent cities, people living in ships and cars that can't move because there's no more oil. Sounds like Harrison only got the date wrong...

It's an odd book tackling the question of over-population back in the 1960s when it seems to have first been taken seriously (though not
...more
Jason
Nov 24, 2013 Jason rated it it was ok
Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the classic sci-fi flick Soylent Green. Of course, the scene that everyone remembers from the film - Charleston Heston yelling, "Soylent Green is people!" at the end - never appears in the book. Sorry, kids, no cannibalism in this rather slow read from the 1960s, but lots of commentary on the dangers of overpopulation.

It's actually a fairly depressing story about environmental collapse: the food is pretty much gone and it's hot all the time due to global w
...more
Nefariousbig
Nov 30, 2012 Nefariousbig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Inevitable? Dystrophic in Dystopia. Imagined or Insighted?

This 1973 synopsis sounds like a current headline: In 2022, with 40 million people in New York City alone, housing is dilapidated and overcrowded; homeless people fill the streets and food is scarce; and most of the population survives on rations produced by the Soylent Corporation, whereof the newest product is Soylent Green, a green wafer advertised to contain "high-energy plankton", more nutritious and palatable than its predecessors
...more
Jay
Apr 15, 2014 Jay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was first exposed to the work of American sci-fi author Harry Harrison in my early teens, when I read his "Stainless Steel Rat" series, followed by the "Deathworld" trilogy and the Bill, the Galactic Hero series. That last was a parody, scathingly funny and a brilliant send-up of space opera sci-fi. The others were classic science fiction, and though they differed in tone they shared tight writing, crisp dialog, memorable characters, and thrilling plot twists.

Since the classic 1973 film Soylen
...more
Ali Çetinbudaklar
Yıllar önce izlediğim Soylent Green'in, birebir uyarlandığı kitap olarak düşünüyordum, ama baya farklılık varmış; hele ki filmi özellikle vurucu yapan kısma acaba ne zaman geleceğim diye beklerken, kitabın bitişiyle öyle bir kısmın olmadığını anladım. Çoğu kişi belki de bu yüzden "uyarlandığı kitaptan daha iyi olan filmler" listesine ekleyecektir S.G.'yi.
Ruth ☆☽
An interesting, if slightly slow story... The action takes place in a vastly overcrowded New York city, just before the millennium in 1999. However, it was first published in 1966 and so of course lacks any knowledge of the huge developments and events we now look back on which populated those years. The book paints a stark picture of how the world we know could disintegrate, if the population continues to grow and natural resources continue to decline. The lives of the main characters are playe ...more
Rachel
Oct 12, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really wonderful book. I read it before I watched the movie (Soylent Green), but because a co-worker told me about the movie. It was really interesting to watch the movie just after finishing the book and compare the two. In many ways they were almost polar opposite, but then again, the essentials were very much the same.

New York (and the entire world) are overpopulated and there is very little food and pretty much no space. According to the book the only decent place left to live in
...more
Bill
Jan 01, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I was initially disappointed with novel on which the awesome movie Soylent Green was loosely based. This is a favorite movie which I've watched at least once a year since I recorded it on VHS. Loosely based is an understatement. The only things the book and movie have in common are the issue of over-population, two mentions of the word 'Soylent", Sol, a minor character in the book and Shirl, a much different character in the book. Tab is probably closest to the book's Tab. The entire plot is dif ...more
Patrick
Harry Harrison is one of those great old names of Golden Age SF whose stuff I have vague memories of reading avidly as a child, but of which I remember very little about nowadays. In his case I know I loved his ‘Stainless Steel Rat’ books, but I can’t recall much about him as a writer, so it was partly for that reason that I picked this book up from the library. It had nothing to do with ‘Soylent Green’ because I didn’t realise this book was the source for that movie — though once that clicked, ...more
Tony
I picked this up because I love genre mixtures such as this book's blend of crime with speculative fiction, and also because I was curious to see what relation it bore to the film (Soylent Green), which is based on it. The book is a very direct representation of the concerns of its time -- namely overpopulation and environmental degradation. It's set in Manhattan (and one portion in Brooklyn) thirty years into the future, during the summer and winter of 1999. The city is home to some 35 million ...more
Jim
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
This was the basis for the movie "Soylent Green" with Charlton Heston & Edward G. Robinson. Superb!
Timothy McNeil
It is hard to properly judge Make Room! Make Room! forty eight years after it was written, fourteen years past its dire predictions of the future. The reported US population of 281,421,906 is certainly less than the 344,000,000 Harrison imagined (though he sure beat Reagan to the fictitious notion of welfare breeders), but the world population is about right. The disasters don't line up. And why should they?

Harrison is really more interested in building a story around an argument in favor of t
...more
Hákon Gunnarsson
I'm not entirely sure how to rate Make Room! Make Room! because I like it to a certain degree, but feel like it wasn't built up well enough. Harry Harrison creates compelling apocalyptic mood. The society is collapsing, but people are still trying to live their lives with as much normality as they can. It's like most of the characters still think, or at least pretend, it is going to turn out okay, but the reader knows it is not. This is what I like about the novel, because I think there is much ...more
Elizabeth
Mar 02, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I was expecting a lot more from this novel, and I *like* dystopias. The Handmaid's Tale and It Can't Happen Here are two of my favorite novels ever so I had high hopes for this one. For those who haven't read it, the book takes place in a super crowded New York City where Police Detective Andy Rusch is sent to investigate the murder of Big Mike, a known gangster. Big Mike was killed during a botched robbery by scrappy Billy Chung, a poor kid who's family are immigrants from Taiwan. However, due ...more
Nancy Oakes
Apr 24, 2013 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Considering that this classic novel of sci-fi was written in the 1960s, it's still quite a grabber and definitely worth reading. You're welcome to stay here for the short version or click here for the longer one.

The setting for Make Room! Make Room! is New York City, 1999, well beyond teeming with a population of 35 million people. Food is a precious commodity and water is rationed,except for the rich who have speakeasy-like secret meat markets for their shopping pleasures and can enjoy long sho
...more
♥Xeni♥
Hmm, just finished and I have to say that it wasn't as exciting as the movie, Soylent Green. The framework for the movie is there, but the film took the whole plot to another level and created the famous tag line "soylent green is people".

Other than that, the book was actually an amusing sci-fi mystery read. Andy is a cop sent to find the killer of a high profile murder. While he is searching for the suspect (who is in hiding) we learn all about his life in the "modern" world: overpopulated, ov
...more
J.M. Cornwell
Jul 20, 2013 J.M. Cornwell rated it liked it
Too many people, not enough resources. That is the central theme in Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison.

The story is set in New York City where there are 35 million people crammed into a very small space, where jobs are scarce and have to be bought, where paper is only in old books, and air conditioning is only for the wealthy. In this jam packed world lives Andy Rusch, a detective with the NYPD who spends less of his time detecting and most of his time on riot control with the rest of the
...more
Jennifer
Nov 14, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: dystopia
This is a dystopic novel about what happens when the amount of people far outnumber the resources available. I went in expecting a freaky-ass horror book and found it to be more of a screed about the importance of birth control and resource management. (It was the basis of the movie Soylent Green, but the ingredients of soylent green in the book and the movie are quite different. In the book, soylent is just “soy” and “lentil.” The fact that I kept waiting for it to be made of something else bas ...more
Suzanne
Jul 10, 2013 Suzanne rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
During the first chapters of this book, my thoughts were along the lines of, "Holy shit, why didn't anybody tell me Harry Harrison was such a great writer?" The descriptions and worldbuilding are brilliant. I was bummed I already knew the ending since I'd seen the film adaptation, Soylent Green, but this story had the potential to be richer.

And as the story proceeded, it didn't go anywhere near that Soylent Green storyline I was expecting. My new thoughts were, "Huh. Sure is taking a long time
...more
Kathryn
May 06, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading "Make Room Make Room", I can understand why someone would want to make a movie out of this. Harrison creates a fascinating slice-of-life portrait of New York in a world where there simply isn't room. There's all sorts of interesting details about how people survive when there's no more meat (that any of US would want to eat, anyway), no steady supply of food other than crackers made from processed and crumbled seaweed, and next to no water. And you get strangely caught up in the characte ...more
Wealhtheow
May 11, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Paolo Bacigalupi
In 1966, Harrison published this tale of the New York City of 1999. Unrestrained population growth and gluttany of natural resources have led to a world packed to bursting with people. There are riots over cracker crumbs, you have to pay up-front to get a job, and people live packed like sardines. The novel follows a few characters: Andy Rusch, a detective assigned to solve the murder of a politically-connected racketeer, and Billy Chung, whose panicked attempt to make money end disastrously. Th ...more
Olethros
Aug 02, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-Distopía noir.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción (por muy poco en realidad).

Lo que nos cuenta. En un caluroso lunes 9 de agosto de 1999 en Nueva York, ciudad de 35 millones de constreñidos habitantes, el policía Andrew “Andy” Rusch comienza el día sorteando la escasez de agua y otros suministros que afectan a la mayoría de los residentes de la Gran Manzana y después va a su trabajo, que hoy consiste en dar apoyo a la vigilancia y control de la manifestación de los Ancianos de América que sienten atropell
...more
Rick
I have to say that yes, I was little disappointed. But not because of the absence of Soylent Green, but because the last third of the book didn't have any real focus or drive. The first two-thirds of the book were quite good. Here we have the set up for a dark, dystopean NYC with overpopulation creating shortages of everything - except people. But there really isn't a payoff. It's basically just a noir-detective story set in an overpopulated city. Late in the novel, Sol does deliver a powerful c ...more
Jason Reeser
I would have given this four stars, maybe even five, until the author started ranting about birth control opponents near the end. And then, it just looked silly. His contention was that by 1999 we'd be overcrowded, with over 300 million people in the US, so bad that we'd be living nearly like animals. Which is too bad, because his writing was excellent and his plot was interesting. His world creation was also wonderful. It just rang hollow at the end. And after he started the preaching, the stor ...more
Jeff Miller
Mar 03, 2013 Jeff Miller rated it liked it
The novel was decent enough until about two-thirds in it became a pro-contraception screed with anti-Catholicism thrown in. Not surprising being that the book was written in 1966 when the population explosion was at the rhetorical height. Now I could ignore this expected element because of the premise of the book. What was worse is how depressing it was and ending on a total lack of hope.

I think I liked the movie Soylent Green much better even as a B movie. The soylent green is people subplot wh
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green (1973). He was also (with Brian W. Aldiss) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction G
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“One time we had the whole world in our hands, but we ate it and burned it and it's gone now.” 5 likes
“Because of the power shortage and lack of replacement parts there was only one elevator running in the Empire State Building, and this one went only as high as the twenty-fifth floor. After that you walked.” 3 likes
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