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Gladiator-at-Law

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  302 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Cover code #01659 indicates the 4th Ballantine printing. This satirical science fiction novel was first published in 1955. Whereas in the authors' earlier novel "The Space Merchants" the world was ruled by advertising agencies, in this novel corporate lawyers have gained a stranglehold on the world.
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published 1969 by Ballantine (first published 1955)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jules Jones
Nov 27, 2007 Jules Jones rated it it was amazing
Pohl and Kornbluth's's sharp satire of the consumer society and corporate corruption of government is as relevant today as when it was first published 50 years ago. "Gladiator at law" describes a possible future for the 1950s in which the working and middle classes are kept under control by the threat of losing their job and with it their tied housing--and the unemployed masses are kept quiescent with bread and circuses, Roman style. Reality tv may not have gone quite as far as the entertainment ...more
Mike
Dec 29, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a timeless classic. It holds up amazingly well, although, along with every SF writers of the 50's, these two (Kornbluth and Pohl) completely undersold the computer age. Otherwise, their vision of the future was frighteningly clear. The world they describe has not yet come to be, but it still might happen.

The story is pure black comedy and the laughs are painful, but still laughs. Belly Rave (Belle Reve) can be found in the flat-tops of North Sunnyvale. I've walked through that neigh
...more
Ugur
Nov 17, 2012 Ugur rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
1950-1960’lı yıllara ait bilimkurgu okuma günlerimde okuduğum kitaplardan Hukuk Gladyatörü’ne büyük umutlar ile başlamıştım ama kitap boyunca hem hikayenin anlatım tarzından hem de genel olarak konudan çok sıkıldım.

Bilimkurgu kategorisinde görünmesine rağmen içinde çok az bilimkurgu öğesi bulunan bir kitaptı. Kitabı ilk okumaya başladığımda bilimkurgu beklentisi ile başladığım için ciddi anlamda beğenmemiştim, sonrasında polisiye olarak kabul edip okumaya devam ettiğimde okunabilir bir seviyeye
...more
Küpçük Hellyea
Mar 03, 2013 Küpçük Hellyea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book introduces reader to Pohl's dark-humor tailored mild dystopia. Prefer to read if you look for something more casual than 1984. Prefer to read before "The Age of The Pussyfoot"
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
Feb 13, 2012 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: critics of corporations
Shelves: sf
review of
Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth's Gladiator-At-Law
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - February 13, 2012

This is the 3rd Pohl/Kornbluth collaboration I've read so far. W/ each new one I'm more & more impressed by their skill at social analysis & at their ability to just tell an engrossing tale. Reading this one led me to compare them to Aldous Huxley & the comparison's in their favor. When I was a teenager & 1st hearing about what I'd now call dystopian novels or social
...more
Peveril
Oct 08, 2016 Peveril rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, sf-september
Future dystopian finance adventure . I read all Pohl and Kornbluth novels a long time ago. This one doesn't stand up so well. A decent read, ahead of the standards if the time but what a long tine ago it seems now.
Leah
Aug 27, 2008 Leah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Clegg
Sep 10, 2011 Brian Clegg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a horrible feeling there will be plenty of younger science fiction readers for whom the names of Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth mean nothing, but for those of us of a certain age they are among the greats.

I've just re-read this classic. It's over sixty years old (I seem on Amazon.com you can buy the June 1954 Galaxy Magazine part of it first appeared in), and yet apart from a few niggling details, it is as fresh as ever. This bread and circuses dystopia, with an early focus on the d
...more
Britt
Jul 27, 2011 Britt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, own
The title (and the racy covers on some editions) might lead you to expect a little more swashbuckling than is actually present in this book. This is mainly a corporate finance thriller, with a few hard-sf elements mixed in. Apropos of the current economy, suburbia has been laid waste by a housing bubble, but then real estate world is turned on its head by... bubble houses. With some very grim consequences for society. Overall, though the book comes off as very dated. There's lots of rapid-fire 5 ...more
Richard Epstein
Sep 17, 2014 Richard Epstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This dystopic novel came out in 1955. I don't suppose I read it quite that early, but I read it when I was very young -- young enough that a lot must have passed me by. (At 10 or 11 my understanding of the stock market would have been pretty rudimentary. Some things never change.) But I remember reading it avidly and more than once.

It's a strange sensation reading it again now, some mumblety-mumblety years later. I don't have a clear recollection of the plot, but passages of the book pluck at t
...more
Brandon
This story is an excellent social commentary/prophecy that has some serious echoes in the reality of 2015, 60 years after it was written. As social commentary in general, it warns about excessive difference between rich and poor, though as a story it is certainly interesting how the ghetto ends up being in the suburbs.

The bubble house technology is the primary science fiction aspect, and the description of those reads not unlike some of the articles in today's world about smart houses.

I give i
...more
Ed
Aug 17, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SciFi - Charles Mundin is a young lawyer in a future that features automated housing for contract employees of large corporations and gang controlled slums for the rest. He accepts a mission to gain control of the company that makes the good housing.
Mark
Jul 23, 2016 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky story about stocks and shares in the future, and how bad investment causes massive changes to people's lives, trapping them. I picked this up for the "Thunder Dome" element - but there is none.
Eric Buhrer
Jul 06, 2013 Eric Buhrer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dated as hell today, but the ideas - especially the economics - make this the equal of 1984 in my humble opinion.
Charles
Aug 02, 2009 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Not really my kind of SF, although others may like it. Rather slow and sometimes it seems with tongue too firmly in cheek.
Tom Pappalardo
If you enjoy science fiction about corporate takeovers, science fiction with little-to-no actual science fiction, or smelly old paperbacks, then I highly recommend this book.
Philip
Jun 20, 2008 Philip rated it it was amazing
I'm re-reading this - great masterpiece! But in the Goodreads directory there are two books, one by C. Kornbluth, one by Fred Pohl. er, just one book, 2 writers...
Marianne
Mar 13, 2016 Marianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine, sci-fi, philo
Really not much about gladiators. But a quirky story about the dangers of corporate sponsored perfect bubble-houses.
Smith Nickerson
Smith Nickerson rated it liked it
May 31, 2011
Fredrik Rantakyro
Fredrik Rantakyro rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2015
Amber
Amber rated it did not like it
Oct 01, 2008
T
T rated it really liked it
May 25, 2013
jsewellmcevoy
jsewellmcevoy rated it it was ok
Apr 07, 2014
Rodleech
Rodleech rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2010
Elaine
Elaine rated it it was ok
Jul 26, 2015
David
David rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2009
Deathmetalroze
Deathmetalroze rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2011
Patrick Elliott
Patrick Elliott rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2008
Jerry Hyson
Jerry Hyson rated it liked it
Nov 13, 2009
John
John rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2007
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22996
Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.
More about Frederik Pohl...

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