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More Than Human

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  11,102 Ratings  ·  464 Reviews
There's Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people's thoughts and make a man blow his brains out just by looking at him. There's Janie, who moves things without touching them, and there are the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles. There's Baby, who invented an antigravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run ...more
Paperback, First Vintage Books Edition, 186 pages
Published January 1999 by Vintage (first published 1953)
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Community Reviews

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Bill  Kerwin
Aug 31, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction

If you have ever been lonely and longed for completion, you will be drawn to this book. But if you are one of those rare souls who sense that completion demands more than a wife or a husband, who yearn to find a small group of friends like yourself--but different--who can believe and will the same thing and yet still manage to preserve their distinctive humanity, then this book is just the thing for you.

More Than Human is about six people—each with a distinct and extraordinary power—who wander l
Jun 08, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing
You pick up the book, turn to the back cover and are confronted with the man. So this was Kurt Vonnegut’s model for Kilgore Trout. Staring back at you is a gaunt image: a scraggly, bearded man who but for the pipe and the contented look might offer the same aspect from a homeless person or from a Jethro Tull album jacket.

Turn to the first page and read - “The idiot lived in a black and grey world, punctuated by the white lightning of hunger and the flickering of fear. His clothes were old and ma
Jan 22, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sf-top-20
Sturgeon's law: "ninety percent of everything is crap."
That's as may be but More Than Human is definitely in the 10% non-crap segment.

I love good short novels, more than good long ones (nobody likes bad novels at any length). The way I see it the reader gets so much more from each percentage of the book. For the amount of time put into reading the book it just seems more profitable to me. YMMV of course, long books have their own advantages.

I first read "More Than Human" decades ago, I clearly
Jan 11, 2010 Felicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Were I to take an in-depth Sci-Fi course I would definitely want to explore the deeper meanings of this book, lots of layered psychological here. I'm already reserving it for a re-read. It is disturbing and fascinating, the story of an...evolved group of creatures, the only way I can describe it. Just try it, it's short but packed with wonderment.
May 07, 2012 Whitaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the only meaningful ratings on GR are *, **, and *****. Those are pretty clear: “I disliked it”, “it was okay”, and “it was amazing”. *** and **** exist in that intermediate stage between “meh” (**) and “wow” (*****). “I liked it” and “I really liked it”. WTF? How exactly do I differentiate between “liking” something and “really liking” it?

A lot of how we respond to stories is so personal to what we enjoy and what we’ve read before. One thing that I usually like in books is when it thro
Jul 16, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is my first novel by Theodore Sturgeon and it most certainly will not be the last. I read the book in one sitting. I'm not sure now if that was a good idea but I was entranced, could not sleep, and it is rather short. I was certain the book would be listed on my favorites shelf but the ending, or certain characterisitcs of the ending, forced me to withdraw from the book and look at it from the outside, not from within as I had the majority of the story.

I knew before beginning that Sturgeon
OK- what to even say about this masterpiece- which it undoubtably is! For all u fools out there who do not think science fiction can be literature of the highest degree, u obviously haven't read a book like More Than Human- because if this book doesn't blow that dense, dull-witted notion out of your mind, nothing will and u should be publicly shunned forevermore.
Written in the 50's and it still didn't seem dated at all! That alone is an astounding feat. Anyway, i don't even think i can begin to
I have no explanation for my deep love of this novel. It's hokey and ridiculous and overwrought and leaves bushels of interesting themes all over the place, unassembled. It's hopelessly dated. I love it. I connect with these very implausible characters. I revere this author for writing with such careless abandon of form or plot and who still keeps me riveted. This may have been my fourth or fifth reading of this particular novel. It's one of my security-blanket books.
4.0 stars. Ground-breaking science fiction novel that first explored the concept of the "gestalt" consciousness while dealing with emotional issues of identity and fitting in to society. This is on my list to re-read as it has been some time since I read this.

Nominee: Hugo (Retro) Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Jan 03, 2013 Palmyrah rated it it was ok
One I missed back in the early Eighties when I was going through the classics of science fiction like a hot knife through butter. Maybe I'd have liked it better if I'd read it back then. Probably not.

It's an act of charity to call this SF at all. It's supposed to be about the emergence of a new species, but from an evolutionary point of view the emergence described could not possibly take place – the whole concept is ridiculously unscientific. The story does contain one authentic science-fiction
More Than Human: Introducing the “Homo Gestalt”
(Also posted at Fantasy Literature)
This book must have been quite an eye-opener back in 1953 in the Golden Age of Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke, where robots, rocket ships, future societies and aliens ruled the roost. For one thing, it hardly features any credible science at all, and in tone and atmosphere owes more to magic realism and adult fantasy. In fact, the writing reminds me most of Ray Bradbury, full of poetry and powerful images. Try reading
Apr 07, 2011 Williwaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I had already reviewed this!

Perhaps not.

It's difficult to decide if this book (a "fix-up" novel) deserves 4 or 5 stars. Sometimes, Sturgeon's style reminds me of passages in Faulkner's Sound and Fury, when Faulkner is writing from a child's perspective. Other times, it's like he's channeling J.D. Salinger.

Initially, Sturgeon wrote a story called "Baby is Three," published in Galaxy Science Fiction in the early 1950s. That story is the heart of the novel, and the most engaging part of
Oct 02, 2008 Terence rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
More Than Human is not an easy read. Theodore Sturgeon was never shy about pushing boundaries and trying to shake up a reader's comfortable little world.

The theme of the novel is certainly fascinating -- the emergence of a new human species - homo gestalt (though the ending and hints earlier in the book suggest we've always been it). But Sturgeon left me wanting more - it ended too soon and too patly.

I enjoyed it well enough and am interested in reading more of his work but I don't think I can r
Jan 17, 2010 Addie rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
Not an easy read for me. Extremely well-written with incredibly brilliant concepts, but difficult to wrap my brain around completely. There were many passages that I had to reread three or four times. A fair bit of the narrative seemed to go over my head, and I have to admit that there were a few times that I thought maybe I was not smart enough to fully appreciate this book. But then, inevitably, everything would come to light and I came out of my confusion right alongside the characters.

Aug 29, 2009 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks, sf
I'm beginning to notice a pattern; I'm giving five stars to every Sturgeon book I read, it's becomming a habit. But what else can I do but acknowledge his genius?

This is a book of three parts, each part a process of discovery for the reader and at least one of the characters involved who are each trying to find something out about themselves, come into themselves in some way.

I've also said before that he seems so far ahead of his time and it once again becomes apparent in this book. It is a mill
Jun 20, 2010 Jeff rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Tom, Jeff, Camille.
Recommended to Jeff by: James Gunn's Summer 2010 CSSF Intensive
Shelves: science-fiction
I'd heard that Sturgeon was a man of words, and a self-educated man, at that. More Than Human is the first book I've ever read by him. At first it was surprising and startling and odd, but his style and pace are easy enough to learn and then it became a book that couldn't be put down.

Sturgeon writes like a poet, thinks like a psychiatrist, and understands like a philosopher. "His clothes were many-windowed" (p.1). "he lived inside somewhere, apart, and the little link between word and significan
Oct 02, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
MORE THAN HUMAN. (1953). Theodore Sturgeon. ****.
This early novel of science fiction was included in the Library of America’s recent publication of “American Science Fiction 1953-1956.” It contained no rocket ships or interplanetary travel, but focused on the future of mankind as it might be influenced by a strange combination of a unique set of forces represented by a collection of what we might call damaged individuals. The main characters in this tale include “a girl, two tongue-tied Negroes
Shira and Ari Evergreen
Apr 19, 2016 Shira and Ari Evergreen rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
"More Than Human" is well-intentioned, but out-dated. Sturgeon fancies that the next step in human evolution will be multicultural, but unfortunately he also envisions it as hierarchical, run by smart white men. The only two people of color are a set of identical twin black girls who can only speak one or two words and who are always (for sci fi reasons of course) naked. When the white guy finishes using their (admittedly awesome) skills he says "beat it." I'm sure that at the time, this didn't ...more
Mar 20, 2010 Spencer rated it it was amazing
Incredible book in a number of ways.

From the first paragraph you will notice that the language sets this apart from most writing in the genre.

In addition, the premise and development of the story are so imaginative--this book is often categorized as science fiction, but that label is both too limiting and not quite on the mark. If it is science fiction, it is much more Ray Bradbury than Isaac Asimov--the imaginative explorations are all on the human side of the equation, rather than the techno
Erik Angle
Aug 06, 2013 Erik Angle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 1950s

I read fiction for narrative first, style second or third. I want a story, not a tradeshow. Theodore Sturgeon’s More Than Human is, in my opinion, style over story.

What story there is focuses on a group of young individuals who are the next jump in human development, and how they interact (and don’t interact) with the rest of the world. Are they human, or something more? If more, what is their relationship with humanity? These questions play
Jun 19, 2016 Ankush rated it it was amazing
"So it was that Lone came to know himself; and like the handful of people who have done so before him he found, at this pinnacle, the rugged foot of a mountain."

The main "plot" is about humanity, and what makes us human (or in this case, more than human - see what I did there, that's the title of the book.) The author's ideas about this topic are described in the context of a fairly complex plot, weaving in characters and events to create what eventually becomes a fairly impressive tapestry. But
Erik Graff
Mar 25, 2012 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sturgeon fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Don't recall where exactly I picked up this old paperback edition of Sturgeon's novel, but remember the cover clearly.

Although the outcast protagonists of the book perform despicable acts such as murder, the author manages to maintain the reader's sympathy for them. As a kid, of course, I was fascinated by their various powers such as telekinesis, teleportation and esp, having long hoped to find in myself some special ability--at least the ability to communicate with animals.
If only the characters were relatable; if only emotion were not splattered across the page in the form of adverbs; if only the plot were interesting and thought-provoking instead of self-indulgent and overly-descriptive; then, and only then, might the book have been something other than boring.

The second part, along with the last few pages of the final chapter, are the sections worth reading. Everything else is dull filler.
Jun 01, 2015 Gideon rated it it was amazing
I love old scifi book covers so much. Again the original:

is so much better than the Kindle edition that looks like ten minutes of Photoshop work:

More Than Human has the sparseness of prose like the other Theodore Sturgeon book I’ve read, The Dreaming Jewels, but only in words used, not in the sentence style and structure. More Than Human seems much further polished. The writing transcends the simplistic language. And perfectly edited prose is exactly what I love.

The idiot lived in a black and
Leo Walsh
May 24, 2013 Leo Walsh rated it really liked it
I am always amazed when I read authors from the Golden Age of science fiction. They write with economy. And tend to say more in 250 pages than many contemporary series say over a trilogy weighing in at 1,000 pages. I am thinking of masters like Bester, Le Guin, PKD, Heinlein and Clarke.

And now, I can add Theodore Sturgeon to that mix.

More that Human is a very interesting read. I really enjoyed the way Sturgeon tells the story. Especially in the last two parts, where the story is uncovered bit
May 09, 2016 Chris rated it liked it
Y'know, More Than Human is a decent piece of writing - but it's a very awkward read, and unfortunately dated. I like Sturgeon's stuff - I think he was on the cusp of being something truly different and revolutionary. More Than Human, in fact, probably was pretty revolutionary at the time of its publication... but, how many bizarre comic books and pulp novels have we seen on the same topic since then? Let's just say it's no longer the same groundbreaking material.

So, clearly, I don't blame Sturg
Aug 22, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing
What an amazing gem this book turned out to be. A surprisingly refreshing read. It touched all the emotions and the writing style and concept was enough to be really intellectually stimulating. I mean what more do you want? As a whole it hit all the sweet spots. It is not a tome of a book, but feels much...grander then most of them, in the best way. I want to kick my own ass literally for having this on my "to-read" pile for so long.
Oct 01, 2016 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Excellent sci fi / fantasy novel by someone I didn't know of until last week. This guy should be at least mentioned when sci fi writers such as Clarke, Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, etc. are brought up. A flowing prose made this organized disarray of people and their lives easy to follow. Theodore Sturgeon can say as much in 186 pages as many writers can in 500 or more. Didn't care much for the ending though. 4.5 stars.
L.M. Cooke
Dec 17, 2014 L.M. Cooke rated it it was amazing
I’d been looking forward to re-reading this book for a long time. When I opened, it, though, I realised it wasn’t the book I’d thought it was. Somewhere in my mind I’d conflated it with another vintage sci-fi work, author and title apparently unknown, featuring a character called Grand Guignol, or Guig for short (if you remember this book, please tell me what it is called!).

It took only a few pages before I remembered what ‘More Than Human’ was, though, and only a few more before I understood wh
Feb 21, 2016 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite the interesting story. I liked a lot about this book. The story was novel, the characters were odd, the action was, well, also odd. It reads like it was written in the 50s. Wisecracking kids that said things that could have been written by a comedian. There’s also a 50s style here – sort of a PKD style of painting the lines but not between – telling the story but leaving the background a little vague. And you often don’t get a sci fi story with a psychiatrist as a lead character. This will ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: More Than Human 1 5 Sep 15, 2012 01:52PM  
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Theodore Sturgeon (1918–1985) is considered one of the godfathers of contemporary science fiction and dark fantasy. The author of numerous acclaimed short stories and novels, among them the classics More Than Human, Venus Plus X, and To Marry Medusa, Sturgeon also wrote for television and holds among his credits two episodes of the original 1960s Star Trek series, for which he created the Vulcan m ...more
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“Just think about it," he said softly. "You can do practically anything. You can have practically everything. And none of it will keep you from being alone."
"Shut up shut up...Everybody's alone."
He nodded. "But some people learn how to live with it.”
“Ask Baby can you be truly part of someone you love."
"He says only if you love yourself.”
More quotes…