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More Than Human

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  8,333 ratings  ·  315 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, 192 pages
Published December 29th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1953)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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...more
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.
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...more
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
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
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...more
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...more
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 just the opening paragraph for instance:

“THE IDIOT LIVED IN a black and gray worl...more
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.

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...more
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 remember liking it very much. However, thanks to my sieve-like memory I have forgotten practically all the details about the book. I va...more
Shirari Industries
"More Than Human" is well-intentioned, but out-dated. Sturgeon fancies that the next step in human evolution will be multi-culti, 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 African American 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, thi...more
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...more
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.
Erik Ʌngle

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...more
"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...more
Jun 20, 2010 Jeff rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
This has some really good ideas about how humans might evolve and what a large evolutionary step might be that would mean something very different for humans. It's more "literature" than lots of science fiction, which as far as I can tell means that parts are boring and hard to tell what is going on. In this case, it's because the writer is drawing out the big idea (a couple of times), which obviously could be done better since I noticed and got impatient. It's better done than Brandon Sanderson...more
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...more
Owain Lewis
A beaut from the 'Golden Age' of sci-fi and the man who invented the vulcan mating ritual 'Pon farr' and Star Fleet's 'Prime Directive' - there's more geek facts about this guy but I'll stop there. At times dense and lyrical this is a slow mover that eschews plot in favour of psychological itegrity. There's a real sense of dislocation, both societal and temporal, to the lives of the protagonists and you can clearly see the theories of the day, in this case geshtalt and analytical psychology, fee...more
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...more
Kevin Kuenkler
How this book was even considered Science Fiction, I will never know. It had no point to the story, in my opinion. But I started it... I finished it, that's it.
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...more
Kitaba tek kelime ile BA-YIL-DIM. Son zamanlarda okuduğum en sürükleyici kitaplardandı. Aslında kütüphaneye Sırça Fanus'u almaya gitmiştim ama merdivenleri çıkıp raflara yürür yürümez gözüme bu kitap çarptı. Bir kere adı İnsandan Öte'ydi ve kapağında ucubik bir insan çizimi vardı(Bu tarz şeyleri severim de :)...). Hemen Goodreads puanına ve Ekşisözlük'teki yorumlara baktım,iyi not aldığını görünce alıverdim.

Yazarın anlatımı mükemmel: akıcı, çok yormayan ve sizi kitabın atmosferine sokan bir an...more
Leo Walsh
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...more
Ce roman nous raconte, à travers divers récits, l'émergence de ces plus qu'humains. Difficile dans dire plus sans déflorer un récit assez
poignant, relativement bien écrit et ne faisant, c'est jeureux, appel à aucune des grosses ficelles de la sf que peuvent être une invasion d'ET ou une exposition à la radioactivité. Pourtant, ce roman pose la question de ce que pourrait-être un mutant, dans un sens assez moderne. Et la réponse qui y est faite est assez intéressante.
Toutefois, la réalisation, c'...more
Aug 04, 2007 Kyle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book by far is one of my favorites. I read the middle chapter in a literature class and admired it. Once i found it was part of a whole book I picked it up and just fed right in on it. It has such a character of words and descriptors. And all along you get to read into the idea of being human, what our humanity means, and what people mean to each other. This book discusses the next step in human evolution. It takes these few characters each with their own minds, abilities, and curses and bi...more
K. Smith
I can see why a lot of people who read this as teenagers love this, but an old soul like me found it a bit...naive? Maybe it is the same way I felt when I read Sphere as a teenager--it was some sort of new world out there that would help all my frustration. Well, naive is not the word--but I didn't like this one very much as an adult. Although the story was interesting, I didn't connect to a single character as they were always angry all the time (once again, teenagery) and then to add the fault...more

More Than Human
Theodore Sturgeon


I don't know much about Thedore Sturgeon. I think I'd read one or two of his stories before this, but they hadn't registered much. I knew of his strange name, and had a vague feeling of connection with Kurt Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout. I suppose that if you had asked, I might have said I was unsure whether Sturgeon was a real writer, or just some writer's pseudonymic prank.

In short, I was totally unprepared for this book. I was looking

Jay Rubenstein
Finished this about a month ago. It's a bit dated now, but at the time it was published it must have seemed pretty mind-blowing. (Like the way Prince's "1999" sounds now -- the whole album not just the song, as opposed to Prince's "Sign O' the Times" which still sounds about twenty years ahead of it's time.) It's really three novellas linked together about the development of a being with a hive existence -- that is, several people come together to form a single consciousness with a variety of su...more
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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…