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This Crowded Earth

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  297 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Robert Bloch was a prolific writer in many genres. As a young man he was encouraged by his mentor H.P. Lovecraft, and was a close friend of Stanley G. Weinbaum. Besides hundreds of short stories and novels he wrote a number of television and film scripts including several for the original Star Trek. In 1959 Bloch wrote the novel Psycho which Alfred Hitchcock adapted to fil ...more
Published March 5th 2009 by LibriVox (first published 1958)
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T.D. Whittle
Sep 05, 2015 T.D. Whittle rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviews
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gregor Xane
Dec 26, 2013 Gregor Xane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I like to read old SF. This was published in 1958. Part of the fun is seeing what predictions about the future the writer got right and which ones he got wrong. The title makes it clear that this book is about overpopulation and vanishing resources. Much of it takes place in our current era and a few decades from now. Overpopulation and vanishing resources are a problem today, of course, just not to the extreme predicted in this book. And the method that the secret masters of this imagined futur ...more
Sean O'Hara
Mar 19, 2010 Sean O'Hara rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This Crowded Earth is one of the early entries in the overpopulation subgenre. It begins with Harry Collins in that far-future year of 1997, and follows him through various adventures to 2065.

Harry is one of the growing number of people who can't stand the over-crowded cities. He lives in a cramped bachelor's apartment -- he could upgrade to a larger one if he'd get married, but he'd also have to add an hour to his commute each way, bringing the total to six hours. One day he suffers a mental br
Carl Alves
Aug 13, 2015 Carl Alves rated it liked it
The premise of this novel is that because of severe overcrowding, life on the planet has become miserable and unsustainable in the long run. The ridiculous solution is that all future children are going to be injected with something during pregnancy that will make them small, on average three feet in height. This causes all sorts of problems, among them a war between the naturalists, who are of normal height, and the yardsticks, those born small. The yardsticks win out but face other issues incl ...more
Ryan Marquis
Feb 18, 2014 Ryan Marquis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is my intent to review this book without spoiling any of the important plot devices. I dove into this story without a clue as to what I was in for, other than that it was about an Earth that had become overcrowded--and that much can be gleaned from the title. I recommend you do the same: get a hold of this title, whether in print or on Kindle, and consume it.


Since you’re reading my words--and not yet the author of the story’s--I suppose you want a little bit more. Robert Bloch (best-known
May 17, 2014 Ranmaru rated it really liked it
Robert Bloch thinks up an interesting solution to overpopulation in 'This Crowded Earth'.

In 1955 he thought that by the 1990's world population could reach a critical point. The method the government uses in his book to solve the problem is quite drastic. But then it is shocking in which way reality developed. The way they deal with it in China nowadays is a lot simpler but as gruesome. Families with more than one child pay massive fines, resulting in them having to kill most of their offspring
Nov 13, 2015 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.0 of 5

In 1958, when this was written, the idea of over-crowding and population explosion were still only just being considered, but were not hot topics. But like many science fiction authors, Robert Bloch was ahead of the curve on this one.

The story is about Harry Collins and we start in that distant future, 1997. Harry, like a number of others, can't stand the over-crowding and spartan conditions in which he is forced to lived
Trevor McGuire
Feb 17, 2016 Trevor McGuire rated it it was amazing
This book is a very interesting take on the classic sci-fi topic of overcrowding. Instead of being a backdrop, though, Bloch takes the issue on directly. There are bits of science about massive populations sprinkled throughout the book that give the reader of a dose of believability. The story takes us through the long life of Harry Collins, which is varied, but always interesting. The number of characters in the book is limited, with the author choosing to develop Collins primarily; this is to ...more
Jo Anne
Boy, the old timer Science Fiction writers really had their fingers on the pulse of the world. I've often wondered how they were able to predict the future but then I realized--some of the ideas they predicted were then made true by the people of today that read and loved the ideas of the past. Plus, if you understand human nature, it's not hard to predict certain outcomes, like overpopulation/under population, disease and wars.

This Crowded Earth very much reminds me of Make Room, Make Room by H
Lostaccount Darkpool
Jan 29, 2015 Lostaccount Darkpool rated it it was amazing
Really fun and readable thought-provoking novella about the consequences of over-population. Harry, the central character, goes nuts living in an over-crowded dystopia and ends up becoming a kind of unwilling revolutionary, attempting to assassinate the scientist whose solution to the problem is to out breed "naturalists" (tall/normal people) to create a society of miniature humans (freaks). Destruction of the human race ensues. Ending was satisfying too. I read one review where the reader compl ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Jan 02, 2011 Marts (Thinker) rated it really liked it
Listened to an audio version of this work by Bloch. Its a rather interesting 'what if' read, causing one to ponder the current state of population increase and its eventualities..... The books focus? well exactly whats its title states 'This Crowded Earth'.....
Ardeth Baxter
Mar 31, 2015 Ardeth Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad novella about overpopulation nightmare

Written in 1958, imagining a future of humans living like sardines in a can was easy. And although there are far too many of us on the planet in 2015, it's a far cry from what Bloch presented in "This Crowded Earth", where there are 38 million in "Chicagee" alone near the end of the 20th century and for some reason, birth control isn't popular.

So what does one doctor come up with? Miniature humans who will fit in small spaces. Now why didn't I think
Mariam aka MiMi
This is short story -- I listened to this as an audiobook on I couldn't read get through it if it were written it was a lil to scientific for me at some parts that I couldn't keep up with my poor science background. It tells the story about a world which is facing overcrowding and how they genetically engineer humans to take up less space -- they make them shorter! Over a few generations they end up about 3 feet tall. See what happens to the oddball tall folks who are left over! Wi ...more
Morgan Dhu
Sep 07, 2014 Morgan Dhu rated it liked it
Recently I found a treasure - a five volume collection of Golden Age sf pulps. There's some grand old things in the collection, and sone things I've never heard of, but I'm going to be taking my time, wandering through the collection and enjoying what's there.

My first selection was Robert Bloch's This Crowded Earth, which was a hoot. Overpopulation gets so bad that governments all over the world enforce a somewhat bizarre solution - changing the size of human beings to be only three feet tall.
Jul 11, 2013 Emily rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2012 Charlene rated it really liked it
Recommended to Charlene by: Mommacat
This is a book which was originally published back in the 1950s. For a book this old there are parts of it that are surprisingly prescient.

The world is becoming extremely crowded. Humans are packed into highrises and restricted to only one room if they are single. Food and water availability is slowly waning and soon there will not be any way to keep supporting the ever increasing population of mankind. What happens then?

Robet Bloch explores this question by posing a solution. Is it the correct
M Conrad
Jul 05, 2012 M Conrad rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2013 Maureen rated it really liked it
This was an entertaining surprise that I accessed through my phone when I unexpectedly finished the book I was listening to from the library while commuting to training. It spans the life of a man from the age of 28 to 80 or so as he unwittingly becomes engaged in an outrageous experiment to combat overcrowding of the world's population. The overall premise is that nothing could be done to stop or limit people reproducing. There are of course disasterous effects, manifested over just this one li ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Anand rated it really liked it
Story of overpopulated earth and how people try to resolve this in a somewhat dystopian society. I like the plot and how the story progresses. its consistent pace. The ending a bit weak in my view.
Mar 11, 2014 Jane rated it liked it
Its different but I could not put it down. I think its odd how he predicted things. Read if you like old Science Fiction.
Dec 30, 2014 whit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. It's about an overpopulated Earth and the measures taken to try and save the human race. The ending didn't go where I wanted it to but I tore through it.
Jun 24, 2012 Julio rated it liked it
Shelves: cf
Una obra de Bloch menos conocida que Psycho. Es ciencia ficción pero la idea para salvar a la humanidad de su propia superpoblación es bastante horrorosa: la creación obligatoria de un nuevo tipo de ser humano cuya altura no sobrepase un metro. Quién lo hubiera pensado! Además de lo horroroso del cambio, la historia explora el inevitable choque entre dos tipos de humanos, cómo los humanos "gigantes" pasan de ser la norma a convertirse en monstruos (recuerdan "Soy Leyenda"? El libro original, no ...more
Gregory Rothbard
Sep 14, 2014 Gregory Rothbard rated it really liked it
An interesting story about the future and its horrors.
Tim Asbury
Nov 15, 2011 Tim Asbury rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, reviewed
This is my first Robert Bloch novel and I'm glad I finally got around to reading him. This novel was highly entertaining and thought provoking and for a novel that has been around for years it still made some interesting points on the plight of mankind in the future. I now see why so many horror and sci-fi writers talk so fondly about his influence on their writing. I will be reading more of his work in the future.
May 10, 2016 Frank rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
(LibriVox release) Post population explosion apocalypse scenario is the basis of the book. Science comes to the rescue but the lead scientist has not predicted all the implications of the solution, but the government mandates implementation of the solution anyway. Unpredicted results occur.
Soh Kam Yung
Dec 30, 2013 Soh Kam Yung rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
Earth is overcrowded, so what do you do? Read this sf/horror and the solution will make you look around at the world we have. We're in the future now (since the book was published) and it hasn't been kind to the book but it is still a fascinating read.
Tim Kretschmann
Jan 12, 2016 Tim Kretschmann rated it liked it
Early chapters were good with a fascinating view of an overpopulated planet, but the silly solution to the problem was off putting. Glad it was short or I probably would have stopped reading it.
Leslie Beery
Mar 27, 2012 Leslie Beery rated it liked it
A bleak look at an overpopulated future. The solution they find is bizarre to say the least. Well written, but not my kind of sci-fi.
Jul 16, 2013 Aaron rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalyptic
Too many people. Too little space. Solution...Harry Collins. Short quick read.
Mother Nature wins. Again.
Michelle Elizabeth
Dec 16, 2013 Michelle Elizabeth marked it as not-my-cuppa-tea  ·  review of another edition
A FUTURE where Earth is being taxed to the limit? Was this book written fifty years ago?
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Why is the eBook version available in Public Domain? 2 4 Aug 11, 2015 03:11AM  
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Robert Albert Bloch was a prolific American writer. He was the son of Raphael "Ray" Bloch (1884, Chicago-1952, Chicago), a bank cashier, and his wife Stella Loeb (1880, Attica, Indiana-1944, Milwaukee, WI), a social worker, both of German-Jewish descent.

Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over twenty novels, usually crime fiction, science fiction, and, perhaps most influentially, horror fict
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