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Make Room! Make Room!

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  3,128 ratings  ·  278 reviews
A gangster is murdered during a blistering Manhattan heat wave. City cop Andy Rusch is under pressure to solve the crime and captivated by the victim's beautiful girlfriend. But it is difficult to catch a killer, let alone get the girl, in crazy streets crammed full of people. The planet's population has exploded. The 35 million inhabitants of New York City run their TVs o ...more
Hardcover
Published July 1st 2008 by ORB /Tom Dougherty Associates (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
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
Manny
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
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
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
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
Jay
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
Frances
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
Rachel
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
Kernos
Jan 01, 2014 Kernos rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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 th
...more
☆ 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
Elizabeth
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
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
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
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
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
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
Kathryn
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
-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
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
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
Peggy Trujillo
I can't say I was crazy about it. It flowed, but I felt like I was constantly waiting for IT to happen, and it just never did. Maybe it was intentional to not bring anything to a close. However, I didn't really like that. I got to the end, and was disappointed...not because the excitement had come to an end, but because I still felt like nothing had happened yet. I felt like I was still reading background.
Peter Brusilovsky
Harrison is one of the the favorite writers of my student years, but this one of the few books that I never read. Finally, got my hands to it over the winter break. Well, it is a good writing and an interesting distopia focused on overpopulation and resource scarcity. It is interesting to see that Harrison was a bit wrong with numbers. Bad times in his book came fast and everything was ruined by 2000 when the population of the US reached 344 Millions.
We are now in 2015 and in 2013 the population
...more
Richard Ward
Tempted to give it one star, but I'm feeling generous. Written in 1966 but set in 1999, the book is about the bogeyman of overpopulation turning earth into a living hell. Even as a Protestant, I found the anti-Catholic screed annoying, to say the least. Although he could imagine what terrible things might happen if nobody used any birth control, Harrison had no imagination, it seemed, for how people might create all new solutions and invent all new things toward solving those problems. There's n ...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
Linda I
Great story, though I admit I liked the movie "Soylent Green" a bit better. But, aside from that, the story was riveting, well-paced and doesn't end the way you expect.

Over-population has most of New York City's 35 million inhabitants hungry for more than soy and lentils. Most citizens will do anything for an extra buck or two. But, for the elite, a most prosperous group, the poverty of the outside world only means higher walls and more security. So, when a racketeer named "Big Mike" is murdered
...more
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Apocalypse Whenever: AVAILABLE: Make Room! Make Room! 1 10 Oct 09, 2013 02:30PM  
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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
...more
More about Harry Harrison...
The Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, #4) The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, #4-6) A Stainless Steel Rat is Born (Stainless Steel Rat, #1) The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You! (Stainless Steel Rat, #7) The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (Stainless Steel Rat, #6)

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“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.” 2 likes
“He didn't say so but Andy agreed with the bodyguard. A good-looking bird like this one didn't have to kill anyone. What she did she did for D's and if a guy gave her too much trouble she'd just walk out and find someone else with money. Not murder.” 2 likes
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