Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Man Who Fell to Earth” as Want to Read:
The Man Who Fell to Earth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Man Who Fell to Earth

by
3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  3,252 Ratings  ·  339 Reviews
Thomas Jerome Newton is an extraterrestrial from the planet Anthea, which has been devastated by a series of nuclear wars, and whose inhabitants are twice as intelligent as human beings. When he lands on Earth - in Kentucky, disguised as a human - it's with the intention of saving his own people from extinction.
Paperback, 186 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Penguin Books (first published February 1963)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Man Who Fell to Earth, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jacob While there doesn't seem to be any obvious mention of it anywhere I have looked, it was reprinted in 1981 and it seems reasonable to assume that Tevis…moreWhile there doesn't seem to be any obvious mention of it anywhere I have looked, it was reprinted in 1981 and it seems reasonable to assume that Tevis made the changes in the not inconsiderable space between. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Maureen
no ray guns are fired or space battles waged in this poignant novel. there is a spaceship yes, but it is incapacitated after it deposits its passenger on earth. the passenger is an alien from a dying planet named anthea and he's looking for an escape - a place for the remnants of his people. his name on earth will be t.j. newton (sometimes called tommy) and this novel is his story, of how our world affects him, physically and emotionally, as he tries to achieve his mission.

there's not much more
...more
Sarah
Feb 05, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. This a deceptively simple story, told in simple, uncomplicated prose, but with unexpected depth and relevance. It might come off as slightly trite now, as with most mid-20th century fiction set in "the near future" (the late 1980s, of all things!), but I'm sure in 1963 it was truly a sign of the times. What I'm sure hasn't lost its charge over the years is the tint of sadness, of individualized despair, that permeates the book and ultimately embitters the characters. No one escapes th ...more
Jodi Lu
Feb 22, 2011 Jodi Lu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had nearly forgotten why people start reading in the first place: the joy of an honest story. I'm so used to the writer as the essential protagonist, the writing as his conflict, and whether or not I want to throw away his book as his comedic or tragic end. But this just unfolds cleanly, without seeming consciously written at all. Never an "ohhh that was beautiful" and very rarely a distracting wince. I got deeply engaged without any self-discipline at all.
It's lightening-quick and so satisfy
...more
Stephen
3.5 to 4.0 stars. I really struggled between giving this 3 or 4 stars and settled closer to 4 for one primary reason: the ending of the story was deeply emotional and I believe will stay with me for some time. Apart from the excellent ending, the rest of the story was well-written, moved along at a good pace and kept me interested.
0rkun
Nov 21, 2015 0rkun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dünyaya düşen bir adamın insanlaşmasını konu edinen "Dünyaya Düşen Adam"ı okurken elimden bırakamadım. En ağırından bir uzaylı hikayesi okuyacağımı zannederken kitap bittiğinde buram buram yozlaşma kokan, aslında bir insanın hikayesini okuduğumu farkettim.

Kitabın, David Bowie'nin başrolünü üstlendiği bir de filmi çekilmiş. Konu olarak ayrı düştükleri baya bir nokta var diyorlar, o yüzden kitabı hali hazırda bu kadar kaliteliyken filmine hiç bulaşmaya gerek yok.
MJ Nicholls
Mar 17, 2016 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
Ashes to ashes, funk to funky, we know Major Thom’s a drunkard, strung out in heaven’s high, hitting an all-time low . . .
Giuseppe
Questo libro va letto. Va letto per una serie di motivi che sono questi:

1)L'idea L'autore, grazie all'espediente sci-fi dell'alieno che sbarca segretamente sul nostro pianeta, ci permette di avere un punto di vista "laterale", rispetto al mondo civilizzato che ci circonda: scienza, società, politica. Rielabora efficientemente il concetto di alienazione nella società post-moderna e post-industriale.

2)Lo stile Uno stile asciutto, essenziale nel descrivere pensieri e rapporti dei personaggi, ma non
...more
Bryce Wilson
The literary equivilant of a flower growing through a block of cement. The characterization is clumsy, obvious and in the case of the gin soaked country woman straight out of "Lady For A Day" borders on self parody. The social commentary is sometimes bizarre such as when our alien friend ruminates on the pros and cons of The Welfare State and sometimes obvious with it's JESUS WAS TEH ALIEN subtext. And lordy if you don't think that a book as slight as 160 pages can be overwritten within an inch ...more
Joanna
On the outside, The Man Who Fell to Earth is about Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien from the planet Anthea, who has come to Earth seeking salvation for the last of his people but it's really about being alone inside your own skin and struggling to feel connected to anyone or anything before you die.

Walter Tevis takes a subject that has been overdone, ooh a spaceship and an alien EXCITING!, and makes his own unique brand of sociopolitical science fiction. The lyrical descriptions mesh well with the
...more
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy, favourites
This novel follows an extraterrestrial, arriving on Earth to see if he can find a way to bring his drought suffering people into the planet so that they might live.
This is one of my favourite science-fiction classics, and is truly worth the read, as an exploration, not only of science, but of the human nature and politics. We get a deep understanding of the main character, as he suffers for being an alien in a planet that will hurt him if they discover who he is, and the pressure of thinking of
...more
Erik Graff
Mar 24, 2010 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sf fans, those interested in the Bowie movie
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Picked this one up somewhere in Edison Park, Chicago, my home in Park Ridge being right across Canfield/Ozanam from the city limits. Read it on the same day I, rarely satisfied under our household's strict food regimen, bought my first real food, a can of black olives.

The Man Who Fell to Earth was one of the saddest books I'd ever read at the time. Its protagonist's good intentions towards us, the extremity under which his own species had found itself and his great loneliness were all very movin
...more
Nur Seza
Jul 07, 2016 Nur Seza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bir süredir çok sevdigim sci-fi&fantasy kitaplardan uzak kalmistim; ozlemimi muhteşem bir kitap seçimiyle dindirdim, bir solukta okunmasi kacinilmaz mükemmel bir kurgu örneği.
Bryn Hammond
Jan 11, 2016 Bryn Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imagined-fiction
This is the cover I had because Bowie. Read this more than once because Bowie. It suited him.
Faroukh Naseem
May 01, 2016 Faroukh Naseem rated it really liked it
"Where will you go....with the money?"
"Maybe to the Pacific, to Tahiti. We'll probably take an air-conditioner with us."
#theguywiththebookreview presents: The man who fell to Earth.
This book is going to stay with me for a long time. Not because of great/good/pleasing writing but because I expect it to have many layers which will unearth themselves when I talk about it. Some moments of sheer frustration at our hapless nature gripped me by the end. The book was very effective in conveying a messa
...more
Bridgit Barger
Aug 16, 2016 Bridgit Barger rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, 4-star-reads
Who would have thought that a book about an alien coming to Earth could be so sad?? I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
Emanuela
Di solito quando affronto un libro non leggo review prima di avere scritto qui il mio commento, eventualmente confronto dopo ma, in questo caso, terminato questo romanzo è stato necessario dargli un contesto storico (1963) e cercare anche i riferimenti biografici dell'autore.
Trovati entrambi alla voce su Wikipedia: L'uomo che cadde sulla Terra.
Informazioni soddisfacenti e condivisibili.

Aggiungo solo quello che mi rimane come sentimento inaccettabile dall'analisi della specie umana sperimentata
...more
Bandit
Oct 13, 2012 Bandit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've discovered this book completely by chance (having heard of the film but never seen it) and absolutely fell in love with it. Often the book or a movie are being referred to as classic and it has to do more with their age than their contents, this book however is a fine example of a real scifi classic, one that teaches us something about ourselves through a different perspective. If there were no dates in the book at all (dates that might have seemed like a future back when the novel was writ ...more
Brian
Dec 30, 2008 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who finds alcoholics fascinating
Shelves: science-fiction
The problem with this book is that author must have thought that the only way to make a person seem deep is to make them an alcoholic--alcoholism defines all three main characters in the book. It's like an actor who finally wins an academy award after playing a drunk (when it is probably the easiest part to play). The vast majority of interactions in the book include drinking, which Tevis describes in painstaking detail, over and over again--what they are drinking, how they are drinking it, what ...more
Daniel Gonçalves
Aug 26, 2013 Daniel Gonçalves rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: every fan of literature
It is not often that you find a great book. A book that makes you feel pride after you've read it. This was one of those books.

Writen in 1963, the man who fell to earth is considered a sci-fi classic, although the book is far from being restricted to a specific genre because it tackles a lot of different subjects.

The prose is fluid and it feels natural to read . Walter Travis is clearly a writer with huge story telling abilities which lead me, at times, to think that I was reading Stephen King N
...more
Doug H
Mar 22, 2015 Doug H rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I developed a like/hate relationship with this Spec Fi novel. I hated the clunky prose and the poor character development, but I appreciated some of its philosophy and I liked how its storyline was presented.

The main thing that bugged me was how the author presented the bulk of his ideas as exposition in Newton's "full reveal" conversation with Bryce. If there were more show and less tell, I'd have remained more fully involved. Also, it all seemed to take itself too seriously with its in-your-f
...more
Banner
Mar 09, 2015 Banner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, alien


This was a thought provoking science fiction classic. While the use of dates made it "dated" the content was not so dated (maybe just a little). An alien comes to earth and through physical modifications and intense language training (picked up from our tv signals). He comes from an advanced race and he has an agenda. But is he a good guy or not? Not very clear at the beginning but he is a likable fellow so I found myself giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Nothing helps us see ourselves as clea
...more
Frances
Jan 28, 2009 Frances rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. I wish the edition were not so glossy and ugly. The one I read was packaged with the film in the Criterion Collection set. Still haven't gotten around to watching the movie (I know! David Bowie! What am I waiting for?).

for real, read this.
Raegan Butcher
Apr 18, 2008 Raegan Butcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aliens and drunks or drunk aliens
Simply fantastic. This is one of the most heartbreaking novels written in the past 50 years.
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Drama:
In the early hours of Sunday 9th September 2012, a young black man fell out of the sky and landed, dead, on a residential street in Barnes. The man had been a stowaway. Through three fictional residents in the street where the body landed, Annalisa D'Innella 's first radio play mixes fact with fiction to explore the experience of being British and middle class.

It's a play about greed, grief, courage, utopias and magical thinking - as well as our universal tende
...more
Steve
Apr 08, 2015 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An interesting slice of the "classic" sci-fi canon (although plenty would disagree), and I can't explain why I never got around to it before. This is an entertaining enough, quirky (and, yes, slender) book, originally published in the 1960's (1963), but set primarily in the 1980's (and dipping, somewhat briefly, into the 1990's). It's relatively thought-provoking although, I have to assume, it must have seemed far more fresh, creative, and "out there" 50+ years ago.

The book is surprisingly mode
...more
Carole Morin
Jan 17, 2014 Carole Morin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Every rock star has a movie role in him. Mick Jagger's was Performance. David Bowie's The Man Who Fell to Earth. If Performance was the final death knell of an era of peace and love and the beginning of a decade of violence and nihilism, The Man Who Fell to Earth was, like Bowie, a reflection of its times from a mirror that's one step ahead. As Tommy Newton says, 'I want to...but not enough.'

If some readers come to Walter Tevis via the Nic Roeg movie that can only be a good thing. Three of Tevis
...more
Lorenzo Berardi
Dec 28, 2013 Lorenzo Berardi rated it really liked it

As a non native English speaker, I discovered the adjective 'poignant' only six years ago thanks to a Canadian friend (thanks, Vicky). She chose it to comment a photo I took involving a bowler hat hanging from a chair while an out of focus blonde girl in the background stood on her toes to take off a branch of autumn leaves from the frame of a mirror over a washbasin.
To be honest with you, the photo was nothing special. Perhaps my friend was ironic. Or maybe not.

What I know is that from that day
...more
Stephen Curran
Ostensibly a story about an extraterrestrial, this is a profoundly human story of isolation, self-destruction, and failure.

Arriving incognito on a mission to save his dying home planet, the newly named Thomas Newton stumbles into Haneyville (pop. 1400) and is immediately unsettled by the appearance of the locals: “... the look, the feel, was strange - even though he had known that seeing them would not be the same as watching them on television.”

It’s an outsider’s novel, later described by its a
...more
Edward Davies
Aug 22, 2016 Edward Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an intriguing look at how humanity might treat an alien visitor if they were to come across one. I love the idea that the alien, Newton, decides to try and make money by inventing amazing things, yet doesn’t actually seem to have any plans for his future. The ending is a little bittersweet, but it does give plenty of closure to his predicament and leaves the reader wondering if there have been visitors that we’ve never been told about...
Paul
Feb 24, 2015 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I couldn't decide between 3 and 4 stars. I liked the novel, but it left me feeling a little down. An alien (Newton) closely resembling a human (in terms of body shape and size, but not all of the details) comes to earth to save the 300 beings left of his species. His species all but destroyed itself in war and ravaged the planet of natural resources. Newton comes to Earth (to save humans from themselves and grab some resources for his species) and is worn down as he begins to realize that all of ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Le meraviglie del possibile: Antologia della Fantascienza
  • The Great Explosion
  • The Man in the Maze
  • City Come a-Walkin'
  • Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy
  • The Jonah Kit
  • Beyond Apollo
  • Tik-Tok
  • Counter-Clock World
  • The Genocides
  • Enemy Mine
  • Needle (Needle, #1)
  • Venus Plus X
  • Dr. Adder
  • The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe
  • Norstrilia
  • The Deceivers
  • The Paradox Men
4448408
Walter Stone Tevis was an American novelist and short story writer. Three of his six novels were adapted into major films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth. His books have been translated into at least 18 languages.
More about Walter Tevis...

Share This Book



“The strange thing about television is that it doesn't tell you everything.” 12 likes
“In meeting Betty Jo he had learned that there was a large substratum of society that was totally unaffected by this middle-class prototype, that a huge and indifferent mass of persons had virtually no ambitions and no values whatever.” 1 likes
More quotes…