Apatt's Reviews > More Than Human

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
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Jan 22, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: 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 remember liking it very much. However, thanks to my sieve-like memory I have forgotten practically all the details about the book. I vaguely remembered (somewhat incorrectly) that it has something to do with a mutant with some kind of psychic abilities. I was close, but undeserving of a cigar. The book is basically about *homo-gestalt*, a sort of hive mind with each member performing the role of a body part in a super-body. It is about much more than that of course. The themes include the importance of morality (or ethics), accountability, and compassion.

Sturgeon's prose is poetic, his style is more akin to Ray Bradbury than Asimov. That said, the book is not at all hard to follow, except for a chapter where events kind of move backward, which I found a little puzzling but it is totally clarified later on.

What amazes me is why Theodore Sturgeon is not more popular or well known today, most of his books are out of print. A single paragraph from this book is worth more than the entire Twilight trilogy put together.
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Reading Progress

04/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Mawgojzeta "A single paragraph from this book is worth more than the entire Twilight trilogy put together." Great ending to a review!

I have read More Than Human twice now; once in my late teens or early 20s and again not so long ago. A good book.


Apatt I have read More Than Human twice now; once in my late teens or early 20..."

Thanks, any way, you have a Clifford Simak shelf, how cool is that?! You have amazing shelves! :)


Mawgojzeta Love Mr. Simak. I intend to read all of his books. Hope to own them all at some point, also.


message 4: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Smith I enjoyed your well written and amusing review. Might give it a try.


Apatt Andrew wrote: "I enjoyed your well written and amusing review. Might give it a try."

Thank you so much Andrew. I think this little book is one of the all time greats. The Golden Age authors can tell such amazing stories in just a few pages.


spikeINflorida Not sure why I haven't read this one. Great review Apatt. Now on my TR shelf.


message 7: by Denis (last edited Jan 22, 2015 07:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Denis As far as Golden age writers are concerned, those of the "Campbell Jr. stable" (never liked that distinction much), I believe it was Heinlein who said that "Sturgeon was the best of us all". I have read some of his work and agree that he is the most sensitive to the subtleties of the human condition. He was capable of the full substance of a novel in his shortest works:"Bianca's Hands"(1947), "Baby Is Three"(1952), "A Saucer of Loneliness"(1953), "Slow Sculpture"(1970) are good examples.


Apatt Thanks Spike! It really is fabulous.

Hi Denis, what other books of his would you recommend? Are these short stories you mentioned? Thanks!


message 9: by Denis (last edited Jan 22, 2015 07:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Denis Novels: Venus Plus X (1960) is exceptional - deal with gender and sexuality. A masterpiece but not for everyone is "Godbody" (1986-published posthumously) "To Marry Medusa" (1953).

Those mentioned before are all short stories - "Baby Is Three" was actually part of what was made into the "fix-up" novel "More Than Human".


Apatt Denis wrote: "Novels: Venus Plus X (1960) is exceptional - deal with gender and sexuality. A masterpiece but not for everyone is "Godbody" (1986-published posthumously) "To Marry Medusa" (1953).

Those mentioned..."


Thanks Denis, most of his books seem to have gone out of print. I'll see what I can find...


message 11: by William (new)

William Hayes Again,
Bradbury long ago admitted to learning everyhting he could from Sturgeon's writing so Bradbury then is like sturgeon, not the other way round.


message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ansbro Great last line, Apatt!


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