andrea's Reviews > The World Inside

The World Inside by Robert Silverberg
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Mar 18, 12

bookshelves: wwe-grand-master-challenge
Read from March 16 to 18, 2012

my rating is closer to 3.5 than 3 stars. not much happened in this book and for a 233-page book, it did drag on a little, hence the 3.5 starts, but still i enjoyed reading it. also, written in 1971, it clearly shows with the emphasis on groovy sex and drugs. most interesting to me was the main character, the building itself, called the Urbmon (short for Urban monolith? Urban monstrosity? ;) )

ehrlich's population bomb was published in 1968 amid a lot of hoopla and i see this book as a direct response to it. the idea of 'vertical living' (vs 20th century 'horizontal living'), living in a 3 kilometer high building and leaving the other 9/10ths of the land for food-growing, makes it possible, in the book, for the planet to have over 75 billion humans living on it.

(eta:also, what the cover illustration has to do with the book, i have no idea. the women, and men, were basically naked all the time, with the women covering one breast maybe with some decorative metal cup.. the cover of my ebook was better, showing the Urbmon from the outside.)
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Reading Progress

03/16/2012 page 5
2.0% "oh i'm going to like this writer."
03/16/2012 page 5
2.0% "“We're a post-privacy culture, naturally.""
03/16/2012 page 5
2.0% "“I'd think that in a society where there are so many people living so close together, an exaggerated respect for privacy would develop, rather than a communal freedom." “In the beginning we had many notions of privacy. God bless, they were allowed to erode! Avoidance of frustration must be our goal, otherwise impossible tensions develop. And privacy is frustration.""
03/16/2012 page 9
4.0% "ha, flippos! the outcasts are always given ridiculous names - humor must be involved when showing disdain, it seems. can't give them too much power otherwise, i guess."
03/16/2012 page 10
4.0% "1000 stories high.. naturally i wonder what the emergency exit plan is. how urbmon would fare in an earthquake. *shiver*"
03/16/2012 page 12
5.0% "http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13... and http://www.scientificamerican.com/pod..."
03/16/2012 page 14
6.0% "i wanna see what the old people in urbmon think. and those on the lower floors. not a guy who's embarrassed of being un-normal and therefore is uncritical."
03/16/2012 page 15
6.0% "“Wouldn't it help the mixing process if you encouraged intercity nightwalking?" Mattern frowns. “We prefer to stick to our propinquity groups for that. Casual sex with people from other cities is a mark of a sloppy soul.""
03/16/2012 page 24
10.0% "your world can shrink so easily. "In Urbmon 117, Aurea tells herself, there are people who look just like us. They walk, talk, dress, think, love, just like ourselves. Urbmon 117 is not another world. It is only the building next door. We are not unique. We are not unique. We are not unique.""
03/16/2012 page 27
12.0% "ah, published in 1971. it shows a bit."
03/16/2012 page 27
12.0% "the world inside, indeed."
03/17/2012 page 41
18.0% "the new frontier = new building. they are pioneers arriving to settle the wild. kinda."
03/17/2012 page 48
21.0% ""Even though it will take him at least two hours to do it, and the machine could do it in ten minutes. Maintenance workers and other humbles of the grubbo class have the same mystique. Not strange: one must battle constantly against one's own obsolescence if one is going to go on thinking of oneself as having a purpose in life.""
03/17/2012 page 54
23.0% ""At the bottom of the building, the grubbos respond with their eyes, their guts, their balls... In the top levels, where the use of the mind is not only permitted but desired, they reach out for the show, knowing that the more they bring to it the more they get from it. And isn't that what life is all about, to wring all the sensory percepts you can out of the outputs drifting past your head? What else is there?""
03/17/2012 page 85
36.0% "". We've found a way to make room for everybody on Earth, to support a population ten or twenty times greater than what you imagined was the absolute maximum. You see it merely as suppression and authoritarianism. But what about the billions of lives that could never have come into being at all under your system? Isn't that the ultimate suppression—forbidding humans to exist in the first place?""
03/17/2012 page 96
41.0% ""I mean, in the Asian countries, didn't people always live jammed together the way we do, only much worse, no sanitation, no regulation—and didn't they accept it as the natural order of things?'' “Of course,” Jason says. “Because rebellion against the natural order of things had been bred out of them thousands of years ago. The ones who stayed, the ones who reproduced, were the ones who accepted things as they were.""
03/17/2012 page 96
41.0% "anti-asian racism rears its ugly head."
03/17/2012 page 105
45.0% ""He will not let himself be trapped into primeval twentieth-century attitudes of morality. On the other hand, it is a considerable violation of custom for Micaela to go off in midafternoon to be topped. If she wants Michael, Jason thinks, let him come here decently after midnight, as a nightwalker. Instead of this skulking and sneaking. ""
03/17/2012 page 153
66.0% "getting a little bored.."
03/17/2012 page 155
67.0% "ten bucks says he runs back in to the building before dawn."
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