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The Hollow Man

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  2,817 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Jeremy Bremen has a secret.  All his life he's been cursed with the ability to read minds.  He knows the secret thoughts, fears, and desires of others as if they were his own.  For years, his wife, Gail, has served as a shield between Jeremy and the burden of this terrible knowledge.  But Gail is dying, her mind ebbing slowly away, leaving him vulnerable to the chaotic flo ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by Bantam Spectra (first published September 1992)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,817 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't think this book from Simmons gets the attention it deserves. Perhaps written in homage to the seven deadly sins, THE HOLLOW MAN IS full of both triumphant life and pathos. This is a novel that demands to be discovered by a wider audience. I loved the absolute genius of this story. I will definitely read THE HOLLOW MAN again someday.
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Let me begin by saying that for the most part, I LOVE Dan Simmons. I was very excited when this book arrived and dug right in. That's when my disappointment hit... I couldn't wait for this book to end. Within the first 3rd of the book I caught myself skimming, throughout the rest of the book I struggled with the fact that I was not enjoying the story and had to force myself to read.

This was a book that should have been about telepathy and mind reading, should have been a very exciting read, and
This is the first time I see the ideas of Karl Pribram's holonomic model of the brain explored in fiction (in oversimplifying terms, what if the human mind is both a multitude of holograms and an instrument for interpreting the holograms of the vaster reality around us?), and the result is fairly inspiring. The story wades across some very dark places but ultimately reaches for the light. The main characters demonstrate surprising amounts of emotion(view spoiler) ...more
I'm a big fan of Dan Simmons and keen to read his fairly extensive back catalogue, rather than just pick up the new releases as they come out. I was therefore excited to find this (imported from the USA) on the shelf in a local book store.


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Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the best love story about the pain of telepathy, mass murders, crack addiction, and the mathematics of consciousness that I have ever read.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Hollow Man was different from other Simmons books that I've read. I'm not used to his shorter works.
This was not an easy read, which I think is why the ratings for this book is on the low side. I had to take my time in some spots and really pay attention to what was being said, especially when Gail and Jeremy go to meet Jacob Goldmann. They delve pretty deep into some abstract, challenging scientific and mathematical concepts.
This was also a thriller, and I thought a couple of the suspen
Apr 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nightmare descent through madness. Another 5 stars for Dan Simmons who is one of my favourite authors. This man has such a diverse body of work and everything I have read from him has been of a very high quality: the man knows how to write.

The use of telepathy as a main basis for a novel is nothing new, but what Simmons does here is inherently different from anything I have come across before. After Bremen loses his wife and telepathic mindshield - She also has the telepathic ability and is a
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
A rather boring, totally unremarkable book.

There is an interesting premise here that fades after the first twenty pages when you realize the author isn't concerned with pursuing it at all.

The initial conceit, presented on the first page or two of the novel, is that the main character is a telepath who shares a very strong (and unique) telepathic connection with his wife, who is the only author telepath the characters have ever encountered. She's sick, and she dies within the first f
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
For me, Dan Simmons is a safe bet. He's such a good writer that, even if I'm not on board with the plot and characters, the writing itself is strong enough to keep me reading to the end.

This particular novel is one that is extremely well-written, filled with haunting images and scenarios that stayed with me for hours, but has a weak concept. Simmons doesn't seem to know whether to make this book horror or science fiction, so it ends up straddling the line between the two genres and not serving
Nov 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dan Simmons' fans
Sometimes brilliant, often irritating, in sum, disconnected, this novel can't decide what it wants to be: soft SF (the travails of a telepath in a non-telepathic world), hard SF (an attempt to explain life, the universe, and everything through standing wavefronts, chaos theory, and higher mathematics), horror (about a serial-killer woman rancher who has dentures with razor blade teeth and a cold storage room full of her victims' bodies), a tragic love story (by way of Erich Segal). At the level ...more
11811 (Eleven)
Feb 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
I don't care for Simmons when he does the Sci-fi thing. I love his horror, particularly the historical horror like The Terror and The Abominable. I didn't dig his Hyperion books either so take that for what it's worth.
Rebecca McNutt
This book was neither original nor well-written, but it does have its intense and eerie moments. I didn't really care about the characters though, they were generic and there was no character development at all.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read a bunch of Dan Simmons... The Hyperion/Endymion series, Carrion Comfort, Summer of Night. You don't hear much about this book, but it totally knocked my socks off.
There's a cool math and science premise having to do with quantum physics that the author has obviously researched pretty well.
I wouldn't call this a romance exactly but there's a decent romantic sub-plot around the protagonist and his wife. As a married guy I appreciate fictional married-couple romance. The typical fi
T.L. Barrett
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Dan Simmon's The Hollow Man. I know, it's 17 years after it first came out, but I feel compelled to recommend this book to anyone who has a soul (or a holographic wavefront).

This book tells the story of the telepath and math professor, Jeremy Bremen, as he copes the death of his wife, Gail (the only other telepath he has ever met). His journey of grief and loss sends him across a suffering and depraved American landscape. There are many twists and turns, and there may be
Dec 15, 2016 added it
Shelves: science-fiction
As always, this is a (not-so) big book of ideas. As always, I appreciated the way Simmons communicated these ideas. I felt like I learned a lot, and I came away with a lot to think about. This one felt kinda personal to the author, too. Right or wrong, it seemed like there was a lot of Dan Simmons on the page here.

Story notes: um, wow. Okay, so Simmons always puts a lot of literary references into his books and this one is no exception. This is a journey into Hell and the parallels w
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Essentially, the only thing that recommends The Hollow Man is the one quick reference to a much better novel in Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination.

I am an avid fan of Dan Simmons, but this is likely the worst of his novels. I was quite excited to read it, given the content being similar (per description) to Robert Silverberg's Dying Inside... but, The Hollow Man leaps all over the place. While Dying Inside is a fairly continuous downward slide into an awful depression, Hollow M
Jelena Jošić
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This surely is a book that will stay in your memory forever, so dark, deep and emotional. This is no ordinary book and Dan Simmons is such a great writer!
Gilda Felt
There are several of Dan Simmons’ books that I love; others, not so much. If at all. This one falls in the second category.

A book ostensibly about telepathy, in many ways would have been a better book without it. Because, rather than really focusing on the telepathy, Jeremy Brennen goes from one adventure to the other (many of which I thought, “what a coincidence,”) with his telepathy of little to no use. Has he lost the knack of reading people after so many years of having his late
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can i say... i litteraly devored this book in four days. This book is realy a keeper for me. I will for sure reread it someday. Dan Simmons is realy good at taking true science and make it an beautiful story with lots of emotions. You will read love, horror (some pages are just hard to read... i swear!), passion beyond imagination and despair.

This book realy need to be more known by other reader and Dan Simons fans like me !!
Andreea (Infinite Text)
Interesting idea, I wasn't a fan of the delivery. Loads of swearing in alternating chapters that was unnecessary. It felt much more mainstream than Simmons's usual
A somewhat confused book with thriller, SF and supernatural elements, was ok but nothing to write home about.

I picked this one out of the several Dan Simmons books I still haven't read, because it was relatively short. I was kind of tired of his 600+ page works which were ok but felt bloated, and which I thought would have been better had they been somewhat shorter. Anyway, with The Hollow Man I didn't know what to expect, as I didn't read the back cover introduction. Besides Hyperion, I haven't
Scott Rhee
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
If you love extremely well-written, thoughtful, literary science fiction, you must read Dan Simmon's "The Hollow Man". Besides being a talented wordsmith, Simmons also knows how to tell a great story. This book is one of those hard-to-put-down novels, as you never quite know where Simmons will take you, and the places he takes you are never anywhere you could even imagine. "The Hollow Man" is the story of Jeremy Bremen, a man with powerful psychic abilities. He has lived happily for forty-odd ye ...more
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a Dan Simmons I had missed, and have been looking for for a while. It's got the very best blurb by Steven King on the back jacket, calling "The Hollow Man" an "un-put downable book" - as indeed it is. Simmons ventures far into the extremely difficult aspects of chaos theory and its attendant math. This was written in 1992, and this fact alone makes most of the computer references obsolete - still, descriptions and mathematical formulae continue to hold their locked doors. This is all a f ...more
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favoritebooks
Mr. Simmons's works are usually full of horrific occurrences, and this one is no exception, but the gentle core of the characters in this one were what made me like this one. In this book he has his main character, a telepathic man, find a woman who is just like him, only to lose her to cancer. His times with her are reviewed in flashbacks, but in realtime he's caught up in some kind of crime b.s. It's a bit of a confusing book (being that it does have a mathematical equation for human thought s ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Dan Simmons must be brilliant. As one of his earlier books, this is choppy and can't seem to decide what kind of book it's trying to be. But, because he's such a vivid writer and because the chaos science and math concepts he discusses are so interesting, it's still an enjoyable book. I really liked the science-based discussion of life, consciousness, and death. I suspect the science, though based on actual chaos math, is mostly speculation or downright impossible. But, it's still really interes ...more
Lynn Baxter
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Great book. I was hooked on the first page and absolutely loved how the story played out. The dark themes were intriguing and poignant. I couldn't put it down.
Eric Mazzoni
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Hollow Man is several stories from different genres all at the same time. As other reviewers correctly point out, the story has its problems. Specifically, the central storyline jumps around too much. It feels like this was done to make it publishable. Meaning that the first few chapters are intriguing, but soon after, especially towards the end, you realize they put all the backstory last because it was too technical. So by the time you get to the end of the book, all of these big ideas mix ...more
Carrie Kellenberger
3.5 stars

The Hollow Man was a very entertaining read, but I've learned to expect this from Dan Simmons. His ability to write about a wide range of difficult subjects and make it understandable is commendable. He deserves his endorsements from Stephen King and Dean Koontz for this novel!

Jeremy Bremen is telepathic. He can read minds like he knows his own mind. He meets the love of his life and she is also a telepath who helps to shield Jeremy from the thoughts of millions of other minds. When she di/>The
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more than I did. It has a beautiful cover, and the paperback copy I picked up has that wonderful old book smell - many times while reading I'd fan the pages in front of my face and draw breath in deeply, and it filled me with joy (no kidding).

But I just couldn't really get into the story - this was my first Dan Simmons, and well Stephen king liked it, so that was a sell, and I'd been seeing so many positive review of Simmons that I'd been wanting to read him for a while, a
Apr 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: masochists
The Hollow Man doesn't know what kind of book it wants to be. A philosophical exploration of the quantum physics of consciousness? A harrowing tale of descent into madness? A tragic love story? An allegorical tale of suffering and redemption? A slasher novel? Unfortunately, Dan Simmons tried to cram all of the above into a single story... which makes for a distracted, unfocused, frenetic mess of a novel.

The basic premise is engaging enough: a telepathic quantum physicist who has trouble controllin
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Dan Simmons grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Masters in Ed
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“And above it all the butterfly effect. The sure knowledge that the entire life of a human being is like a single day in that human's life: unplannable, unpredictable, governed by the hidden tides of chaotic factors and buffered by butterfly wings...” 9 likes
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