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Make Room! Make Room!

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  5,126 Ratings  ·  406 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
Paperback, #X1416, 208 pages
Published July 1967 by Berkley Medallion (first published November 1st 1966)
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Danica Micallef Now, I haven't read it yet. But I'm sure it's got something to do with overpopulation.

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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
Apatt
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-80s-sf
“So mankind gobbled in a century all the world’s resources that had taken millions of years to store up, and no one on the top gave a damn or listened to all the voices that were trying to warn them, they just let us overproduce and overconsume until now the oil is gone, the topsoil depleted and washed away, the trees chopped down, the animals extinct, the earth poisoned, and all we have to show for this is seven billion people fighting over the scraps that are left, living a miserable existence ...more
Marvin
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Debbie Zapata
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
Of course I remember the movie Soylent Green. I saw it at the drive-in gazillions of years ago, and many times since. But let me tell you, as dramatic as the movie is, with Charlton Heston as main character Andy Rusch giving the infamous scream of (view spoiler) there is actually no soylent green in the book at all. There are red crackers, seaweed crackers, brown soylent (soy/lentil) steaks and eventually small soylent burgers supposedly with a smoky-bar ...more
Manny
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Robert
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
Ali Berk Çetinbudaklar
Yıllar önce izlediğim Soylent Green'in, birebir uyarlandığı kitap olarak düşünüyordum, ama baya farklılık varmış; hele ki filmi özellikle vurucu yapan kısma acaba ne zaman geleceğim diye beklerken, kitabın bitişiyle öyle bir kısmın olmadığını anladım. Çoğu kişi belki de bu yüzden "uyarlandığı kitaptan daha iyi olan filmler" listesine ekleyecektir S.G.'yi.
Nefariousbig
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Jay
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Andy
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoever turned this into the movie Soylent Green was brilliant.
Nancy Oakes
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
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
Marian
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Soylent Green provides a more exciting story with a nice conspiracy and twist at the end, while Make Room! Make Room! provides more thought provoking material while giving a more in depth look at life in an overpopulated world.
Badseedgirl
Wait a minute, you mean "Soylent Green" Isn't people!?!?
Rachel
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bill
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the basis for the movie "Soylent Green" with Charlton Heston & Edward G. Robinson. Superb!
Terris
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an interesting book! This is the book that the movie "Soylent Green" was based on.
It was written in 1966 and set in the future "1999"! Well, we're pretty far past that so it was kind of cool to think what the author, in 1966, thought the future was going to be like.
Well, in this future there was no birth control. For religious reasons, birth control was not allowed so population growth went crazy. Therefore, the 344 million people living in the United States did not have enough food, water,
...more
Johnny
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The only time I rubbed shoulders with Harry Harrison (a couple of decades ago), he was a jovial and delightful individual, firmly committed to socialism as a means of providing real social justice. So, it was difficult to read this earlier work about overpopulation and birth control called Make Room! Make Room! Written in the 1960s with the turn of the millennium in mind, all of the action takes place in 1999 (even though one character explains that the actual start of the new millennium would b ...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
Kathryn
May 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thom
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Author Harry Harrison wrote in 1984 about the technique of background-as-foreground - the story for the main characters is really a means to capture the readers attention and draw them to the greater truth of the setting. He uses this to great effect in Make Room! Make Room!

This novel shows what the world will be like "if we continue in our insane manner to pollute and overpopulate Spaceship Earth." The observed limitations of oil and aquifers play right alongside the conflict between farmers an
...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
Suzanne
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
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
Wealhtheow
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
 ☆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
Evelyn
Harrison's now cult classic dystopian tale of an overpopulated New York City often gets forgotten about in comparison to the very loosely based film version, Soylent Green. Whilst the book doesn't have the whole sensationalized hook of cannibalism (none of this is in the story) which so dominates the film, it stills provides an eery read which has all the hallmarks of a great dystopian novel. We have mass overpopulation and its myriad related problems, corruption at the top, a main character who ...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
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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...
“One time we had the whole world in our hands, but we ate it and burned it and it's gone now.” 6 likes
“But doing something means that people must change, make an effort, use their minds, which is what most people do not like to do.” 6 likes
More quotes…