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The Wrong End of Time

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The time is the future. The place, an America so isolated by fear that it is cut off from the rest of the world by a massive defense system. Into this armed, barricaded state comes a young Russian scientist bearing a strange & almost unbelievable story:
Superior, intelligent life of a far higher order than any on earth has been detected near the planet Pluto. Immune
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 17th 1973 by DAW Books (NYC) (first published 1971)
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Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
John Brunner's The Wrong End of Time
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - August 25, 2013

Having just recently read & reviewed Brunner's The Sheep Look Up (you can read my entire review here: ), wch is an astonishing 'masterpiece', reviewing his more 'minor' novels might seem like a let-down - but, no, gotta luv 'em all! Each one I read is inspired.

As w/ The Sheep Look Up, in The Wrong End of Time (published the yr before The Sheep .. in 1971)
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I have somewhat mixed emotions about The Wrong End of Time by John Brunner. I didn't dislike it, but at the same time, can't say it wowed me in any particular way. I liked the premise; the US has isolated itself from the rest of the world and basically closed its borders. The Russians perceive a threat from outer space and send an agent into the US (yes, even with closed borders, there are still ways to get in and out.. :)), to try and contact the powers that be so that the world won't be ...more
Brent Winslow
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining sci-fi piece from 1971 that predicts the culture and politics of USA 2017 fairly well - including the recent Russian-influenced election.

"Look at us here in this country (USA). We're in the same sort of mess as the Romans were once, and the Spanish, and God knows who else. We've been the richest country in the work, we've been the most powerful, the most influential, and - same as always - we got used to it. We care more about our selfishness and greed than we do about anyone
Peter Greenwell
Got sixty pages into this discursive, disjointed mess and gave up on it. The book makes simply no sense.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
John Brunner does Philip K. Dick. Fails to achieve realism but succeeds as satire, and is funny rather than mind-bending. It has a sweet, thoughtful ending. Worth a quick few hours.
Karl Kindt
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I think John Brunner is a genius of storytelling. I have only ever read one other novel by him STAND ON ZANZIBAR, and that book just blew me away. This one...I am not sure what to think. I want to give it three stars or five stars, but...I don't just felt like a light version of SoZ because of its brevity. Only 185 pages, and it only covers about two days of time in the universe he creates. We get to see some wonderfully crafted characters, so real yet so much creatures of the future. ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Once again Brunner takes you on a journey where you're thinking that the plot is so far away from what the descriptor says and is rather disjointed, but then it all comes together in the last 20 pages or so. This wasn't one of his best, but not one of the worst. It deals with the US having become totally isolated and run by a corporation and the police (a common theme in his books). A Russian agent comes to meet up with another agent already in place to tell him of an intelligence found out near ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the problems with near-future science fiction is that it can be difficult to read in the near future. That is the case here. The novel was written in 1971 and looks something like 30 years into the future. Well, that future is now 20 years in the past and is jarringly different from reality. That is what
happened here. There are occasional passages that strike a chord, but mostly it's just wrong.

That being said, the book itself is still interesting, the characters good, and the picture the
Keith Zubot-Gephart
"Sheklov looked out at the morning as it spread across the vast net of the superway. A web spun by an inconceivable spider, a mesh of concrete offering the illusion of freedom to go, yet turning you back whenever you approached the limits you must not exceed . . ."
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving it two stars instead of one because I liked the concepts of the last chapter. Didn't age well imo. Flat characters, tedious pacing, a story with a lot of promise (espionage, alien contact, psychic abilities) that went pretty much nowhere.
John Loyd
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Danty has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, or is just driven to do those things to ease the nagging pain in the back of his head. Magda says he was born at the wrong end of time. This is not a time travel novel.

America has become totalitarian, isolated, armed and barricaded. The Russians have discovered an alien presence near the orbit of Pluto. The communication they've received from the aliens is threatening, but they can't see a solution. Sheklov, a quick thinking
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Difficult for me to decide whether I liked the book or not. Firstly, it is very dated feeling, written in 1970s with all the fears of that time magnified and beaten over your head. It covers isolationism, ecology, nuclear war, racism, vapid social existence and corpocracy with such a heavy hand that from today it beats the drum a little out of tune. Ironic really, because many of the same issues are here and talked about today. Also, I am not sure if Brunner is saying that the Soviet system was ...more
Erik Graff
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: sf fans
Recommended to Erik by: Dorothy Gregory
Shelves: sf
I read this novel at the summer home in northwest Wisconsin owned by Dick and Dorothy Gregory. As usual, Brunner does a good job of telling an interesting story set in what was, as the time of its writing (1971), a plausible future. The setup is as given in the description given here, but the development and eventual outcome come as surprises.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating story of what society in the U.S. becomes at some point in the future, and it isn't a pretty picture.

The amazing (and a bit frightening) thing is that this was written 40+ years ago, and many aspects of the society described in the book either have or are well on their way to coming to fruition.

Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The author explores a future America in this short story.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Grade D+
Too convoluted to my tastes, but overall not bad
Great time passer.
Kirk Domenico
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Feb 01, 2015
Simon Mcleish
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Ray Ivey
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Roger Emersson
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Dec 30, 2019
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Sep 29, 2014
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John Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie ...more