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3.48  ·  Rating details ·  388 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Futureland USA. Where vicious youth gangs are enthralled by blood-circus spectaculars. Where a dedicated crusader, a drug-inspired genius, a juvenile war lord & a reformed coward attempt to pull off the wildest liberation of all time.
Gladiator-At-Law, the sensational novel of the wildest coup of America's ultraviolent future.
Paperback, 171 pages
Published January 1st 1977 by Bantam Books Inc. (first published 1955)
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Jules Jones
Nov 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pohl and Kornbluth's's sharp satire of the consumer society and corporate corruption of government is as relevant today as when it was first published 50 years ago. "Gladiator at law" describes a possible future for the 1950s in which the working and middle classes are kept under control by the threat of losing their job and with it their tied housing--and the unemployed masses are kept quiescent with bread and circuses, Roman style. Reality tv may not have gone quite as far as the entertainment ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a timeless classic. It holds up amazingly well, although, along with every SF writers of the 50's, these two (Kornbluth and Pohl) completely undersold the computer age. Otherwise, their vision of the future was frighteningly clear. The world they describe has not yet come to be, but it still might happen.

The story is pure black comedy and the laughs are painful, but still laughs. Belly Rave (Belle Reve) can be found in the flat-tops of North Sunnyvale. I've walked through that
Brian Clegg
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a horrible feeling there will be plenty of younger science fiction readers for whom the names of Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth mean nothing, but for those of us of a certain age they are among the greats.

I've just re-read this classic. It's over sixty years old (I seem on you can buy the June 1954 Galaxy Magazine part of it first appeared in), and yet apart from a few niggling details, it is as fresh as ever. This bread and circuses dystopia, with an early focus on the
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
1950-1960’lı yıllara ait bilimkurgu okuma günlerimde okuduğum kitaplardan Hukuk Gladyatörü’ne büyük umutlar ile başlamıştım ama kitap boyunca hem hikayenin anlatım tarzından hem de genel olarak konudan çok sıkıldım.

Bilimkurgu kategorisinde görünmesine rağmen içinde çok az bilimkurgu öğesi bulunan bir kitaptı. Kitabı ilk okumaya başladığımda bilimkurgu beklentisi ile başladığım için ciddi anlamda beğenmemiştim, sonrasında polisiye olarak kabul edip okumaya devam ettiğimde okunabilir bir seviyeye
Küpçük Hellyea
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book introduces reader to Pohl's dark-humor tailored mild dystopia. Prefer to read if you look for something more casual than 1984. Prefer to read before "The Age of The Pussyfoot"
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Not really my kind of SF, although others may like it. Rather slow and sometimes it seems with tongue too firmly in cheek.
Nader Elhefnawy
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After satirizing ad-men and corporate power in their dystopia The Space Merchants, Pohl and Kornbluth set their sights on other targets in Gladiator-at-Law--the legal profession, and the quintessentially '50s-era themes of suburbia, juvenile delinquency (and the hysteria over it) and television. Perhaps a bit less fresh or cohesive than Space Merchants, that still makes for one of the most memorable works of Galaxy magazine's memorable heyday, a brisk read that I breezed through in a couple of ...more
James Cain
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Pohl and Kornbluth are, as usual, incredible. Greater than the sum of their parts, which is a pretty high sum to begin with.

I approached this having read "The Space Merchants" (which I recommend you do as well).
Without sidetracking too much, it's very funny, and also great science fiction.

This has a slightly more somber tone, yet still maintains a sense of humor, though it's far more clever and evasive. It's a fascinating and rich world of corporate greed and legal shenanigans. It's one of the
Mark Robinson
It's not Sci-Fi, more dystopian civilization. Beyond some of the obvious dystopian themes, it was an insipid read.
Nicholas Bobbitt
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid premise, good execution. It'll stay on my shelves.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: critics of corporations
Shelves: sf
review of
Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth's Gladiator-At-Law
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - February 13, 2012

This is the 3rd Pohl/Kornbluth collaboration I've read so far. W/ each new one I'm more & more impressed by their skill at social analysis & at their ability to just tell an engrossing tale. Reading this one led me to compare them to Aldous Huxley & the comparison's in their favor. When I was a teenager & 1st hearing about what I'd now call dystopian novels or social
Aug 27, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, science-fiction
The title (and the racy covers on some editions) might lead you to expect a little more swashbuckling than is actually present in this book. This is mainly a corporate finance thriller, with a few hard-sf elements mixed in. Apropos of the current economy, suburbia has been laid waste by a housing bubble, but then real estate world is turned on its head by... bubble houses. With some very grim consequences for society. Overall, though the book comes off as very dated. There's lots of rapid-fire ...more
Richard Epstein
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This dystopic novel came out in 1955. I don't suppose I read it quite that early, but I read it when I was very young -- young enough that a lot must have passed me by. (At 10 or 11 my understanding of the stock market would have been pretty rudimentary. Some things never change.) But I remember reading it avidly and more than once.

It's a strange sensation reading it again now, some mumblety-mumblety years later. I don't have a clear recollection of the plot, but passages of the book pluck at
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This story is an excellent social commentary/prophecy that has some serious echoes in the reality of 2015, 60 years after it was written. As social commentary in general, it warns about excessive difference between rich and poor, though as a story it is certainly interesting how the ghetto ends up being in the suburbs.

The bubble house technology is the primary science fiction aspect, and the description of those reads not unlike some of the articles in today's world about smart houses.

I give
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SciFi - Charles Mundin is a young lawyer in a future that features automated housing for contract employees of large corporations and gang controlled slums for the rest. He accepts a mission to gain control of the company that makes the good housing.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, sf-september
Future dystopian finance adventure . I read all Pohl and Kornbluth novels a long time ago. This one doesn't stand up so well. A decent read, ahead of the standards if the time but what a long tine ago it seems now.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky story about stocks and shares in the future, and how bad investment causes massive changes to people's lives, trapping them. I picked this up for the "Thunder Dome" element - but there is none.
Eric Buhrer
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dated as hell today, but the ideas - especially the economics - make this the equal of 1984 in my humble opinion.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Já o li e reli vezes sem conta, uma história fantástica!
Dec 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
1982 grade F

with Kornbluth
Tom Pappalardo
If you enjoy science fiction about corporate takeovers, science fiction with little-to-no actual science fiction, or smelly old paperbacks, then I highly recommend this book.
May 10, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Interesting idea - dated now of course
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm re-reading this - great masterpiece! But in the Goodreads directory there are two books, one by C. Kornbluth, one by Fred Pohl. er, just one book, 2 writers...
Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth
Chiefdonkey Bradey
Nervy dystopian Swiftian satire
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philo, sci-fi, mine
Really not much about gladiators. But a quirky story about the dangers of corporate sponsored perfect bubble-houses.
Smith Nickerson
rated it liked it
May 31, 2011
Fredrik Rantakyro
rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2015
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Oct 01, 2008
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Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.