Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Test” as Want to Read:
The Test
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Test

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  14,376 ratings  ·  2,759 reviews
Britain, the not-too-distant future.
Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test.
He wants his family to belong.

Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.

When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death.
How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?
Paperback, 108 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by St Martin's Press (first published February 12th 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Test, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Carol-Ann Both ways are technically correct spelling. And since the author is from a french part of Canada and in french we wrote it Tehéran I guess he opt for …moreBoth ways are technically correct spelling. And since the author is from a french part of Canada and in french we wrote it Tehéran I guess he opt for the closest one to what he sees in the news.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,376 ratings  ·  2,759 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Test
Emily May
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2019
Why was I so quick to judge this man? I must be nervous, myself. There is a lesson to be learned here. We are all more alike than we think.

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

The Test is basically a Black Mirror episode in novella format. This tiny book is packed full of social commentary, insights into human behaviour, and a whole bunch of mindfuckery. It's best read in a single sitting because you won't want to put this one down.

The reviews vary on this one as to how much of the plot people are giving
Lala BooksandLala
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Test by Sylvain Neuvel is this little 100 page, weird ass book revolving around a 25-question British Citizenship Test. Twenty-five questions to decide the main character's fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.
It's fast and edgy and basically felt like like an episode of Black Mirror. I loved it.
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.75) This novella gave me Black Mirror vibes and if you're looking for something quick and messed up you'll enjoy this!

In a dystopian version of our world, to emigrate to the UK, individuals have to pass a test. It's not exactly the type of test you would expect...

Personally the last bit "after" brought the book down a bit and I would have rather it stop earlier but still a book I would recommend!
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
wow. this novella is everything right with short stories.

its such a simple concept, but so intelligently executed. and probably one of the most interesting stories about human behaviour and psychological profiling i have ever read.

the subtle sci-fi aspect also totally gives 'black mirror' a run for its money. its so well thought-out and really packs a punch.

i am thoroughly impressed.

4 stars
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is harshest, stunning, riveting, thought-provoking and mostly infuriating novella that blows your mind!
As soon as you finish it, you start to give blank looks, your mind is whirling and you sit still without moving an inch like a bomb just exploded on your mind and you just got paralyzed, didn’t know how to function normally.
That’s what this book made me feel like!

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars. This story gutted me. It will haunt me for a while. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Since I fell in love with Sylvain Neuvel’s Sleeping Giants, I’ve been curious to see what he would write next. The Test is an excellent novella, quite different from THE THEMIS FILES trilogy, though some similar themes are touched on and there are similarities in the narrative technique.

I went into reading The Test totally cold, without reading even the blurb ― just knowing that Neuvel wrote
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher——in exchange for an honest review.

The Test is simple in concept and smart in execution.

I’m not a stranger to Neuvel’s work. I loved Neuvel’s Themis Files trilogy and I found the last book of that trilogy, Only Human to be highly enjoyable due to the philosophical discussions that Neuvel implemented. I’m glad to find that The Test retained his relatable and thought-provoking philosophical discussions. I didn’t know anything about this book when I received it,
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I am on my knees. I have been here before. I have been thrown to the ground and I have felt the tip of their guns on the back of my neck. I have been through this and I have survived. We will survive. All of us.

In The Test, we follow Idir Jalil, an Iranian immigrant who's looking to pass the British citizenship test so he and his family can stay in the UK. Despite the pressure he's under — because, as he quickly lets us know through his own memories and back story, there's so much at stake
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
★★½ /5

This was good but not great.

I really enjoyed some aspects of the story, but in general it didn’t make a big impact for me in any case. I certainly understand what this short story tried to do, but in my opinion, this could be done better.
“How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?”

Wow, this little book felt more like Black Mirror than season 5 of Black Mirror did. I read Sleeping Giants by this author and I absolutely loved that series and I was pretty stoked when I saw this book come out and it was getting rave reviews from everyone - so I downloaded the audiobook and finished it within two days cause it’s so short and wow - WHAT A STORY.

This shit was intense and definitely gave me all the Black Mirror vibes
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to my Book Santa Audrey for this book!
I've wanted to read it for a while and i'm so glad it didn't disappoint.
This is a short read, only 100 pages or so, but it definitely packs a punch - I've spent all day thinking about the test and whether or not i would pass!
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

My thoughts in a nutshell
I usually don't read short stories because I feel 100 pages don't seem enough to describe a story intriguingly.
In this case, I was totally wrong. I can't say anything particular about the pot. Everything is a spoiler, but I want to share that I can imagine 'this' in the future. It is mind-blowing and scary.
Please don't read reviews before you pick this up. Go into blind and you will enjoy it.
I gave it 5 stars. I was shocked. I would recommend it to anyone who is inter
Kayla Dawn
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so fucking interesting.
 Codie's Book Corner
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
The comparisons to Black Mirror are apt. This is a story about a man and the choices he has to make. But it's much more than that. I listened to the audiobook in one sitting—would highly recommend it! A fun, twisted little novel that will keep you hooked from the start. ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-e-books
An absolute rollercoaster of a read, full of societal questions while keeping you at the edge of your seat - 4.5 stars
He’s a great citizen. He votes, he obeys the law, and he won’t hesitate to tell on his neighbours if he sees anything suspicious.

It’s hard to review this book without giving away something about the core of the plot, and going in blank is guaranteed to up the wow effect.
Someone wants to become a British citizen and the test given to him is more, much more, than just multiple ch
Aoife - Bookish_Babbling

Whelp that was something!
Raises many questions & leaves you with plenty food for thought #scifiheadache
Impressively stacked storytelling squished into +/- 100pages 👍

According to libby, took 45mins reading time 🤯
Slightly irrationally peeved by americanised spelling of words and the use of the word "garbage" a couple of times which probably makes me petty af...but this is supposed to be the UK. I'm sorry but these things bug me 🙈
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dark, punchy speculative fiction
Recommended to jade by: Alex
“have i done this? have i gotten myself here? there’s nothing i can say, no good answer. [...] i don’t know if it was inevitable or if i inched myself into it, one small mistake after the other.”

this novella grabbed me by the collar, shook me up, and then put me down feeling hollow inside.

it’s the sort of speculative writing that reaches into uncomfortable places, and though it does so in slightly predictable ways, it’s very effective at evoking an emotional response. it’s also one o
I’m not entirely sure what the hell I’ve just read, but this managed to absolutely blow me away in terms of twists and turns very early on. Without giving too much away, what starts as an immigration test decends into something far more realistic, and terrifyingly possible.

It’s an examination on a future Britain that seems at once incredibly believable and tangible. A way to test and justify fairly who can enter the country in a near-technologically advanced universe. It’s fast paced, morally a
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-shelf, sci-fi
I'm freaking surprised at how good this novella is. Simple idea, but so much is packed into this short work. And what's more, it's timely.

The immigration process for getting into England has taken some rather HARD turns in The Test, selecting for an insane amount of information and psychological screenings. This high-tech future dystopia takes it so far that they screen for HEROES. :) It's not enough to be smart and a decent human being or being dedicated enough to jump through an amazing number
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Often times, the title of the book gives a glimpse of the storyline of the book. The Test was no exception, but the twist that developed shortly into the third chapter took me by surprise. It was like as though the trap door opens from beneath you and you inevitably fall into the mercy of every twist and turn of the roller coaster ride. The pace is riveting, and I find myself wanting to keep reading to find out the fate of Idir and his family. Boy, what a ride it was!

Interestingly, The Test is a
Heidi The Reader
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Test is a science fiction short story detailing a sinister new type of citizenship test and a possible dark future humanity could face.

"I am the only one taking the test. Only men. Only between the ages of sixteen and forty-five. She said it was unfair. I told her it was a blessing. I do not care what their motivations are; it is a simple matter of probabilities." pg 12

Idir Jalil was a dentist in Teheran. He wants to immigrate with his wife and children to the United Kingdom. But first, he h
André Oliveira
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this in one sitting. What happened.
To become a citizen of the UK you need to finish a test. Can you pass it?

I couldn't stop reading!! The themes and the ideas are so interesting and scary, everything at the same time!

Can we have a Black Mirror episode with this story, please?
Shaun Hutchinson
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What. The. Fuck.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, e-books
The Test was a very good novella, actually one of the best I have ever read. I don’t read many novellas because I think the execution is always not as good as in novels. I haven’t read other books by the author but this sure makes me want to. The novella is enjoyable, short, well written and had a message behind it. I think I wanted to know more about the world and that I wouldn’t mind if it was a full length novel.
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great example of short work that packs a punch! I don't really want to get into the details of this one, as I think they should be discovered by the reader given how short this one is, but I loved the writing and was very impressed with how efficiently Neuvel packed character development & a compelling plot into such a short page count. Very much enjoyed & would recommend ...more
♛ may
i was,,,,,,,,,,not expecting that

sylvain neuvel is out here trying to ruin my life and make me rethink my convictions, what else is new?

honestly this short story was so weirdly messed up but wow was it something.

i kind of wish it was written as a full length novel bc i was left with SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS and there are so many ideas that i think could have been presented in a much powerful way if they were given more page time

but at the same time do i really want to experience this in f
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is supposed to be a dystopian kind of George Orwell's '1984' kind of read trying to mix up with issues of racism, discrimination, and a poor attempt to be 'The Hunger Game' but sadly it was not working at all. The writing style is boring, repetitive and seriously predictable. The characters are just like doing some bad acting.
Even though this one is a small book, I wouldn't recommend it. It's not what you expect. It's so damn boring and tries your patience. So sip a cup of tea and pick up
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sylvain Neuvel is one of those authors I’ve had on my TBR for way too long. His work sounds interesting. I only ever see glowing reviews from my bookish friends. But I’ve had a hard time simply committing. I think it’s because Themis Files is a trilogy? I did the same thing with Ann Leckie and Jeff VanderMeer. I waited for them to release a standalone before I went back and read their trilogies, so I guess this is a common issue for me.

When I saw the description for The Test, which I’ve very pur
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A disturbing but not unbelievable premise underlies this story about the dehumanization of the immigration process instituted in a near future Britain. I keep wondering why Neuvel chose that particular location as a setting?

I'm still not thoroughly impressed with Neuvel's technical execution here. It's a step away from the documentary/interview format he used in the Themis Files, but is still a bit lacking as a narrative piece.

The Test is very short and impactful, if predictable, and so I woul
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
SFF Hot from Prin...: The Test by Sylvain Neuvel 34 26 Feb 05, 2020 09:46PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Test by Sylvain Neuvel - Starting the 7th of March 5 27 Mar 04, 2019 06:38PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War
  • Recursion
  • Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)
  • Emergency Skin
  • The Deep
  • Middlegame (Middlegame, #1)
  • Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6)
  • In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)
  • Summer Frost
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, #1)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)
  • The Murders of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #1)
  • The Last Conversation
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)
  • Els dits de la bruixa
  • Bunny
  • Ark
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were a ...more

Articles featuring this book

A mercenary seeks a missing child, a dead man’s brain is reactivated, a woman travels to the Mayan underworld, a disease drives its...
177 likes · 161 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“When faced with a choice, humans almost invariably seek a no-action, no-change option, even when one of the presented alternatives is quantifiably and logically more advantageous.” 11 likes
“System justification is the idea that many of our needs can be satisfied by defending and justifying the status quo. It gives stability to our political and economic systems because people are inherently inclined to defend it. It prevents people at a disadvantage from questioning the system that disadvantages them, makes people buy the inevitability of social inequity, ignore or support policies that hurt them.” 8 likes
More quotes…