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The Test

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  9,158 ratings  ·  1,772 reviews
Award-winning author Sylvain Neuvel explores an immigration dystopia in The Test.

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
...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by St Martin's Press (first published February 12th 2019)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,158 ratings  ·  1,772 reviews


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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
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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.
Chaima ✨ شيماء
[Ryan Bergara's voice] This week on Buzzfeed Unsolved well take a look at the disappearance of my emotional stability!

The Test surpasses my wildest definitions of fucked-up. I dont know how yet but Im going to blame Neuvel for all my problems. Starting with the fact that I'll be eligible for French citizenship in three years and reading this dystopian novel about a massively messed up citizenship test--to be charitable--freaked the shit out of me.
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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!
jessica
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, didnt know how to function normally.
Thats what this book made me feel like!

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Lola
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is so messed up. I mean that in the best way possible. Do you want to read a soft dystopian that has been done before over and over again or something daring, captivating and all sorts of terrifying? I love an author who dares because tame stories are not for me. I want to be surprised and shocked and thrown into suspense instead of gently nudged in one direction or the other.

This is what the author did to me. We all know what citizenship tests are. My family immigrated to Canada from
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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 Neuvels Sleeping Giants, Ive 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 it
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Petrik
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisherTor.comin exchange for an honest review.

The Test is simple in concept and smart in execution.

Im not a stranger to Neuvels work. I loved Neuvels 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. Im glad to find that The Test retained his relatable and thought-provoking philosophical discussions. I didnt know anything about this book when I received it, I was
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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 for
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ALet
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 didnt 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.
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Barbie
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
...more
Gabby
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 its so short and wow - WHAT A STORY.

This shit was intense and definitely gave me all the Black Mirror vibes.
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 Codie's Book Corner
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow
Sara
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!
Kayla Dawn
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so fucking interesting.
Sara
Im not entirely sure what the hell Ive 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.

Its 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. Its fast paced, morally
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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
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Bradley
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2019-shelf
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
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André Oliveira
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alonso
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
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Hamad
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, 2019-reads
The Test was a very good novella, actually one of the best I have ever read. I dont read many novellas because I think the execution is always not as good as in novels. I havent 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 wouldnt mind if it was a full length novel. ...more
Sarah
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sylvain Neuvel is one of those authors Ive had on my TBR for way too long. His work sounds interesting. I only ever see glowing reviews from my bookish friends. But Ive had a hard time simply committing. I think its 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 Ive very
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Justine
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
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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
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Fiona
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
System justification is the idea that many of our needs can e 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.

The Test is a short and thoroughly devastating story, from the very talented author
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Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOWOWOW. I picked this up on a whim and suddenly found myself completely immersed in this small, twisty mind fuck of a book. It's like a Black Mirror episode in novella format, filled with social commentary, questions of morality and twists upon twists. The twists are SO GOOD and definitely will mess with your head. I'm in awe.
Julie
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Entirely unexpected! I chose to read this book as it was one of the finalists for the Good Reads Readers Choice Awards in the Science Fiction category. Some of the other finalists in this category were 2nd or 3rd volumes in a series and as I hadn't read the previous volumes they didn't seem like a good option. This book was available at the Library in audiobook form and was only 2-discs long. I thought I might reasonably finish it in time to vote. Sadly, I was wrong. It is not a book to be ...more
Roz
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, this was fucked up. While I never continued Black Mirror after the first episode (no thank you), if its really like this than Im not even sorry, I dont think Im ready for this. ...more
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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 ...more

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“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.” 3 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.” 2 likes
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