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Quicksand

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  18 reviews
"Brunner was a giant of sf, dealing at his best with lived-in futures combining extrapolative exhilaration & the nightmare of future shock. 'Stand on Zanzibar' ('68) with its focus on overpopulation was his recognized blockbuster. It slightly overshadows its companion volumes 'The Jagged Orbit' ('69), 'The Sheep Look Up' ('72)--a scarifying polemic against pollution which ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 221 pages
Published July 20th 1976 by DAW Books (NY) (first published 1967)
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Average rating 3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  97 ratings  ·  18 reviews


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Ian G
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
2.4⭐

One of those books I'd forgotten I'd read until I read the reviews and book description ( that tells you how memorable it was ). As much a psychological thriller/mystery as scifi, it plods along to a ( partly) predictable conclusion, although the protagonist's implied final action seems uncharacteristically cruel, selfish and inexplicable. Is he saving humanity or taking revenge for his own predicament?
Don't particularly reccomend this one unless you're a Brunner fan/completist.
Deedee
The majority of the novel reads like a mainstream novel about a troubled psychiatrist trying to unravel the mystery behind a naked girl who was discovered wandering in the woods near a mental hospital. She speaks a language no one understands and doesn't seem to recognize commonplace items such as telephones or automobiles. As the novel progresses, the clues about her origin become more intriguing, even as the psychiatrist's personal life is falling apart. Interesting novel. The last 30 pages or ...more
Ubik 2.0
aggiornamento vecchio libro letto chissà quando
James
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a while during the late 1960s and early 1970s, John Brunner was a major force in SF, and, along with Brian Aldiss and Michael Moorcock, a leading figure in the British "New Wave." ( although Aldiss and Moorcock would never agree with that statement.) Starting with "The Whole Man" in 1965, Brunner produced a string of important works, including "The Squares of the City" and "The Productions of Time", and culminating in what has been known as his "dystopian quartet" - "Stand on Zanzibar", "The ...more
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
John Brunner's Quicksand
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - August 29, 2013

This is the 13th Brunner bk I've read & reviewed & I'm more than convinced of his genius by now. As I've often noted in other reviews, I'm reluctant to give a 5 star review to any writing that doesn't have formal experimentation.. but then I make exceptions & Brunner's a stunning one.

Quicksand is yet-another novel of his to use hypnosis. The others that I've read so far being The Stardroppers, The Evil That Men D
...more
Sarah Rigg
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I read a LOT of sci-fi in my tweens and early teens. I probably picked this based on the cover plus the premise (naked girl shows up out of nowhere and doesn't seem familiar with things like automobiles).
Bill FromPA
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
The description of this novel in David Pringle’s Ultimate Guide to SF intrigued me, so I put this ahead of other Brunner, The Shockwave Rider, Stand On Zanzibar, The Squares of the City and Times Without Number that I intend to read. I was surprised to find that this is barely SF at all – the 1968 Bantam edition I have identifies it only as a “Novel” on the spine and the cover illustration and text present it as an erotic thriller (“WHO WAS SHE WHO WALKED NAKED OUT OF NOWHERE???”).

This book can
...more
Nicolas
Dans ce roman, John Brunner nous narre la lente et pernicieuse descente aux enfers d’un psychiatre qui souhaite, pour des raisons avouables (ou non), guérir une patiente.
L’un des points fondamentaux de ce roman étant qu’à aucun moment le lecteur ou le personnage ne peuvent déterminer si cette patiente est une malade mentale ou une anthentique étrangère. Sans vouloir diminuer le talent certain de Brunner, on sait depuis au moins Lovecraft que les asiles font partie des lieux où la réalité se dél
...more
Richard Palmer
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting glimpse into life in 1960s Britain as a psychiatrist in dire need of some of his own medicine takes on a mysterious new patient he finds wandering naked in the woods. Is it really science fiction? We assume it is because of Brunner's other more famous work in this genre, but this could just as easily be classified as a mystery story. Ultimately it falls a little short in my opinion by failing to deliver in either camp. But it is concise, original and very well written, and so wort ...more
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Quicksand (1967) 221 pages by John Brunner.

Paul Fiddler is a psychiatrist at the mental hospital in Chent. On his way home from work he stops by the local pub. A injured man comes in, saying he was attacked by a naked woman. With the mental hospital being near there is speculation that it is an escapee. It's not. The sheriff and Paul find the woman, not an escapee, but she doesn't speak English so they take her to the mental hospital.

The story follows Paul the entire way. He's mildly successful,
...more
Tony
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Others have complained that this is "hardly SF" or that Brunner shouldn't try to make SF literature. Both statements seem rooted in the fact that the action takes place in contemporary Britain, among everyday, believable characters--with the notable exception of Urchin--and there are no spaceships or other trappings of old-school SF. Yet, there is time travel and the possibility of a multiverse. If we must categorize it, this novel is SF, and it is literature.

As for the end, I agree it feels rus
...more
Alex
Apr 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Standard quasi-okay Brunner book. Mostly not very science-fictiony at all. I wish there had been a little more, uh, exploitation of the obviousness of the main character's insanity, but there wasn't. Some parts--the occasional time forking--were very well done, but I really feel like there was some meat to the book that Brunner missed. Could have been better, was much much better than say Children of the Thunder.
Christopher
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Fine little quasi-sci-fi novel with a horribly deceptive and inaccurate cover. Story of a mysterious woman that appears near a mental hospital with no memory, no knowledge of the world, and no language ability. A slow process of discovery between her and her doctor proves engaging and gives more insight into the troubled doctor's mind than hers, ultimately. More psycho-mystery than sci-fi, but enjoyable nonetheless.
David Vanness
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
My first Sci-Fi in ten to twenty years---but not much Sci-Fi. With a psychology minor made it fun, as it was written from the 'Shrink's' position. Paul's life was full of failures and Brunner had difficulty finishing the tale. But I did enjoy character interplays.
Erik Graff
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brunner fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Not one of John Brunner's best science fiction novels--an intriguing premise, a disappointing conclusion.
John
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Grade D-
Tim Poston
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superb on many levels -- including a portrayal of the craziness of a bad psychiatric hospital so vivid that my psych friends felt they had worked there.
David
There are some interesting parallels with Lilith, I should reread this. ...more
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arnaud
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Hugues
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Jul 17, 2013
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Apr 19, 2018
Martin Carran
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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 Ro ...more

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