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Make Room! Make Room!

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  5,858 ratings  ·  476 reviews
First published in 1966, Harrison's novel of an overpopulated urban jungle, a divided class system--operating within an atmosphere of riots, food shortages, and senseless acts of violence--and a desperate hunt for the truth by a cynical NYC detective tells a classic tale of a dark future.
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Spectra (first published November 1st 1966)
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Edward I have read it and it is one man’s guess at how an overpopulated world would work. Of course it is a welfare state with a centrally managed economy…moreI have read it and it is one man’s guess at how an overpopulated world would work. Of course it is a welfare state with a centrally managed economy which is the worst possible solution to providing goods for that huge population. (less)

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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,858 ratings  ·  476 reviews

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Leo .
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McDonald's springs to mind!👍🐯

Monsanto too!
Color me happy and more than a little surprised to be decorating this review with as many stars as I am because I went into this novel with pretty subdued expectations. I would say expectations on par with those I hold for the latest cinematic embarassment by Mr. Dickoless Cage. I know that's not very nice, but I will never, never forgive that talent-free ass bozo for effectively castrating Ghost Rider in front of the general public, despite being a self-described fanboy of the character. The g ...more
Paul Bryant
Here is a 1966 novel about 1999 which is good, honest, miserable fun. The main guy who is a cop gets to be really happy for about two pages and after that it’s back to worrying about absolutely everything.

It’s New York City and the population has skyrocketed to 35 million. The whole damn country has kind of collapsed. There are no more private cars. Tobacco is a thing of the past. There are meateasies! This is because you can get your meat but you have to know where. But pretty much everything
Rebecca McNutt

Before we had dystopian novels being pushed out like crazy in the 2000's, Make Room, Make Room! came out in 1966 and brought up a bleak and disturbingly believable dystopian future world, one filled with extreme overpopulation, pollution and madness. It's still just as chilling today, in fact the 21st century has made it even more believable than it used to be, making for a frightening but very intriguing book.

If you're a fan of the 1970's film Soylent Green, well, Make Room, Make Room! was the
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pre-80s-sf
“So mankind gobbled in a century all the world’s resources that had taken millions of years to store up, and no one on the top gave a damn or listened to all the voices that were trying to warn them, they just let us overproduce and overconsume until now the oil is gone, the topsoil depleted and washed away, the trees chopped down, the animals extinct, the earth poisoned, and all we have to show for this is seven billion people fighting over the scraps that are left, living a miserable existence ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
First thing, Forget about the movie Soylent Green which was based on Harry Harrison's novel about overpopulation, Make Room! Make Room!. There is no Charleston Heston screaming , "Soylent Green is people!" and nothing about cannibalism. What we have instead is a very effective and disquieting look at a future where overpopulation is rampant and food and water sources are depleting. While he centers his story around a New York detective and a "accidental" murder, Harrison is more interested in de ...more
Manuel Antão
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Malthus: "Make Room! Make Room!" by Harry Harrison

(Original Review, 1980-08-19)

Pournelle's virulently infectious optimism is severely misplaced. Other people have already pointed out that his strategy involves the probable abandonment of Earth and the bulk of its population (what-the-hell, they're just gooks anyway); I'll just add that even RAH [2018 EDIT: Heinlein] saw this approx. 30 years ago (in FARMER IN THE SKY a character acknow
Debbie Zapata
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturdaymx
Of course I remember the movie Soylent Green. I saw it at the drive-in gazillions of years ago, and many times since. But let me tell you, as dramatic as the movie is, with Charlton Heston as main character Andy Rusch giving the infamous scream of (view spoiler) there is actually no soylent green in the book at all. There are red crackers, seaweed crackers, brown soylent (soy/lentil) steaks and eventually small soylent burgers supposedly with a smoky-bar ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
Oddly enough, I kinda expected something hokey before I read this, but instead, I just got a dystopian nightmare of overpopulation.

This isn't unexpected or a bad thing. After all, I've seen Soylent Green and felt the huge impact of the scene where the old man Saul mouths the BIG SECRET through the plane of glass. I remember the riots, the pressure, the senseless violence, and the massive levels of injustice AND stupidity that brought us to this state.

And yet, after reading this novel, that sense
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Good morning class! Now, hands up everyone who knows what Soylent Green is made of. Ah, that's very good. I'm glad to see you read your assignment.

I'm sorry, we're not quite finished yet. What is the book's original title? No, of course it isn't a trick question. You should have read it a little more carefully...
Sigh... Where to begin? This is my second, and probably last Harry Harrison novel. I know that he's considered one of the best science fiction writers of his time, and I can't disagree... But it's not his time anymore, and in my opinion, his writing just doesn't stand the test of time. He shouldn't feel too offended though, this opinion applies to quite a few writers whose work shows its age, and not in a George Clooney "Gets Better With" kind of way.

The ideas and concepts I can appreciate. The
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine piece of science fiction that grabs you from the start with it's world building and high quality writing and entertains for over 200 pages.

Soylent Green might have been people but Make Room! Make Room! is a story about a detective investigating a murder in a future world with a drastic problem with over-population and a lack of natural resources. The detective aspect works as an interesting framing story that allows Harrison to explore the nuances of his world - food riots, vegan diets, w
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
It's the future - 1999 in fact! Over 7 billion humans, 35 million of them in New York City where a cop, a gangster's moll and a street kid all collide on their no longer separate searches for food and water security. Shanties, tent cities, people living in ships and cars that can't move because there's no more oil. Sounds like Harrison only got the date wrong...

It's an odd book tackling the question of over-population back in the 1960s when it seems to have first been taken seriously (though not
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the classic sci-fi flick Soylent Green. Of course, the scene that everyone remembers from the film - Charleston Heston yelling, "Soylent Green is people!" at the end - never appears in the book. Sorry, kids, no cannibalism in this rather slow read from the 1960s, but lots of commentary on the dangers of overpopulation.

It's actually a fairly depressing story about environmental collapse: the food is pretty much gone and it's hot all the time due to global w
Ali Berk Çetinbudaklar
Yıllar önce izlediğim Soylent Green'in, birebir uyarlandığı kitap olarak düşünüyordum, ama baya farklılık varmış; hele ki filmi özellikle vurucu yapan kısma acaba ne zaman geleceğim diye beklerken, kitabın bitişiyle öyle bir kısmın olmadığını anladım. Çoğu kişi belki de bu yüzden "uyarlandığı kitaptan daha iyi olan filmler" listesine ekleyecektir S.G.'yi.
Stephen Robert Collins
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was made in to Solvent Green with very odd cast of Charlton Heston & Edward G Robinson who was famous for playing gangsters it was his last movie & he was very ill when it was made.
My late mother hated this as was about suicide clinks for old people. She said was in very bad taste.
The book & the movie are different Harry Harrison famous for his Stainless Steel rat books often did comical books or even black comedy but the move was not comical I found it bit of sour taste special
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Inevitable? Dystrophic in Dystopia. Imagined or Insighted?

This 1973 synopsis sounds like a current headline: In 2022, with 40 million people in New York City alone, housing is dilapidated and overcrowded; homeless people fill the streets and food is scarce; and most of the population survives on rations produced by the Soylent Corporation, whereof the newest product is Soylent Green, a green wafer advertised to contain "high-energy plankton", more nutritious and palatable than its predecessors
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoever turned this into the movie Soylent Green was brilliant.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was first exposed to the work of American sci-fi author Harry Harrison in my early teens, when I read his "Stainless Steel Rat" series, followed by the "Deathworld" trilogy and the Bill, the Galactic Hero series. That last was a parody, scathingly funny and a brilliant send-up of space opera sci-fi. The others were classic science fiction, and though they differed in tone they shared tight writing, crisp dialog, memorable characters, and thrilling plot twists.

Since the classic 1973 film Soylen
Nancy Oakes
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Considering that this classic novel of sci-fi was written in the 1960s, it's still quite a grabber and definitely worth reading. You're welcome to stay here for the short version or click here for the longer one.

The setting for Make Room! Make Room! is New York City, 1999, well beyond teeming with a population of 35 million people. Food is a precious commodity and water is rationed,except for the rich who have speakeasy-like secret meat markets for their shopping pleasures and can enjoy long sho
Harry Harrison is one of those great old names of Golden Age SF whose stuff I have vague memories of reading avidly as a child, but of which I remember very little about nowadays. In his case I know I loved his ‘Stainless Steel Rat’ books, but I can’t recall much about him as a writer, so it was partly for that reason that I picked this book up from the library. It had nothing to do with ‘Soylent Green’ because I didn’t realise this book was the source for that movie — though once that clicked, ...more
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really wonderful book. I read it before I watched the movie (Soylent Green), but because a co-worker told me about the movie. It was really interesting to watch the movie just after finishing the book and compare the two. In many ways they were almost polar opposite, but then again, the essentials were very much the same.

New York (and the entire world) are overpopulated and there is very little food and pretty much no space. According to the book the only decent place left to live in
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Soylent Green provides a more exciting story with a nice conspiracy and twist at the end, while Make Room! Make Room! provides more thought provoking material while giving a more in depth look at life in an overpopulated world.
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I was initially disappointed with novel on which the awesome movie Soylent Green was loosely based. This is a favorite movie which I've watched at least once a year since I recorded it on VHS. Loosely based is an understatement. The only things the book and movie have in common are the issue of over-population, two mentions of the word 'Soylent", Sol, a minor character in the book and Shirl, a much different character in the book. Tab is probably closest to the book's Tab. The entire plot is dif ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Author Harry Harrison wrote in 1984 about the technique of background-as-foreground - the story for the main characters is really a means to capture the readers attention and draw them to the greater truth of the setting. He uses this to great effect in Make Room! Make Room!

This novel shows what the world will be like "if we continue in our insane manner to pollute and overpopulate Spaceship Earth." The observed limitations of oil and aquifers play right alongside the conflict between farmers an
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
-Distopía noir.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción (por muy poco en realidad).

Lo que nos cuenta. En un caluroso lunes 9 de agosto de 1999 en Nueva York, ciudad de 35 millones de constreñidos habitantes, el policía Andrew “Andy” Rusch comienza el día sorteando la escasez de agua y otros suministros que afectan a la mayoría de los residentes de la Gran Manzana y después va a su trabajo, que hoy consiste en dar apoyo a la vigilancia y control de la manifestación de los Ancianos de América que sienten atropell
Matt Tandy
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Part crime noire, part dystopian, Harry Harrison makes a dramatic departure from his regular work, abandoning the humour and adventure of Death World and The Stainless Steel Rat and attempting to enter the world of Huxley and Orwell. In many ways he succeeds, painting a bleak yet very human New York of his future. There are no clear cut heroes or villains, as everyone is trying their best to survive. The increasing desperation is felt, as is the true relationships between the three main characte ...more
I have to say that yes, I was little disappointed. But not because of the absence of Soylent Green, but because the last third of the book didn't have any real focus or drive. The first two-thirds of the book were quite good. Here we have the set up for a dark, dystopean NYC with overpopulation creating shortages of everything - except people. But there really isn't a payoff. It's basically just a noir-detective story set in an overpopulated city. Late in the novel, Sol does deliver a powerful c ...more
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was the basis for the movie "Soylent Green" with Charlton Heston & Edward G. Robinson. Superb!
Wait a minute, you mean "Soylent Green" Isn't people!?!?
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green (1973). He was also (with Brian W. Aldiss) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction G
“One time we had the whole world in our hands, but we ate it and burned it and it's gone now.” 10 likes
“But doing something means that people must change, make an effort, use their minds, which is what most people do not like to do.” 7 likes
More quotes…