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The Syndic

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Cover Artist: Richard Powers
Tomorrow? Here is a shocking but realistic picture of America in the twenty-first century - a wild, chaotic America, but a very possible America. An America where people pay protection instead of taxes - where polo is played in jeeps with 50-caliber machine guns. An America full of the wonders of tomorrow driven by passions that are ageless.
Mass Market Paperback, #1317, 142 pages
Published March 1955 by Bantam Books (first published January 1st 1953)
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Average rating 3.39  · 
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Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leído en 2002.
Novela creada en base a tres relatos dfundamentales unidos por otros de menos entidad para darlo consistencia como una novela única.
Distopía de un futuro en el que una organización mafiosa, EL Síndico, tutela a la sociedad americana para que todo vaya bien. Y todo va bien. ¿Utopía sin libertad?¿Régimen dictatorial?. Pues todo eso y lo que queráis.
Crítica social disfrazada de CF. No está mal.
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review contains both English and Turkish reviews of the book

English review
I’ve read this book during reading 50s-60s science fiction novels. Despite being and old book, it’s rated below 100 people in goodreads.

In the future United States of America divided into two regions and form of government. East side’s government is called Syndic and West side’s government is called Mob. Both sides philosophies are completely different than the other one’s, and both sides are thinking other side’s
AC Capehart
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was predisposed to like this novel as it was the first book published by my burgeoning publishing company. We were very lucky to get to work with Jeff Riggenbach in putting together the foreword and afterword. I only knew the premise and some of the interest in the book when I agreed we should publish it. It was a real treat when I actually sat down to read it.

It is a work of its time and it suffers slightly from it - for example, the female characters are not what we might expect today. Nits
João Sousa
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argonauta
"The Syndic" is clearly an essay on the absurdity of our governmental institutions. Mr. Kornbluth left us too soon, he was a creative, fluid and a very much competent writer. There is always a slight dark atmosphere in his books and I really enjoy his style.
i wish it was a series

couldnt get enough

mob and syndic pushed us govt inot the atlantic?

not offensive to ask a girl for you know and fine for her to say what in it for me?

bag man

no principles, son thats how we had the american gov we dont want to become

triumph of reasonableness over theory n politics

after he sabotage sthe wheel the workers came back said what kid punks did this, fixed it in few hours and worked on untilquit time unditrurbed

the girl had witch pwoers

one part i didnt liek is girl n
A bit of an uneven read. Kornbluth's writing can be difficult to penetrate at times and had me looking up words quite often. The book was a slog to read at various points. The last third of the book keep me swiping page after page, however. The mind-reading girl seemed out of place in a story that focused on the failings and excesses of government. Kornbluth's warning about the tendency of people in power to (over-)engineer society without regard for the unintended consequences is more timely th ...more
Sean Guynes
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The second most interesting science-fiction novel of the 1950s? Very probably.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Densely written jumper; obscure; purposefully so, perhaps, like a consciously bad novel.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Возможно проблема в моих завышенных ожиданиях после этого твита, но того же восторга я не испытал. Все на уровне "ну окей". ...more
Eric N.
Worth it for those into antiquated alternate reality scenarios.
Mar 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
This started off as an interesting piece of world-building but quickly descended into a buy-the-numbers adventure story interspersed with long philosophical monologues. A disappointment for me.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Cyril M. Korbluth's The Syndic
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - October 29, 2012

As I remarked in my last review of a Kornbluth novel (Takeoff: ): "I like the ones coauthored w/ [Frederik] Pohl the most". Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. As a person surrounded by piles of thick bks that'll take me mnths apiece to read, it was a joy & a relief to read this in a day & still find it worthwhile.

The Syndic is about a future world in wch th
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is unusual because it was written in 1953, and received the Promethius Award in 1986. The action occurs in perhaps year 2200 or so. Most of the world is back to the stone age, but the area that is presently the US is "governed" by three entities: The old US government has been driven back to the sea and barely hangs on in off-shore outputs in Iceland and the Caribbean. It is tremendously corrupt and has almost zero power.

The western US is ruled by the Mob, and is a pretty violent and
Michael O'Donnell
In a future America, the country is ruled by organised crime, with the Mob in charge in the West and the Syndic in the East. The remnants of the North American Government has been exiled to Iceland, with a naval base in Ireland; Europe has descended into barbarism.

Two Syndic agents infiltrate the Government Navy and discover a plot between the Government and the Mob to overthrow the Syndic. Unfortunately they are captured, and must escape with the help of a psychic Irish shaman to warn the Syndi
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ayn Rand and Tom Clancy had a baby and they called it The Syndic- a McCarthyist libertarian apologue expressed in pulp and popcorn. It's 2150, and Democracy in the US has been usurped by a more efficient body - organised crime. The Syndic controls the eastern seaboard, and The Mob Chicago and westwards. Protagonist Charles Orsino survives an assassination attempt. The government-in-exile is the prime suspect, and Orsino is sent to undercover to infiltrate.

Kornbluth writes well, but not well enou
Andrew Knab
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I listened to this as an audiobook read by Mark Nelson for LibriVox.

This is such a strange novel.

The plot is nowhere to be found, it's more a series of interconnected ideas. The characters just act as a means to touch on these abstract ideas. Kornbluth uses "The Syndic" to ask a series of questions and leave them to the reader to think about.

Of these the two that get the most play are the moral implications of direct democracy and whether a society has a responsibility to maintain it's founding
Simon Hedge
Kornbluth clearly wrote this book not to entertain his readers, but simply to ask the question "Is modern democracy the best form of government for modern man?"
To this end he sets up an alternative United States with three forms of government vying for control. He then invents an excuse for our protagonist to be subject to all three within a brief span of time, and I think at the end we are supposed to side with the libertarians - even though they admit themselves that they will probably not las
Geoff Canyon
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite SF novels. It introduced me to a concept that I have held dear for many years: by the novel's end, the protagonist knows that his way of life is threatened, and could end within decades, or even years. He counsels his uncle to make changes to their society to forestall the coming catastrophe, but his uncle refuses. His uncle says (roughly, this is from memory), "If we do as you suggest, we will have saved our way of life from being destroyed by our enemies only because we have ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Not terribly dated for something written 1951. One of Kornbluth's clever utopias. So well told you don't notice it's a coming of age story, amongst other things. Brilliant ending. Very readable, brilliant mind: We tell ourselves stories about the world and then make the mistake of acting as if the stories were true. (i paraphrase)

Hyperealistic background detail on the operation of 50 caliber machine guns without getting in the way of the story.

A bit mushy in the middle when the protagonist goes
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: futurians
"Who knows what he is doing, why he does it or what the consequences will be? This is my first real book read by Kornbluth. I was looking for a cross between say Chandler and Bradbury and this fit the bill. Sci-Fi I think not, although it is set in the future. Libertarian parable? That isn't what I took away from this. Enjoyable, confusing, a lot of stream of consciousness,suspend your dis-belief and enjoy the ride. Off to read more by this distinctive author.
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
The various mafias control North America. Europe is reduced to savagery. The US Government is in exile in Iceland. The (East Coast) Syndicate sends two spies to find out if the US Gov. is behind assassinations of its leaders. Merriment ensues...and so does a fair bit of anarcholibertarian philosophizing, which I happen to like.
Umut Erdoğan (Kareler ve Sayfalar)
Teşkilat, “gelecekte” geçen ve dünyanın nasıl kutuplara bölündüğünü, aralarındaki ahlaki değerlerin nasıl kesin çizgilerle tanımlanabilecek kadar farklılaştığını, bir bilim kurgu – macera tadında sunan bir roman. ...more
Keith Davis
Libertarian classic in which what was once the United States is governed by organized crime families.
Dec 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1983 grade C+
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paradossale e divertente.
Chris Stutts
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Apr 19, 2014
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Jan 04, 2019
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Jan 11, 2014
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Dec 27, 2018
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Cyril M. Kornbluth grew up in Inwood in New York City. As a teenager, he became a member of the Futurians, the influential group of science fiction fans and writers. While a member of the Futurians, he met and became friends with Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Donald A. Wollheim, Robert A. W. Lowndes, and his future wife Mary Byers. He also participated in the Fantasy Amateur Press Association.


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