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Dying Inside

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,743 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
In 1972, Robert Silverberg, even then an acknowledged leader in the science fiction field, published a book that was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. More than three decades later, Dying Inside has stood the test of time and has been recognized as one of the finest novels the field has ever produced. Never wasting a word, Silverberg persuasively shows us what it would ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Orb Books (first published October 1972)
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Community Reviews

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mark monday
Dying Inside is a sterling example of 70s New Wave science fiction. it is about a telepath whose powers are fading. dude is a miserable, depressive asshole who whines endlessly about his life. the end.

wait a sec, maybe that sounds like a bad read to you? well my friend, let me tell you... throw that impression away! this is a marvelous book from beginning to end. it is thought-provoking, often delightful, often hard-edged, completely enjoyable. Silverberg is such a masterful writer and many time
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Goodreads friend recently asked if Silverberg lacked the matinee firepower of Heinlein or Asimov because he had no masterwork, no centerpiece to which critics could point, no one work that served as an identity. Silverberg, Grandmaster though he is, lacks a Stranger in a Strange Land or Foundation or Dune.

I submit here, to the court of science fiction literature, that Dying Inside is such a work.

Dying Inside is Silverberg’s 1972 science fiction / fantasy classic about telepathy and so much mor
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction all time greats, there is no doubt about that in my mind. He belongs up there with Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein etc. If you have never heard of him it would be because he is the most criminally underrated sf authors ever. I have said virtually the same thing in my previous review of his book Nightwings, and I will probably be saying the same damn thing again next time I review one of his books simply because it bears repeating.

Among long time avid sf reade
Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
"The sensory shutdown is not always a willed event, naturally. It happens to us whether we like it or not. If we don't climb into the box ourselves, we'll get shoved in anyway. That's what I mean about entropy inevitably nailing us all in the long run. No matter how vital, how vigorous, how world-devouring we are, the inputs dwindle as time goes by. Sight, hearing, touch, smell-everything goes, as good old Will S. said, and we end up sans teeth, sans eyes, sans tastes, sans everything. Or, as th ...more
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
Strangely enough, I found this one a real treat to read. It might have something to do with the fact that I read A Time of Changes, The World Inside, and it all within the same day, somewhat in spirit of how damn quick Silverberg wrote these great classics. :)

And because I read them all back to back, I found that being this familiar with the artist's text made al three books flow like water, common themes kissing intimately and oh so sexually. Like connection. Basic human connection. The first n
Dying Inside is likely the most powerful SF tale of a telepath losing his powers that has ever been written, and is required reading for anyone wanting a taste of the best of New-Wave SF from the early 1970s (much better than Daniel Keyes' Flowers of Algernon, in my opionion). It is also extremely personal and autobiographical, since Silverberg’s prodigious output of the late 1960s was starting to slow down. Regardless of how far we should read into protagonist David Selig’s brilliant, lonely, f ...more
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Robert Silverberg is one of those writers that has never disappointed me and Dying Inside is no exception. This is often considered Silverberg's best novel and, while not my personal favorite of his, it is easy to see why.

The story is told in the first person by a telepath, David Selig, who is slowly losing his ability to read minds. David, despite his ability to read minds, is almost completely isolated from the rest of society and is unable to form any close attachments. He
Jul 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality July 2009 Selection
3.75 stars

I felt like the telepath, the mind-reader, the voyeur while reading this novel. Silverberg sucked me in to the mind of David Selig so completely that I had to force myself to take a break from the book after hours of voracious reading to come up for air and perspective. It appears to be the autobiography of a telepath, but reads like a confession of mind crimes, social ineptness and stunted maturity. He fears his gift is fading and dying, and he flops impotently against the impinging s
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg is the painfully intimate portrait of David Selig, a man who has been blessed (or cursed, as he might say) with the gift of telepathy. He has learned to live with the ability, but now finds that his amazing power is slowly disappearing, leaving him ordinary again. Throughout the novel, Selig is literate, insightful and self-deprecating as he mercilessly dissects his own life. I found him less than likable, but completely fascinating. He leads an almost meaningle ...more
David, quarantenne newyorkese, è cresciuto con un dono molto particolare: quello di poter entrare nella mente delle persone e di carpirne i pensieri.
Un dono che si è rivelato una maledizione, perché le sue relazioni amorose, amicali e professionali, sono spesso state interrotte da chi non capiva come lui potesse essere sempre davanti a ogni mossa, azione, pensiero. Un potere che gli ha causato incomprensione da parte degli altri, e di conseguenza abbandono e solitudine. Ma che tuttavia gli ha c
This is the first book I've managed to sit down and read straight through in quite a while, so I have to acknowledge here the quality of it first: it is one of those books that reminds you that speculative fiction of all stripes can be just as reflective on the human condition as any navel-gazing literary fiction. The characters are for the most part not very likeable -- there's something despicable in all of them, and especially in the narrator, Selig. But there are some amazing bits too: Selig ...more
I finished Dying Inside this morning and I'm still not sure what to say about it. Perhaps I should start by saying that I don't believe this is science fiction at all. I kept looking for the science part and it just wasn't there. I believe that it would have been classified as general fiction if it hadn't been written by a famous science fiction author.

I have to say that I have met few fictional characters that are more pathetic than David Selig. He's not pathetic because he's losing his telepat
Ivan Lutz
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vrlo vrlo ozbiljna knjiga! Psihološki rolerkoster, filozofski najfiniji punjeni kolač, književno generirano mutirani biceps i kvadriceps te fizikalni teorem za jednostavnost kompliciranog.
Da, sve je to Silverberg!
Premisa je jasna kao pekmez: život čovjeka koji čita misli. Ali kako to Robert radi to je genijalno. Teško je prepričati radnju jer tamo negdje na pola knjige počinje doslovno ličiti na dnevnik protagoniste, no, čita se ludo i brzo. Kraj baš onakav kakav volim, kakav obožavam... otvore
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
DYING INSIDE is a great character study from an outstanding author, Robert Silverberg.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
One of the touchstone novels that seperates the true affectionado of science fiction from the more casual fan or the affectionado of pulp adventures with fantastic tropes.

I like pulp adventurers with fantastic tropes, but that's hardly the sum of either science fiction or fantasy.

Alot of people report being rather stunned by this book, as they didn't think science fiction was this broad or this well written. This is one of the books I turn to when pretentious literary snobs challenge my taste in
Elizabeth Hunter
Jan 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I found this book intensely disappointing. I'm usually very impressed with Silverberg's work, but here he seemed to be channelling the same vein of zeitgeist that gave us Portnoy's Complaint and other laments of the middle-aged white/Jewish guy whose dick doesn't rise as quickly in his forties as it did in his teens.

The premise is excellent: a guy who's been a telepath all his life, mostly secretly, finds that his powers are fading and has to cope with the loss of his superpower and the prospec
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his forward to "The Stars, My Destination," author Neil Gaiman says that one of things that dates the fastest in literature is science-fiction. That statement applies to "Dying Inside" which is clearly a novel of its time period, but still works today because the novel focuses on a character and not the technology involved.

David Selig is a man born with the strange ability to read people's thoughts. While many of us would think it's a blessing, David finds it a bit of a curse. David quickly
After reading a couple of only average Silverberg novels, it's great to have my faith in the author's ability reaffirmed by reading another of his greats.

Like The Book of Skulls this is almost only incidentally SF, that is more character driven than anything else. Yes, it is about someone who is a telepath, one of the classic tropes of the genre, but it is never really rationalised or understood. But that wasn't really the point, rather it was about how someone coped with being different from ev
Doğukan Şık
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yine çok farklı bir kitap. Bir yazarın birbirinden bu kadar farklı şeyler yazabilmesi olağanüstü. İçeriden Ölmek insanların zihnini okuyabilen David Selig'in hikayesi. Gücün bilimsel yönünden çok psikolojik tarafı inceleniyor.
Kitapta belli bir kurgu yok. Bazen geçmiş bazen şimdiki zaman anlatılıyor. Bu kısımların birbirine karışmaması için kısa bir sürede okunması gerekiyor.
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is an astounding piece of fiction. I refrain from calling this science fiction for several reasons: the fantastic elements, while central, aren't beyond the normal scope of mainstream fiction, the novel is a character study, and the novel has none of the classic clichés of science fiction.

I was very surprised when I started reading this novel to discover just how well-written it is (this being my first Silverberg endeavor). It must be admitted that Silverberg is not a stylist at the level o
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...I can see why this is a notable book among it's contemporaries. Silverberg approaches the novel in a way you don't see a lot in science fiction novels. It is a pretty dark and introspective book. I'm not sure everybody will appreciate the ending but I thought it was fitting. Dying Inside is a book that can make the reader uncomfortable by laying bare the innermost thoughts and feelings of the characters. It usually isn't pretty, but like it or not, most of us will recognize a lot in what Seli ...more
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Izvrsna psihološka studija rađanja čoveka iz natčoveka. Kako se osećamo i kroz kakve promene prolazimo kada nepovratno gubimo deo ličnosti koji je oduvek bio naš? Kako kroz novu prizmu doživljavamo okruženje, a kako ono nas u tom umiranju da bi se ponovo rodilo? Pisana u prvom licu, kroz epizode u sadašnjem vremenu i serije flešbekova, nemilosrdno iskreno, lišena patetike, a ipak duboko emotivna ispovest čoveka kome iščezava jedan specifičan dar postaje ogledalo za milion malih smrti koje doživi ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
Essentially, it's the story of a telepath, and how he copes with the loss of this blessing/curse of an ability later in life. Expertly developed both story and characters. Grade A Silverberg. Definitely one of my all time favourites.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Works of science fiction, more so than in other literature genres, can succeed through the ideas presented instead of the way in which those ideas are presented. Many of the classic writers of the genre, including Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, became classic because of their ideas, even though they weren't impressive prose stylists. Thus, because of the relevance of ideas in the genre, the premise of a science fiction book can be of inflated importance. Sometimes a great premise alone can make f ...more
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dying Inside is a book I might never have picked up myself. I'm so glad I read it. As discussed in our group, Beyond Reality, it's not classic 'Science Fiction', but as it's written by a well known science fiction author, Robert Silverberg, it falls easily within the genre.

The human protagonist, David Selig, is 'enhanced'. He is a telepath and has been probably since birth. But his power is fading, and the story is about how he is coping with the loss, as he feels he is dying inside.

It's a sad
Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Sometimes it's difficult to separate form from content. This is a well written book that explores a good concept - the downside of being able to read the minds of others - thoroughly. It's soft sf, content to explore the psychological and social ramifications of the gift/curse without providing explanation of how David Selig came into possession of it. In short, right up my alley.

So why the lukewarm rating? For starters, I found the book fairly dated. I have read my share of timeless SF, but th
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although author Robert Silverberg had come out with no fewer than 21 major science-fiction novels between the years 1967 and '71, by 1972, his formerly unstoppable output was beginning to slow down. He released only two novels in '72, "The Book of Skulls," in which four young men seek the secret of immortality in the desert Southwest, and one of his most renowned, "Dying Inside." After this latter work, there would be no full-length works until 1975's "The Stochastic Man" and 1976's "Shadrach in ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you met David Selig in real life, you wouldn't like him. In fact, you might even be repulsed. You know it, he knows it, the book knows it. There is an overwhelming sense of awareness at how unlikable the main character is, and he even asks the question, "Would I be this screwed up if I wasn't telepathic? Did my telepathy cause my misery, or would I be miserable anyway?"

Most books I've read in which the prominent characters possess some kind of supernatural ability usually have the character d
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The book is a character study of a middle-aged man who is losing his telepathic ability to read minds. It is divided between flashbacks that explain his present malaise, and events in the current day (1970s). As much as he resents his own inability to resist reading the minds of everyone, including lovers, and spoiling those relationships - this ability has come to define him and he does not know how to live normally.

At the beginning, it is told in first person, and spoken to his ability, as if
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitap bize zihin okuyabilmeye dair özel bir gücü olan David Selig'in hikayesini anlatıyor. David yaşının ilerlemeseyile birlikte bu yeteneğinde bir gerileme yaşamaya başlıyor. Kitap başladığında David 41 yaşında fakat kitap boyunca biz onun anılarına yolculuklar yaparak onun yaşamının büyük bir bölümün şahit oluyor ve bu yeteneğinin ona kazandırdıklarıyla kaybettirdiklerini gözlemliyoruz.

Yazarın farklı bir dili var, kitabın bazı yerlerinde birinci tekil kişi üzerinden bazı yerlerinde ise karakte
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Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Sc ...more
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“It was like that all the time, in those years: an endless trip, a gaudy voyage. But powers decay. Time leaches the colors from the best of visions. The world becomes grayer. Entropy beats us down. Everything fades. Everything goes. Everything dies.” 20 likes
“I'm an urban New Yorker to the last molecule.” 4 likes
More quotes…