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L'Uomo stocastico

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  937 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Stocastico: voce dotta dal greco stochéstikos (congetturale, dovuto al caso, aleatorio). Questo dice il dizionario. Ma Robert Silverberg dice di più. Dice che uno specialista di indagini conoscitive e di statistiche previsionali, un professionista della congettura, può tutto a un tratto scoprire la vera natura del proprio talento. E questo talento non ha niente a che fare ...more
Paperback, Urania Collezione #085, 303 pages
Published February 2010 by Mondadori (first published 1975)
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Lyn
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
sto·chas·tic stəˈkastik/

adjective: stochastic: randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely.

First published in 1975 and nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial awards, The Stochastic Man is one of Silverberg’s darker novels.

Lew Nichols is a predictor of future events, following trends and forecasting popular inclinations for a New York politician with national ambitions. He is t
...more
Tom LA
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just can’t stop raving about Robert Silverberg. He is simply a phenomenal writer. His best known novel, Dying Inside, is about a US academic who was born with the gift of telepathy, and who in late middle-age finds it departing him. How do you cope with the loss of something that defines who you are? How do you face the death of what makes you, you? That novel floored me. One of the best I’ve ever read.

What would it be like to know precisely your own future? Silverberg explored this idea in s
...more
Sandy
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although his previous output had for several decades been nothing short of prodigious, by the mid-'70s, sci-fi great Robert Silverberg was finally beginning to slow down. The author had released no fewer than 23 sci-fi novels during his initial, "pulpy" phase (1954 - '65), and a full 23 more from 1967 - '72, his second, more mature, more literate period. And following 1972's "Dying Inside"--whose central conceit of a telepath losing his powers has often been seen as corresponding to Silverberg's ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Robert Silverberg considered The Stochastic Man a valedictory offering. When he wrote the novel in the early 1970's he had already resolved to effect his second retirement from the world of science fiction. His first retirement came around 1958, the year the science fiction magazine world imploded due to over-saturation and the growing market for paperback books. Writer and editor Frederick Pohl brought Silverberg back into the sf fold in the early 1960's, encouraging him to write more thoughtfu ...more
Benjamin Thomas
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while I like to read one of the Grand Masters of Science Fiction and this time it was Robert Silverberg’s turn. He always provides a good ol’ fashioned science fiction yarn, and doesn’t forget to add the science. He’s always good at playing the what-if question and then constructing a story around it, often including some intriguing concepts to ponder along the way.

The story here is about a man named Lew Nichols who uses stochastic methods to accurately predict outcomes and proba
...more
David
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If one reads it as a novella (as a longer short story, that is), I think the denouement is very keen. If you read it as a novel, not so much. I'll recommend it.
Jon
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly a title that says, "Pick me up and buy me," but I guess by this stage in his career, this author's name alone would sell anything he wrote. This is my first Silverberg, and he came highly recommended by a Goodreads friend. I have to admit that he is a vivid and vigorous writer. But this one essentially left me cold because of what seemed to me a massive and inescapable flaw in its conception. The premise is that past, present, and future have already happened, and that there is one m ...more
Hank Hoeft
At first, I thought The Stochastic Man, published in 1975, was a typical example of a late New Wave science fiction novel, albeit a well-written one. What felt "new wave" about it is the assumption that the near-future (the story is set in the late 1990's and early years of the 21st century) would continue to see social and cultural changes as rapid and extreme as the changes of the 1960's and early '70's. Another aspect that struck me as typically New Wave was the negative, pessimistic tone the ...more
Richp
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this a bit difficult to rate, as my reaction ranged from just ok, but nothing much beyond routine, to the final third where I thought he pulled it together well. The premise addresses a classical philosophical question, the story selects one common answer and goes with it, but it does not go much into the questions that answer leads to. I found the story framework mostly dull, but this is Silverberg from his best decade, and enough of the writer who was one of the best in SF at the time ...more
Roberto
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Spoileraggio coatto della vita

Il protagonista del romanzo è uno studioso che usa il calcolo delle probabilità per fornire ai suoi clienti previsioni di supporto a decisioni di vario genere. La sua vita procede normalmente, fino a quando incontra una strana persona che, dotata della capacità di “vedere il futuro", gli passa informazioni sul futuro stesso e gli fa capire che il nostro mondo non è affatto governato dalle leggi probabilistiche.

Progressivamente il protagonista tralascia l'analisi sto
...more
Mark
Aug 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful little book. Lew Nichols is, essentially, a statistician. He's very good at predicting (accurately) trends. This is valuable to lots of people, including politicians, who pay him lots of money for his skills.

But then Lew meats Carvajal, a man who really can see the future, and the thought experiment that ensues is worth the read. What would you give up to see the future accurately? Is it worth seeing your own death? Does knowing this change your own behavior? If the future can't be
...more
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good/VG. I read the book in 2001 and didn't remember much of the plot so I skimmed through it this time. Lew Nichols is in the business of providing projections for the future and all is going well until he meets Carvajal who can see the future. Carvajal has totally given in to his deterministic view of the world and teaches Lew how to see the future.

The novel was runner-up for both the Hugo and Nebula probably because of the characters' struggle with determinism vs. free will. There were plo
...more
Nils
Ich hatte nicht realisiert, wie gut Silverberg sein kann. Sehr anders aufgebaut, als aktuelle Romane, aber meisterhaft erzählt und thematisch erschreckend aktuell.
Victor Whitman
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good one from Robert Silverberg. He may not get much press but he definitely is one of the best around.

Mustafa
3 and 1/2 stars.
Roddy Williams
‘Lew Nichols is in the business of stochastic prediction. A mixture of sophisticated analysis and inspired guesswork, it is the nearest man can get to predicting the future. And Nichols is very good at it. His uncanny accuracy in guessing the future quickly makes him indispensable to Paul Quinn, the ambitious and charismatic mayor of New York whose sights are firmly set on the presidency.

But there is nothing paranormal about stochastic prediction: Nichols can’t actually see the future. However,
...more
Nicolas
Ce roman nous raconte les (més)aventures de Lew Nichols, renifleur de tendances plongeant peu à peu dans les arcanes de la politique, et découvrant peu à peu qu’en plus des prédictions scientifiques qu’il peut fournir existent toute une catégorie de perceptions plus étranges lui permettant de franchir les limites du présent. Ce roman est très proche de L’oreille interne par de nombreux aspects : la thématique de l’homme face à un pouvoir plus grand que lui, la situation sociale du héros qui se p ...more
Steve Rainwater
This novel could be summarized as being a pessimistic, novel-length version of Raymond F. Jones' 1956 story, The Non-Statistical Man. That’s not quite true since The Non-Statistical Man involved insurance statistics while The Stochastic Man involves political polling projections. But the general idea is the same in that there is a man who seemingly has perfect insight into the future, allowing him to make perfect predictions where all normal statisticians fail. The biggest difference is that in ...more
James
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on a whim second-hand because I read Robert Silverberg's Book of Skulls about ten years ago and it was an interesting read. This one was similar - very professional, but left me a bit cold. The philosophical ideas were well integrated with the story and dealt with cleverly.

It had flaws though. I had no idea how the book would end, and when it did I thought it fell a bit flat. The other off-putting thing was that it was written in 1975 and set in 1999-2000, and the picture of the
...more
Allie
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Stochastic Man was a story about a particular man’s political campaign, but I think its main intent was to address interesting ideas of concerning free will and determinism. I found the story to be much more interesting as it moved away from the day-to-day details of Paul Quinn’s political career and began to discuss the implications of the Transit belief system and Carvajal’s devastating supernatural clairvoyance. Aside from Lew and Carvajal, the characters weren’t particularly deeply devel ...more
Giacomo Boccardo
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Ambientato alla fine del ventesimo secolo, questo romanzo ha come protagonista Lew Nichols, un uomo che basa la propria attività lavorativa sulla capacità di prevedere il futuro basandosi su indagini probabilistiche ed un innato intuito.
A sconvolgere la sua vita sono due avvenimenti principali: il desiderio di aiutare nella scalata al potere l’uomo politico Paul Quinn e l’incontro con Martin Carvajal, quest’ultimo non solo capace di intuire il futuro, ma di vederlo.

Purtroppo la visione pessimist
...more
Huma Zafar
Jan 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book quite excitedly, but it didn't take long for disappointment to sink in. This book gets repetitive and annoying really fast. Why does Lew do things because some crazy guy tells him that's what he has seen him doing in the future? It would have been interesting to see the consequences of Lew trying to challenge Carvajal just once but I got the feeling that Silverberg just didn't know what to do with the concept for the length of an entire novel.

[Also, I didn't make it to the en
...more
VENKATRAMAN C K
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
you can't put this down

This is an absolute teaser.. Silverburg has cleverly pitted East against west, probability against determinism and Man's fear at the same time attraction of knowing the future.
Laura
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucy Gray
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
thoroughly enjoyable
Eric
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A man with a talent for predicting trends using statistical methods meets a man that can actually see the future. Political machinations happen. Good characters and interesting musings about free will, but a slow and dull plot.
James Broussard
I didn't like this at all. A big miss for Silverberg and I only finished it to round out the Hugo and Nebula nominees. I have a lot of Silverberg coming up and I hope the rest of it is as good as his other stuff I have read and not this bad.
fromcouchtomoon
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Political campaign memoir blended with old-fashioned SF tropes. My kind of thing, with just the right amount of male pomposity and '70s raunch to make it classic sci-fi. Just what I've come to expect from Silverberg.
Tom
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is something of a classic sci-fi (circa 1970) about a man who uses probability theory and emperical analysis to predict the future. Also about his efforts to promote a politician to the presidency.
Giant Steps
La trama è quella di un b-movie, con evoluzioni e trovate sensazionali ma grossolane. E in più c'è la traduzione e gli Urania, per ragioni di spazio, sono tutti mezzi tagliati. Nonostante questo devo ammettere che in certi passaggi questo libro è scritto bene.
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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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“Gods are not granted the power of choice; it is the price and the wonder of their godhead.” 2 likes
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