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The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl
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The Space Merchants (1953)

by Frederik Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Space merchants (1)

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1,223286,525 (3.83)51
  1. 10
    Jennifer Government by Max Barry (prezzey)
    prezzey: Two satirical takes on capitalism and consumerism in the future, a classic and a more recent work.
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» See also 51 mentions

English (25)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
"Consumerism is bad" and "advertisements are just capitalist propaganda" are two of those ideas that have been unoriginal and overdone since shortly after their conception, but the messages carry enough inevitable resonance with anyone living in the modern world that such sentiments can still be powerful when done right. Pohl is unfortunately not the man to do them right. Instead, Pohl gives us an equally unoriginal premise to go with these main ideas, namely a secret group of underground conspirators trying to bring the monolithic system down, with the book gradually revealing that nearly everyone of any importance has actually been a conspirator the whole time! By experiencing how the other half lives the narrator comes to learn that consumerism and capitalism isn't that great for everyone, and once he's been converted he gets the girl and life is looking up. Gee, thanks Mr. Pohl! Any nuance or creativity would've confused us readers! Do you think Pohl realized the irony in publishing a bland and entirely by-the-numbers science fiction book for mass consumption wherein he satirizes this exact sort of thing? My money is all on "no." ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
Lately I've been getting a big kick out of classic SF from the 1950s. The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth is a dystopia with a twist: it imagines a future ruled by advertising.
When star ad-man Mitch Courtenay (a sure inspiration for Mad Men's Don Draper) lands the job of insuring his agency is the first to get their claws into Venus, he discovers how brutal office politics can be: his identity is stole from him and he's hurled to the back of the rat race his world has become.
Recent developments in lab-grown meat make this book's most famous episode (concerning a monster known as 'Chicken Little') more topical than ever. But this snappy, thrilling satire would be a treat anytime. ( )
  othersam | Nov 21, 2014 |
It was ok for a beginning SF novel. This particular copy had been edited for the 21 century though. Just couldn't get into the characters and it left me feeling like "so what?" with their lives. I had to read it for a class so no harm done. ( )
  selinalynn69 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Space Merchants is the story of how the US could be. In the futuristic society where advertising is king: the little people are still the ones to suffer. It takes living as one of the lower classes for one of the upper classmen to understand what it means...but it doesn't mean he has to change.

A fun book with some hilarious plot twists--a good quick read. :) ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Space Merchants is the story of how the US could be. In the futuristic society where advertising is king: the little people are still the ones to suffer. It takes living as one of the lower classes for one of the upper classmen to understand what it means...but it doesn't mean he has to change.

A fun book with some hilarious plot twists--a good quick read. :) ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frederik Pohlprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kornbluth, C.M.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Negretti, AndreinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover Artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vasarely, VictorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As I dressed that morning I ran over in my mind the long list of statistics, evasions, and exaggerations, that they would expect in my report.
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It is the 20th Century, an advertisement-drenched world in which the big ad agencies dominate governments and everything else. Now Schoken Associates, one of the big players, has a new challenge for star copywriter Mitch Courtenay. Volunteers are needed to colonise Venus. It's a hellhole, and nobody who knew anything about it would dream of signing up. But by the time Mitch has finished, they will be queuing to get on board the spaceships.… (more)

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