89. Mockingbird, Walter Tevis (1980)

I don’t read a lot of science fiction, because usually I can’t make head or tail of it, but I picked this up for a couple of quid recently, recognised Walter Tevis as the author of The Man Who Fell to Earth (once a Bowie fan…) and, being short of reading matter, gave it a go. And it’s superb. There are none of the dull technological descriptions or puerile fantasy that usually puts me off: this is a straightforward dystopia set in future America where robots have taken over and all the humans are wacked out on drugs. The central character, the super-robot Spofforth, is a strangely likeable monster, while the ‘everyman’ Bentley travels around what’s left of the US learning to be human while avoiding abstract philosophy, which I can never be bothered with. Mockingbird is the best post-apocalyptic novel I’ve ever read (admittedly there aren’t many) and I highly recommend it. There won’t be much more sci-fi in this list: one,  perhaps.

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Filed under My top 100 novels

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