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More Than Human cover art

More Than Human

By: Theodore Sturgeon
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison
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Summary

In this genre-bending novel, among the first to have launched sci fi into literature, a group of remarkable social outcasts band together for survival and discover that their combined powers render them superhuman.

There's Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people's thoughts; Janie, who moves things without touching them; and the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles. There's Baby, who invented an antigravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run the world except for a conscience. Separately, they are talented freaks.

Together, they may represent the next step in evolution - or the final chapter in the history of the human race. As they struggle to find whether they are meant to help humanity or destroy it, Sturgeon explores questions of power and morality, individuality and belonging.

©1981 The Theodore Sturgeon Literary Trust (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"One of the best science fiction novels of the year." ( New York Times)
"A quantum leap in the development of science fiction as an art." ( Washington Post)
"A masterpiece of provocative storytelling." ( New York Herald Tribune)

What listeners say about More Than Human

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    3 out of 5 stars

worth listening

I wasn't thrilled, a bit choppy but quite entertaining. Better than a lot of the free books I have tried.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic 1950's Sci-Fi

i don't know why the writing of this period is so good but it always is. An extraordinary tale containing moments of sublime prose delivered expertly by the two narrators. The first two chapters might appear confusing but i urge you to persevere. This is 'a cut above'.

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2 people found this helpful

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Remarkably wise and gripping

This seminal novel started an intelligent sci-fi genre based on life and society not machines. It’s a beautifully composed mystery of exceptional characters, drama, and visionary thinking.

I think some people have been troubled by the word “idiot”. Don’t be. It’s authentic for the time but also with two technical meanings. First that the character was not older than two in himself (“profound intellectual disability where the mental age is two years or less”) and secondly i think that he is reserved to himself, which belongs to the “I’d” root in Greek. Unique to himself.

All that relates to a special character who understands babies but cannot deal with adults.

Marvellous book. An all time great beautifully performed

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a story to concentrate on

i did enjoy this book,. The narrator was very good, bringing the characters to life.
it got a bit confusing at times, purposely so, I think so I did have to relisten some parts.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Remarkable writing. Ideas still current nearly 70 years later.

Wish I had read this as a kid. The writing is brilliant. The narrative construction is clever and interesting. You can see the foundation of so many other stories here, so much popular culture has had a boost from these characters and ideas. Any fan of decent science fiction or superhero stories should read this. And the writing is of such quality. Do yourself a favour and see where the story takes you.

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2 people found this helpful

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The book that got me into sci fi 40 years ago

I found this as a battered paperback in the school library when I was 16, and have owned a copy ever since.
Still stands out as great writing, driven by the development of characters and a possible human evolution.
Only downside, be aware it uses historically accurste, but now unusable, terms for the black characters.

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4 people found this helpful

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Don’t let the beginning put you off

This is an old book, written in an era when vocabulary, or labels were different to ours. I was a little annoyed at the labels used (idiot/half-wit, negro/colored, mongoloid mostly) but otherwise, the writing was balanced and literary and the people to whom those labels were given had special talents and were valued for their contributions.

This is just the type of SF that I love. More social sciences than physical sciences, an extrapolation of who and what humans are and could be, looking at our society with unveiled eyes and imagining a (better?) future than our current trajectory might suggest.

Despite special “talents” our POV characters are so real and events happen in the messy, stuttering way they do in real life. People die or are injured and the action falters.

I am sure I will read this again.

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3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A good read!

Pretty hard going, but worth persevering with. I did find it a bit difficult to listen to and put it down for a couple of days several times.

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3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautiful in parts but difficult to understand.

There were times while listening to this story when my attention waned. It is a strange book and quite hard to make sense of. It is poetic and beautifully written in parts and the ending was surprising and touched me, especially considering the very troubled times we are living in when it's so easy to lose faith in the basic humanity of our leaders, and to some extent, ourselves for our greed, hypocrisy and stupidity and for our lack of care and compassion for our planet and our fellow beings.

Recommended if you don't mind a perplexing, multi-layered story that sometimes allows the attention to wander.

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2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Confusing

I started listening and found the story engaging in the beginning but I lost interested when it became too muddled.
I don’t want to knock it because it might well have been rewarding if I would have persevered

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