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Thorns de Robert Silverberg
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Thorns (1967 original; edició 2014)

de Robert Silverberg

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454846,472 (3.18)9
Duncan Chalk is a monstrous media mogul with a vast appetite for other people¿s pain. He feeds off it, and carefully nurtures it in order to feed it to the public. It is inevitable that Chalk should home in on Minner Burris, a space traveller whose body was taken apart by alien surgeons and then put back together again - differently. Burris¿ pain is constant. And so is that of Lona Kelvin, used by scientists to supply eggs for 100 children and then ruthlessly discarded. Only an emotional vampire like Chalk can see the huge audience eager to watch a relationship develop between these two damaged people. And only Chalk can make it happen.… (més)
Membre:GiantPanda_de
Títol:Thorns
Autors:Robert Silverberg
Informació:Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Col·leccions:Read, La teva biblioteca
Valoració:**
Etiquetes:Cap

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Thorns de Robert Silverberg (1967)

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» Mira també 9 mencions

As mentioned by Oliver Sacks, a futuristic view of media control over individual lives, including a deformed human mutilated by aliens and a young woman regretting her decision to donate 100 ovaries for artificial insemination. I enjoyed the imaginings of spray-on clothes, planetary travel, and the vertigo-inducing restaurant. Also, a happy ending! ( )
  AChild | Feb 17, 2021 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2912770.html

It's a short but pretty powerful book. The central characters are a media mogul who is also a psychic vampire who draws sustenance from other people's pain, and the two people who he brings together purely for entertainment, an astronaut who has been horribly mutilated by aliens and a young woman who has been at the centre of a media storm after allowing a hundred of her eggs to be fertilised for donor pregnancies. The notion that a senior media figure is obscenely benefiting from causing people pain remains horribly valid today; now that it's possible, egg donation seems much less scandalous than Silverberg anticipated, as far as I can tell. (And while we don't yet have aliens mutilating astronoauts, we have plenty of unwilling celebrities who have been horribly injured in public.)

I've seen this described as Silverberg's first good novel, and while I'm not familiar enough with his early work to pass judgement, it is pretty good (even if deservingly beaten by Lord of Light for the Hugo). The set-up is all too plausibly done in the context of the story's future technology, and the payoff delivered in due course after some grim sidetracks. Well worth getting hold of. ( )
1 vota nwhyte | Dec 11, 2017 |
This odd little 1960s SF novel has three main characters: Burris, a space traveler who was kidnapped and experimented on by aliens who made surgical "improvements" to his body that have left him grotesque-looking and frequently in pain. Lona, a seventeen-year-old girl who was the subject of a medical experiment in which a hundred egg cells were taken from her and used to create a hundred babies she's never seen. And Chalk, an obscenely wealthy man who psychically feeds off the physical and emotional pain of others, and who hatches a plan to get Burris and Lona together and then watch their relationship self-destruct, for the entertainment of the masses and his own personal gratification.

My feelings about this one are extremely mixed. To begin with Silverberg is much more of a stylist than most SF authors, and in general I like his writing, but this one feels as if it's balancing precariously between "well written" and "pretentiously written." For me, it mostly comes down on the right side, but some of the euphemisms he uses in the sex scenes are pretty laughable.

As for characterization... Burris is a well-drawn, complex character, and his relationship with Lona at times feels almost painfully realistic as it deteriorates. But Lona herself feels less like a real, human woman and more like a man's idea of a certain type of woman viewed from the outside, even thought parts of the story are told from her point of view. And while Burris' relationship to his new body and his personal pain are decently explored, Lona's reactions what was done to her are rather shallowly rendered and never examined too closely. It's like it's just sort of naturally taken for granted that, well, she's a woman and of course she's emotionally devastated by the thought that she can't nurture her own babies, and how much examination does that idea really need? Which thought makes me roll my eyes. A lot.

Then there's the ending, which is thematically satisfying, I suppose, but feels implausible and tacked-on, in terms of plot logic.

All of which sounds really, really negative, but the truth is, it was at least an interesting read, and it did hold my attention. It's also true, though, that this is definitely not the first Silverberg novel I would recommend. ( )
  bragan | Oct 7, 2013 |
Comme toujours chez cet auteur, il y a du bon et du moins bon. L'avantage, c'est que ça se lit vite (un peu trop), qu'après une entrée en la matière rapide, l'action avance à grand pas pour finalement trouver une conclusion assez logique et pas surprenante du tout car trop prévisible. L'histoire ? Il y a un astronaute qui, pris en otage par des aliens, a été reconfiguré (si je puis m'exprimer ainsi) si bien qu'il est devenu un monstre. Autre sujet d'expérience, autre cobaye, autre monstre dans son style: une femme qui a donné ses ovules à la science et est devenue la mère biologique de cent bébés qu'on lui a confisqués. Depuis elle essaye de se suicider ... Enfin, Duncan Chalk, un monstre assoiffé de souffrance et plein de fric qui a l'idée juteuse de se faire rencontrer les deux monstres (c'est ça le jeu cruel en question) et créer une love story visionnable qui devrait rapporter un max. Je ne vous en dis pas plus sur l'histoire car ce serait rendre inutile la lecture de ce livre - ce qui n'est pas mon but.

Le verdict ? Une lecture divertissante, certes, avec un temps fort dans la scène du restaurant galactique (le chapitre le plus original du livre à mon sens et qui m'a fait repenser à celle de La Cité du gouffre de Reynolds ) mais qu'on oubliera aussi vite qu'un téléfilm regardé en seconde partie de soirée durant les grandes vacances. La quatrième de couverture nous parle d'une "critique acerbe de la société du spectacle" (où ça ???), d'un "grand roman de science-fiction" (rien vu de très grand là dedans pour ma part) et d'un immense talent (peut-être mais pas dans ce livre) ... Mouais ... On reste dans du très convenu, dans du un-peu-bâclé (pas de réflexion réelle sur la souffrance, l'amour, le spectacle, le divertissement qui sont là à titre de thèmes narratifs mais ne sont jamais approfondis), en bref, une grosse nouvelle qui n'est pas désagréable à lire mais dont on ne doit pas attendre plus que du temps passé. ( )
  vince59 | Jun 13, 2013 |
NIL
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robert Silverbergautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Adams, TomAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Burns, JimAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
White, TimAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Stranger: Indeed?
Cassilda: Indeed it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda) No mask? No mask?
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'Pain is instructive,' Duncan Chalk wheezed.
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Duncan Chalk is a monstrous media mogul with a vast appetite for other people¿s pain. He feeds off it, and carefully nurtures it in order to feed it to the public. It is inevitable that Chalk should home in on Minner Burris, a space traveller whose body was taken apart by alien surgeons and then put back together again - differently. Burris¿ pain is constant. And so is that of Lona Kelvin, used by scientists to supply eggs for 100 children and then ruthlessly discarded. Only an emotional vampire like Chalk can see the huge audience eager to watch a relationship develop between these two damaged people. And only Chalk can make it happen.

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