Logan's Run

Logan's Run

A Novel

Book - 1967
Average Rating:
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Publisher: New York : Dial Press, 1967.
Characteristics: 133 p. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Johnson, George Clayton

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FindingJane Oct 29, 2016

This novel is a breathless, hair-raising thrill ride that gives the reader little chance to slow down or draw breath, which is what you would expect given the premise of the story. Someone once stated that an action motion picture should be like a boardwalk roller coaster--it should make you chuck your popcorn and barf your cola. This is just that kind of novel. So utterly does it speed you along that the reader is barely given time to question the basic underpinnings of this society. When we do get the explanation for the current state of government, it’s plunked down in the latter end of the novel with such abrupt awkwardness, you half suspect that the writers included it only at the behest of a frantic editor (it takes up barely three pages). The book could just as easily have lumbered on without it. The titular hero and his (mostly) hapless damsel in distress pulled along for the ride don’t get much chance for reflection either. How could they? They’re only 21 in a society devoted to youth, hedonism and mindless entertainment. Such a system doesn’t allow for introspection. Logan 3 never thinks to question the system and this inner lack forms a hollow at his center that allows only for ruthless action. When he’s called upon to think in one charged scenario, he literally freezes, unable to move as the mental storm rages within him. His conscience isn’t a still inner voice; it has a physical aspect in the form of Jessica 6. She bitterly rages at him for his role in killing people even as he attempts to shrug off the moral aspect of what he does. Logan says to keep moving. Jessica wants him to think. Yang to yin. Logan is your typical action hero that you might find in any 19th-century novel of this stripe. He’s cunning, resourceful and a physically powerful fighter capable of dealing with almost any hardship that comes his way. Jessica is beautiful, defiant and willing to adapt, however reluctantly, to altered circumstances. The people they meet are suspicious, hostile and potentially dangerous. That’s about it in terms of character. The myriad characters barely manage to attain more than this two-dimensional aspect. So it’s the story you concentrate on, the kaleidoscopic, constantly shifting images as Logan and Jessica plunge from one bizarre scenario to another. From a ruined underworld filled with predatory, murderous pre-teens to a broken-down underwater city called Molly. From a barren ice landscape where food is so scarce people have turned to cannibalism to survive to a crazed cyborg who is both artist and sadistic killer. The weirdness of these locales is equally matched by their denizens, altered by circumstance and atmosphere to suit the brutal lives they lead. This isn’t gifted world-building by any means or even particularly good writing. But it’s an amazing story, just a notch above the ridiculous action-adventure novels penned by H. Rider Haggard. And as for the youth-oriented society? That’s not so far-fetched in the year of the millenial, is it? “Logan’s Run” isn’t the best science fiction novel you’ll ever read. But it’s not a bad way to pass an afternoon.

s
stewstealth
Aug 12, 2016

A dystopian novel written in 1967 when the forecast was starvation for the rapidly growing population that was ultimately proven fanciful with the ramping up of the Green Revolution. The narrative is delivered in a staccato way. A short novel so the characterization is limited. Kind of fun to see how wrong the consensus
turned out to be. Worth reading if you are interested.

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