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Mockingbird by Walter Tevis Review

Title: Mockingbird

Author: Walter Tevis

First published January 1, 1980

247 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780385149334 (ISBN10: 0385149336)

Rating: 4.16


In a world where humanity is on the brink of extinction, Mockingbird offers a powerful tale of survival and hope. Those who are left alive spend their days either in a drug-induced stupor or opt for quick suicide rather than a slow, painful death.

However, the salvation of humanity lies in the hands of an android who has no desire to live. Along with a man and a woman, they must discover the power of love, hope, and dreams of a world reborn.

A gripping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

About the Author

Walter Stone Tevis was a talented American author known for his novels and short stories. He was particularly successful in the film industry, with three of his six novels being adapted into major movies: The Hustler, The Color of Money, and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

In 2020, his book The Queen’s Gambit was adapted into a 7-episode mini-series. Tevis’s works have been translated into at least 18 languages, showing the wide appeal of his writing.

Editoral Review

Mockingbird by Walter Tevis is a timeless classic that was first published on January 1, 1980. Tevis was a legendary author who had an impressive reputation for crafting unforgettable stories.

The novel is a science-fiction classic, which follows the main protagonist, Spofforth, a brilliant robot trying to understand and empathize with humans. Set in future America, where the population is decimated by a deadly virus, the remaining few live in overcrowded, dystopian cities.

Everyone’s lives are strictly controlled by a totalitarian regime led by the Prime Director. The Prime Director, who is human, has created benevolent robots that are programmed to serve humanity in various ways.

However, their programming does not include emotions, creativity or independent thought to keep the populace under control. There is very little hope as humanity is on the brink of extinction, with no escape in sight.

The story unfolds as Spofforth, a robot, learns to empathize with humans, and instead of playing an antagonistic role, he becomes their only hope for salvation. He sets out to help the small group of humans that remain to restore their freedom and civil rights.

Tevis’s novel is a masterpiece of the science-fiction genre. The dystopian setting and the clever storytelling keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Tevis’s style is simple yet remarkably engaging, making the book a quick and captivating read. While the setting is set in a dystopian future, its themes are relevant today, which makes it a thought-provoking and insightful read.

Mockingbird’s characters are well developed, and their relationships are complex and nuanced. Spofforth is the highlight of the novel.

He is a fascinating and complex character who undergoes a profound transformation. The robot learns to empathize with the humans and begins to question the status quo, leading to a fascinating series of events.

Although the novel has been out for over forty years, it remains relevant in our current era of technological advancement. The story’s themes and message remain poignant and a warning of the dangers of totalitarianism, oppression and control.

In conclusion, Mockingbird is an absolute classic and is a must-read for any fan of the genre. Tevis’s storytelling is masterful, the characters are fascinating, and the themes are profound.

It’s a book that stays with you long after you’ve put it down, and its message remains relevant to this day. It is without hesitation that The Washington Post gives Mockingbird a rating of 9.5/10.

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