Book Review: Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison


Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison
My rating: 3 stars 🌟🌟🌟
Publisher: Rosetta

Soylent Green was a favourite film with my father's side of the family. Often referenced and spoken about yet, it wasn't until I was a grown woman that I finally saw it (because my husband was appalled that my 70's film viewing had been so lacking; he considers it to have been a fantastic decade for film). 

Anyway, upon viewing Soylent Green, I had to concur that it was a great story. So as I am wont to do, I sought out and bought the book. Then it sat in my TBR pile for the last five years waiting to be read. I was in no rush because I already knew the gist of the story. But the joke was on me, you see, (view spoiler)

I'm glad I finally read this. What I enjoyed, I really enjoyed.

Favourite quotes :

"You’ve got night sticks and you have gas, use them when you have to. You’ve got guns and they’re best left in their holsters. We don’t want indiscriminate killing, that only makes things worse.”

"But doing something means that people must change, make an effort, use their minds, which is what most people do not like to do."

"I blame the stinking politicians and so-called public leaders who have avoided the issue and covered it up because it was controversial and what the hell, it will be years before it matters and I’m going to get mine now."

Summary: Make Room! Make Room! is set in the year 1999 and the world has become a grim and terribly overpopulated place, bleak and foreboding. This sets the premise for Harrison's novel, and fans of his earlier more comic works may be surprised at the seriousness of this novel. Although Harrison's fears did not become a reality for the inhabitants of New York or the rest of the United States, the novel remains nonetheless a gripping, thought-provoking work about privacy, deprivation, and desperation.

A teeming New York City and a detective's pursuit of a killer and nefarious racketeer comprise this novel. While the novel contains elements of classic detective fiction--the hard-boiled protagonist, the seductive mistress, the portraits of corruption and perfidy--Harrison's true concern is less the story itself and more the opportunity the story offers to give the reader a glance at a dismal and broken world. The state of overpopulation has altered life in innumerable ways, and Harrison is keenly interested in documenting the catastrophic effects of this burden on all human relationships.

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