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Publisher's Summary

In a world where the human population has suffered devastating losses, a handful of survivors cling to what passes for life in a postapocalyptic, dying landscape. A world where humans wander, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. A dying world of no children and no art, where reading is forbidden. And a strange love triangle: Spofforth, who runs the world, the most perfect machine ever created, whose only wish is to die; and Paul and Mary Lou, a man and a woman whose passion for each other is the only hope for the future of human beings on Earth.

An elegiac dystopia of mankind coming to terms with its own imminent extinction, Mockingbird was nominated for a Nebula Award for Best Novel.

©2014 Walter Tevis (P)2016 Tantor

What the critics say

" Mockingbird will become one of those books that coming generations will periodically rediscover with wonder and delight." ( The Washington Post)

What listeners say about Mockingbird

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New favourite

This might be one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever consumed. There is a profound sadness and hope that dance so beautifully throughout the story.

4 people found this helpful

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Oddly disjointed

The story was ok. I didn't find myself really caring about any of the characters and then the book was over.

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Excellent SciFi book.

I loved this book I had read the book a number of times and it was nice to have it read to me. Some how it seems almost real. Worth a read If you like SciFi.

3 people found this helpful

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oh, brave new world

A touching and thought provoking story, perfectly performed. Tevis revisits themes from Brave New World and other distopian fiction, adding his own unique voice.
And, as you might expect, chess makes a small appearance.

2 people found this helpful

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Well written!

The writing was poetic, and the story was hopeful for mankind. The morose essence in the story still prevailed. The suicides were never fully explained except with the overall hopelessness of the life. I have very mixed feelings about this book and encourage others to read it. I think it would provoke good discussions in a book group.

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Haunting and beautiful dystopian novel

This was a novel I was unaware of before this summer and so I came to it with no expectations and came away dazzled. What a wonderful and beautifully written novel. It deserves to be far better known and more widely read. Published in 1980 it makes me wonder again if all the great books had already been written by that time (and most of the great films and music made already). I was 10 in 1980 and so this is not entirely nostalgia. At any rate I highly recommend this book and promise myself to read more by Walter Tevis.

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Orwell would be proud

In many ways, this novel reminds me of the dystopian story told by George Orwell in his iconic tale, "1984". It's a frightening revelation as to where our modern, enlightened society could devolve. This is a book that subtly just keeps getting better and better as it goes along, due in large part to the exceptional skill of the two narrators. It is a book that gives new meaning to the phrases, "the whole is greater than its parts", and, "hope springs eternal in the human breast". I highly recommend it.

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interesting from start to finish!

For me this book had everything intrigue ,Adventure, love ,feelings of the past and the future. Without attempting a spoiler alert ....close to the end I was fearful of a disaster, a must-read for everyone absolutely could not put this down. Turned it on first thing in the morning allowed it to run even while I was falling asleep had to backtrack and start it again first thing in the morning 😊 The narration was fantastic, set a good voice to listen to. Highly recommend looking into purchasing this book to all !! 👍👍

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A thoughtful adventure

The pace is slow but the narrative is very interesting. The author was ahead of his time in regards to the direction mankind is heading and the novel on the whole was a meditation on the things we let go when we don't appreciate them.

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Profound

Our lives are collections of moments, many mundane, some effervescent. I hope your heart enjoys this tall refreshing drink as mine did.

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  • Darryl
  • 2016-07-01

overlooked apocalyptic masterpiece

I have been an admitted Tevis fan since Man Who Fell, and Queen's Gambit (not available here yet) but Man Who Fell and Mockingbird are incredible. These 2 are so full of poetry and symbolism that I've taken extensive notes toward writing a paper on them some day in an attempt to get their recognition. Mockingbird was apparently up for a Nebula for best novel and I'm curious as to what beat it. Everything is Tevis' best here: Wasteland imagery; fertility imagery; mechanization needed for human advancement yet in conflict with survival; systems malfunctioning a bit like Pynchon; and a heavy dose of the Fahrenheit 451 loss of literacy and its value. (you could easily go to this after 451 as a type of thematic sequel) this is my 3rd time with this one (read twice and listened to once) and I keep finding new connections like all the mentions of King Kong which sound odd but if you think about it in connection with the story, it brings up some interesting ideas/questions. Tevis deserves to be taught in college, at least Man & Mockingbird, almost every page has some key image or symbol for you to ponder after the story is done.
451; Mockingbird; Canticle for L; Man Who Fell; Childhood's End all chock full of ideas and symbolism if you want to look, if not, great stories anyway.

11 people found this helpful

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  • thawstone
  • 2017-02-06

Deeply Engaging

This is a highly creative, original, and imaginative work. It kept me thoroughly engaged throughout. The only thing that bugged me a little was his use of marijuana as a mind numbing drug used to placate the populous. I don't know if Walter Tevis lived through the late 60s and early 70s, but the drug's use hardly numbed the minds of its users, rather along with LSD, it spurred revolution in the streets and an evolution of art and music. He should have done a little self experimentation if nothing else. However, other than this forgivable mistake, the story and characters will remain with me for a very long time.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-07

Great book stays great audiobook

Extinction nigh and it's not a book about killing robots or people, it's self-discovery and reading. A reminder of what we love about being human made strange to give us a different perspective.

Nicole Poole does not get a lot of time, but makes the most of it.

Robert Fass does all of the voices, including women, very well, much better than your average male reader.

5 people found this helpful

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  • SKDEB
  • 2020-06-15

One of a kind

Amazing book, particularly when you consider it was written in 1980. Short, but every paragraph is exactly what it should be...no more, no less.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Alexander
  • 2017-04-10

1984 + Brave New World =

It was difficult to finally find this gem of a story...fits nicely with what is happening today: marijuana legalization, Valium, "privacy" (mobiles), AI, etc....

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-08-25

classic story

This story shows the natural outcome of government providing all our needs and hedonistic desire.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Steve O
  • 2016-04-27

Wow!

What a surprisingly good book. It nearly seems like a sequel to "Brave New World" as to how humanity destroys itself. Highly recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 2016-08-16

Eerily prescient

This book is about a species going out not with a bang but with a whimper. With infertility, drug use, self-absorption, and obsession with inwardness.
If you took today's attitudes with their trigger warnings and the emerging right to not be offended, you could build the foundation for Tevis's future.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CheC&W
  • 2022-02-28

Diminished humanity, robots, sentience, consciousn

And life prevails in it's persistent wish to know itself. To know joy. Profound. Visually gorgeous!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-03-22

Outstanding

A must read for all serious thinkers, and a wonderful basis for small group discussion.

3 people found this helpful