Thorns

Thorns 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 hom

  • Title: Thorns
  • Author: Robert Silverberg
  • ISBN: 9780853911326
  • Page: 332
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 thaDuncan 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 First published in 1967

    One thought on “Thorns”

    1. severely damaged man and moderately damaged woman meet-cute within a futuristic sorta-kinda reality show produced by an aberrant emotional vampire.Thorns reads like a retro version of modern day obsessions in its depiction of a quasi-celebrity couple forced into romance and despair by a repulsive producer catering to a greedy public. that the producer is a predatory being who feeds off of emotional pain created a special frisson for me, mainly because that's exactly how I imagine producers of va [...]

    2. Weirdest sex scene. Ever.It’s kind of like the scene in Anchorman when Ron Burgundy is talking to Baxter and says, “How'd you do that? Heck, I'm not even mad; that's amazing”Robert Silverberg, How’d you even think like that? I’m not even aghast, I’m impressed.Thorns, his 1967 novel that was a Hugo award nominee in 1968, is something of a departure from his usual fare but then the Grandmaster has no set “usual fare”; part of his brilliant contribution to the genre is his extraordi [...]

    3. Although Robert Silverberg had been a prodigiously published author prior to 1967, that year is often spoken of as being something of a watershed time for him. Before then, the author had written no less than two dozen sci-fi novels, starting with 1954's "Revolt on Alpha C," not to mention dozens upon dozens of short stories (over 80 in 1958 alone, according to a certain Wiki site). But in 1967, a new maturity and literary quality entered Silverberg's works, to the surprise of both his fans and [...]

    4. 3.5 stars. Great concept deftly realized by one of the masters of science fiction. The story involves an astronaut, brutally transformed by alien surgeons, and an innocent, yet emotionally scarred, young women. These two people are brought together by a sinsiter media mogul, Duncan Chalk, interested in exploiting them for his own purposes. The character of Chalk is fascinating as it turns out he is a psychic vampire that feeds on negative emotions. Nominee Hugo Award Best Novel (1968)Nominee Neb [...]

    5. nwhytevejournal/2912770mlIt'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 benef [...]

    6. Another book by Silverberg that is less than great although not at all bad. It just doesn't quite have enough substance to it for me to rate it higher.The inextricable link between pain and being alive is the central theme of this book. The two protagonists of this book are brought together by a cynical, manipulative tycoon who promises them an impossible hope of escape from their situations but really wants only to profit, in more ways than one, from their suffering.One of the protagonists is t [...]

    7. An unflinching and authentic depiction of star-crossed lovers, featuring the apt observations, wonderful prose, generosity of ideas, and preoccupation with weird sex typical of Silverberg. Sags somewhat in the middle, but carries plenty of thematic heft, and provides a cathartic conclusion for the characters. Another illuminating portrait of human nature from a great storyteller.

    8. Duncan Chalk begins every working day climbing the iron rungs that form a switchback trail to his desk perched forty feet above the floor. Duncan Chalk weighs over 600 pounds. "Pain," he explains to his minions, "is instructive."Chalk should add that it is also profitable. He runs a media empire that ranges from carnival attractions to the most exclusive resorts in the solar system. His broadcast speciality is programming that allows the audience to watch other people go through hard times, or s [...]

    9. Well I didnt plan it but it sort of happened - that I have found myself working through my collection of Gollancz SF classics, this being the second one I have read in short succession. Now this series was printed in the early 2000s and went on to become part of the Masterwork series (in fact several of the titles were reprinted in that format more recently). The book itself is quite brutal in story and theme although being originally written in the 60s it does show its age (in a good way, I am [...]

    10. Thorns is a 1967 novel set in the future where space travel has taken us to the nearby stars. The story concerns Duncan Chalk, a rich impresario who feeds off the suffering of unique people. He finds Minner Burris, a starman returned from first contact with an alien species that transformed Burris' body into something they thought was more efficient. He now looks strange and inhuman. Chalk arranges for Burris to fall in love with Lona Kelvin, a 17 year-old virgin who is mother to 100 babies. Lon [...]

    11. This scifi subversion of Beauty & The Beast would've been more effective without the happy ending tacked on.

    12. This book was well written and quite interesting with a good, solid premise and believable, dynamic characters. So, why didn't I like it? First of all, I didn't really like any of those characters, no matter how well-developed and genuine they were. The premise, which is that an unbelievably fat, disgustingly rich emotional vampire pairs up two very damaged people so that he can get a thrill off it when their relationship implodes, made me mildly queasy. The world-building was excellent, probabl [...]

    13. A dor é muito instrutiva! Este livro é um pouco aborrecido e a narrativa pouco cativante. As partes de ficção científica são pouco entusiasmantes e a história resume-se essencialmente à relação entre duas pessoas aberrantes. Pouco interessante para um livro de Robert Silverberg.

    14. Lona and Minner Burris have each been hurt badly. Burris, a star man, landed on an alien planet with 2 others and was the only one to come home, yet the aliens changed him radically. Lona was the subject of an experiment, and although she only participated in the first part, she was made famous yet not happily so. What happens when it is arranged for these two to meet and what will happen to the one who arranged it all?

    15. Voilà, j'ai commencé à entrer dans le monde plus humain de Robert Silverberg, via « Un jeu cruel » ("Thorns").Bref, après un recueil de nouvelles aussi dense qu'insatisfaisant, j'ai l'occasion de commencer à mieux apprécier son travail sur le plan des personnages.« Un jeu cruel » démarre dans la confusion : il m'a fallu environ une cinquantaine de pages sur près de 300 pour bien situer les protagonistes, l'environnement, le contexte et l'action.Une fois rendu là, j'ai pu me laisser [...]

    16. As with Brian Aldiss and J.G. Ballard, I found Robert Silverberg's books a bit of a struggle as a teenager. I'm not disappointed about that, because if I'd read virtually all their books by the time I was 25, as happened with Asimov, Heinlein, Moorcook, Jack Vance and so on, I would have nothing left to read now: I might even have to read new books! What made the books difficult back then was mainly their seriousness: Moorcock is as experimental as Silverberg, Aldiss or Ballard, often more so, b [...]

    17. Aunque estamos ante una novela de ciencia ficción, aquí ésta no es más que el caldo de cultivo para presentarnos una historia de desamor, la historia de dos personas que por circunstancias ajenas se sienten solas y diferentes. Burris y Lona, los protagonistas, son manipulados por Chalk,un vampiro psíquico que los engaña para que vivan una historia de amor con la que pueda absorber sus emociones. Burris, el protagonista masculino, es el personaje mejor definido. Es un navegante estelar ator [...]

    18. Storyline: 2/5Characters: 3/5Writing Style: 3/5World: 3/5What an odd story. I'm still not sure why someone would write this; it surely isn't because one wanted this story told. I'm not even sure that I get the point of it. There are three components to Thorns. 1) It is a relational drama. Certainly not an action adventure or speculative fiction, this is about the vagaries of romance. 2) It is set in a science fiction future. That future is really a backdrop for the "romance," but you do get a ni [...]

    19. Silverberg has some wild swings in the quality of his work, and with an output like his in his heyday that's no wonder. Silverberg had at least one book nominated for a hugo or nebula for about ten years running in the sixties and seventies, and in that time he published another dozen books that weren't nominated for any awards. I'd say he's the greatest science fiction writer that most people have never heard of. This book I'd place right in the middle of the pack, much better than some work li [...]

    20. La premessa di Brivido crudele è molto interessante: un vampiro psichico si accinge a sfruttare la sofferenza di un astronauta "evoluto" forzatamente da una razza aliena. Anche se lo spunto è buono, a Silverberg non perdono un romanzo dove i personaggi femminili sono beoti (in maniera mooolto irritante) e dove il confronto finale sembra confezionato per essere adatto a un bambino di cinque anni.

    21. Silverberg puts a bizarre spin on Beauty and the Beast, with alien experiments and vampire empaths. Brilliant characterisation, raises questions on the morality of science and mass entertainment, otherwise a little abrupt, and the narrative at the climax loses some of its internal credibility. Poetic as always.

    22. More vintage Silverberg. This is a terrific early novel from the time when Silverberg was starting really to stretch his talents. Immensely pleasurable sf. Even though this novel is as old as I am. I loved THORNS.

    23. This was an exceedingly disappointing read. I expected better from the author of "To Open the Sky" and "The Masks of Time."

    24. Glad I did give Silverberg another chance. I was not a fan of Book of Skulls at all, but this one had a very interesting premise, and had just the right amount of the bizarre to keep me interested.

    25. A most unusual book. This one is definitely adult fare about pain and sorrow and a monster who consumes these emotions. Not a typical Silverberg story but very powerful.

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