By Robert Sheckley

Rating: 2 stars

When one picks up a Sheckley novel, one expects it to be weird. This book, however, went so far beyond weird that it was almost sensible. I don’t have the literary criticism language to describe it but it appeared to be a musing on hallucination and the effect of psychoactive drugs and as such was immensely disjointed. It started off with an astronaut’s ship being disabled and making it to an alien planet where a cache of spare parts has been located. He goes out to acquire the part with a survival robot and, um, then the drugs kick in.

Although there are indications of drugs and hallucination early on, the middle section of the book is entirely disjointed with random vignettes having no bearing on what comes before or after them. There is a coherent section towards the end although that eventually peters out.

All in all, I found the book disappointingly incoherent and difficult to read. Although the oddness and disjointed structure are something that I normally enjoy about Sheckley’s books, I found it completely overwhelming here and it removed any enjoyment I got from the book.

Book details

ISBN: 9780586067116
Publisher: Grafton Books (London)
Year of publication: 1975

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