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Mockingbird  By  cover art

Mockingbird

By: Walter Tevis
Narrated by: Robert Fass,Nicole Poole
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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

Critic Reviews

" 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Outstanding

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

3 people found this helpful

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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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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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Mockingbird

Plot. In a dystopian future, the population has dwindled because a robotic man, built to serve humanity, cannot die until humanity is obliterated. "Bob" has been around for hundreds of years and was one of the last robots created with human memories, albeit flawed. Trapped in a robotic life, unable to procreate or live everyday life, he wants out.

Robots serve all functions, i.e., court clerks, traffic cops, manufacturing drones, animals in a zoo, waitresses, prison guards, etc. These robots are deteriorating, maintenance was once man-controlled, so there aren't many people left to fix problems. Two people meet and fall in love. The story traverses the lives of these two resisters. They refuse to take a mandated medication that controls population growth. Cohabitation is illegal, and marijuana is supplied to control base instincts. There are no children, and the decimation of humanity is a mere generation away.

Liked: A thought provoking, what-if scenario of robotic control of everything, including procreation of man.

Not so hot: Not much. Bumped speed a bit, a preference, not criticism.

Written by Walter Tevis, narrated by Robert Fass and Nicole Poole, 10 hours of listening in unabridged audiobook format, released in March 2016 by Tantor Audio.

Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • amac
  • 05-08-20

relevant and thought provoking

I was transported on a journey through the three main characters.
Enjoyed it.!
recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gramski
  • 11-06-18

Superb

I read this a long time ago and it was great to hear it on audible. The narrators did a first class job. The story itself is quite beautiful and poignant.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Weeda
  • 09-26-22

Gripping and insightful

We have history books to read about the past and this book is the opposite of that where the story of future is being told. With the way things are now this story might not remain a fiction for too long. Love, human bond and friendship is what makes life worth living

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  • Mrs. Linda Hall
  • 05-24-21

Outstanding futuristic story

Food for thought. I've lost count how many times I've read / listened to this book. Brilliant.

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  • Miss E Sanders
  • 09-13-21

Loved it

It took a little while, but this book sucked me in and I didn’t want it to end. An unimaginably bleak world that is explored with such wonderful storytelling, and great narration.