I can see why she liked it, it has these moments, but, uh, um, this is another story that would have been better if written by a more adept author. It aspires to a Heinlein-esque quality – so much so that I think it might have been created in the fifties, even though it was published in 1970. And there’s genuine promise in here: concepts that seemed to influence Alien and Ender’s Game both, if not many, many others. There are certain passages that are just glorious. Others are painful, out-and-out weird, and nonsensical. It never got bad enough to abandon outright, but I did have to skim the last few pages to get through it.
I’m thinking it was originally James’s book. There are two little stickers in it. One inside the front cover – “Everybody’s on to you!” On the back cover, “Pushers Kill!” (And someone scrawled beneath it especially around Cliffs.) In the stew-pot of my brain, these comments speak directly to this story and my feelings about it. Can I explain that? Oh, probably not.
Olivia – a gentle, well-spoken, silver-haired woman who wears a different set of gorgeous earrings every day and tutors with me at MPC – made this wonderful observation on books that you don’t want to read... Something along the line that books are in your brain, and if the author isn’t careful with their readers, they stand to abuse them – or worse. That observation applied to this book displays a strong lesson.