Read The Silent Multitude by D.G. Compton Free Online
Book Title: The Silent Multitude|
The author of the book: D.G. Compton
Edition: Ace Science Fiction
Date of issue: 1969
ISBN 13: 9780441763856
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 15.94 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2911 times
Reader ratings: 6.8
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A dreamy psychological tale of the four people who stay in Gloucester after the city has been evacuated, as the buildings collapse around them thanks to an interstellar concrete-eating spore. Our cast of characters includes Dean Goodliffe, shackled to his faith and the fate of the 800-year-old cathedral in his care; Paper Smith, a mentally-challenged recluse who hasn't communicated with other people in years other than to acquire his cache of old newspapers; Simeon, embittered son of a prominent architect, a malcontent who sneaks into the collapsing cities to vindictively watch his father's creations crumble; and Sally Paget, a journalist looking for the "human element" in this catastrophe.
The apocalyptic backdrop to is fascinating, but the eroding buildings are more backdrop than a main element; don't expect a standard "escape the crumbling city" catastrophe novel, because it isn't. Compton wrote very character-driven works, and The Silent Multitude is more a psychological study of four fascinating characters than it is a typical disaster/apocalypse story. I'm also not entirely sure Compton succeeded at making it a more philosophical or introspective piece; it seems poised to become an examination of something deep and insightful but Compton leaves it far too open to the reader's interpretation, not even hinting at any assertions. Instead, The Silent Multitude is an exercise in nihilism, a quiet and melancholic character study.
It's an interesting read, and Compton is a fantastic and underrated author at his best. Sadly, this is not his best, though it's not as bad as I'm told Chronicules or The Missionaries are.
Full review, and other SF book reviews, on my blog.
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