3.79 (6,818 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

List price: US$2.31

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Product details

  • Paperback | 896 pages
  • 111.76 x 182.88 x 38.1mm | 385.55g
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
  • Bantam USA
  • New York, United States
  • 0553085549
  • 9780553085549

Review Text

The prolific Delany enjoys two audiences: the hard-core SF crowd and admirers of his more literary efforts, such as this humongous novel first published in 1975 as a mass market paperback, reprinted in cloth in 1977, then again by an academic press in 1996. Through all these lives, it's sold well-more than a million copies, supposedly-despite the demands it makes on readers, especially those expecting the more conventional SF that Delany published until "Dhalgren's "appearance. A futuristic, postapocalyptic narrative, Delany's circular and heavily allusive fiction surveys the American "autumnal" city of Bellona, where some sort of disaster has taken place, altering not just the social structure but the nature of the space-time continuum. An anarchist community evolves, prominently featuring Delany's protagonist, "the Kid," a pansexual gang leader and poet. Fellow hypermodernist William Gibson provides an introduction (written for the 1996 edition) in which he admits he "never understood" the book, that it's a riddle not meant to be solved. Yet he admires the "sustained conceptual daring," probably more suited to today's audience, with its taste for transgressive ideas about sex, race, and gender. Ultimately, a study in identity and illusion, Delany's huge and difficult novel will interest admirers of Ballard, Pynchon, and the like, though one suspects there's many an unread copy of the original mass market edition floating around. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

6,818 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 36% (2,487)
4 29% (1,965)
3 19% (1,290)
2 9% (613)
1 7% (463)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X