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Make Room! Make Room!

Harry Harrison

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 5 January 2012

Though this book lives in the science fiction genre and was adapted into the classic film Soylent Green the story has little in the way of fantastic technology or futuristic scientific ideas (other than modern ideas around food processing). The book is a commentary on over-population and lack of resources to cater for the ever increasing demand.

Grey, bitter and at times depressing, this book is a little too close to the truth for comfort. The protagonist; a jaded police officer, with nothing but his work to occupy his time has been put on an important assignment - find the killer of an important social higher-up. The twist in the case is not about murder in the end but of love. And for a short time the protagonist is able to find happiness with the victim's mistress. All too soon however, we see that it can't last, the crowds are too big, the spaces to small, all gets lost in the swarm and we are left knowing that there will be no happy ending.

There is no room for a deep breath in this stylish and poignant plot. We are as squashed as his characters while Harry Harrison sends a chilling warning in this underrated page turner; the more humans, the less humanity...