Book description

Book info

eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherWildside Press
File size6.6 Mb
GanreScience Fiction
Release date 01.09.2003
Pages count236
Book rating4.29 (365 votes)
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I suggest the book Metropolis as an interesting supplement to the great silent movie.As a sci-fi novel in its own right, however, it’s... horrible.

Much of it involves characters telling each other about major events that happened off-screen.Rarely does the reader get to tag along with the action unless a Fredersen is right there, and often not even then.There’s actually a chapter in which Freder tells Josaphat about when his friend Jan told Freder about Futura’s debute into society.Nested telling: I could not make this up.

On top of that, when von Harbou writes a passage she likes, she reuses it.I don’t mean a short phrase; I mean things like“Transparent skin was stretched over the slender joints, which gleamed beneath it like dull silver.Fingers, snow-white and fleshless...”Once or twice a novel, that’s a motif.Once or twice a chapter, that’s annoying.

Taken in a vacuum, the book doesn’t have much going for it.However, it is extremely interesting to get into some of the characters heads in a way you just can’t in a movie, particularly Joh’s and Rotwang’s.

In the movie, Joh Frederson was just kind of... blah.“I’m here and I’m heartless.”In the book you really get to see what a profoundly messed up man he is.It’s not just that he’s cold and calculating; he has strayed so far from humanity that he’s forgotten that he got lost.He feels that emptiness, but all of his attempts to fill it just make the situation worse because he is so far off.

The character who best benefits from the extra attention, though, is Rotwang.In the movie he was standard issue mad scientist number 37.Rawr, Rotwang smash.In the book, Rotwang is not villainous at all.He is purely a victim, partly of Joh Fredersen, and partly of the fact that he is a huge tool who cannot pass up a good intellectual challenge.“I’ll hate you to my dying day, Joh Fredersen!Never again will—Oooh, is that a triple-encoded cryptogram?Let me see that.I bet I can crack that for you.”He hates Joh with a passion, but gosh darnnit, Joh brings the best puzzles.Rotwang just can’t pass up the challenges, no matter how likely they are to destroy him in the end.

So, in summary, if you liked the 1920s movie, and you’d like to know what was going on in those scenes that are missing or what exactly is going through Joh’s mind, Metropolis worth a read.If you’re looking for good vintage sci-fi, keep looking.

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