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The Common Man   By: (1917-1983)

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The Common Man by Mack Reynolds is a remarkable piece of speculative fiction that delves deep into the complexities of society and the inherent struggle of the everyday individual. Set in a dystopian future, this thought-provoking novel provides a riveting and thought-provoking commentary on the nature of power, corruption, and the art of revolution.

Reynolds effortlessly constructs a society plagued by an oppressive ruling class and an ever-widening gap between the elites and the common man. The protagonist, John Raven, a relatable and sympathetic character, embodies the struggles and frustrations experienced by the masses. Despite his humble background, Raven possesses an unyielding desire to dismantle the systematic injustice that plagues his world.

One of the most striking aspects of this book is Reynolds' ability to create a vivid and believable world. The intricate details of the political and social systems are both captivating and unsettling, leaving readers questioning the fragility of our own society. The author skillfully weaves in elements of science fiction and political intrigue, providing an engaging and immersive reading experience.

What sets The Common Man apart from other dystopian novels is its focus on the power of the ordinary individual. Reynolds masterfully illustrates how even the most seemingly insignificant person can ignite a revolution and challenge the status quo. Through Raven's journey, readers are reminded of their own agency and the potential for change, inspiring hope in the face of adversity.

In addition to its compelling plot, The Common Man transcends the confines of its genre to delve into philosophical and ethical quandaries. The exploration of moral courage and the ethical implications of rebellion force readers to reevaluate their own beliefs and societal values.

However, some readers may find the extensive political discussions in the book overwhelming, leading to a slower pace in certain parts of the narrative. Nonetheless, these sections contribute to the overall world-building and enhance the readers’ understanding of the intricate society crafted by Reynolds.

Overall, The Common Man is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that effortlessly combines pulse-pounding action, engaging characters, and profound social commentary. Reynolds' ability to draw readers into a dystopian universe while simultaneously challenging their perspectives is an undeniable testament to his skill as a writer. By the time readers reach the final page, they will be left pondering the profound questions raised by this exceptional work of fiction.

First Page:

The Common Man

It would, of course, take a trio of Ivory Tower scientists to conceive of tracking down that statistical entity, the Common Man, and testing out an idea on him. And only the Ivory Tower type would predict that egregiously wrongly!

by Guy McCord

Illustrated by Schelling


Frederick Braun, M.D., Ph.D., various other Ds, pushed his slightly crooked horn rims back on his nose and looked up at the two story wooden house. There was a small lawn before it, moderately cared for, and one tree. There was the usual porch furniture, and the house was going to need painting in another six months or so, but not quite yet. There was a three year old hover car parked at the curb of a make that anywhere else in the world but America would have been thought ostentatious in view of the seeming economic status of the householder.

Frederick Braun looked down at the paper in his hand, then up at the house again. He said to his two companions, "By Caesar, I will admit it is the most average looking dwelling I have ever seen."

Patricia O'Gara said impatiently, "Well, do we or don't we?" Her hair should have been in a pony tail, or bouncing on her shoulders, or at least in the new Etruscan revival style, not drawn back in its efficient bun.

Ross Wooley was unhappy... Continue reading book >>

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