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summary Dying Inside, series Dying Inside, book Dying Inside, pdf Dying Inside, Dying Inside 1677f1dc15 David Selig Was Born With An Awesome Power The Ability To Look Deep Into The Human Heart, To Probe The Darkest Truths Hidden In The Secret Recesses Of The Soul With Reckless Abandon, He Used His Talent In The Pursuit Of Pleasure Then, One Day, His Power Began To Die Universally Acclaimed As Robert Silverberg S Masterwork, Dying Inside Is A Vivid, Harrowing Portrait Of A Man Who Squandered A Remarkable Gift, Of A Superman Who Had To Learn What It Was To Be Human

10 thoughts on “Dying Inside

  1. says:

    A Goodreads friend recently asked if Silverberg lacked the matinee firepower of Heinlein or Asimov because he had no masterwork, no centerpiece to which critics could point, no one work that served as an identity Silverberg, Grandmaster though he is, lacks a Stranger in a Strange Land or Foundation or Dune.I submit here, to the court of science fiction literature, that Dying Inside is such a work.Dying Inside is Silverberg s 1972 science fiction fantasy classic about telepathy and so much Fundamentally, this is about communication and relationships, natural and artificial, and one man s place in society This could be seen as an allegory about community and how we can be defined both by what we show the world and also the deeper truths that can even be, and too often are, hidden from ourselves.Though it lacks the overwhelming theme of gestalt, I could not help comparing Silverberg s Dying Inside to Theodore Sturgeon s More Than Human for its sense of alienation amidst a greater sense of lost connections, of being separated from mankind, and superhuman ability representing hyperbole of distinction.Also, and in a weird, oblique way that is hard to accurately define, I thought of Philip K Dick s novel The Transmigration of Timothy Archer because of the themes of otherworldly isolation and an inability to connect with those around when one feels a greater sense of spiritual guilt and angst.My work requires a great deal of reading, and rapacious reader that I am, I usually need better than a week to get through a book I burned through this one, I almost literally could not put it down.Selig s denouement, his crushing catharsis and his repetition of the silence is akin to Conrad s the horror in his last words for the dying Kurtz.Finally, as I turned the last page, when I said goodnight to this magnificent work, I heard the opening strains of Bach s Toccata and Fugue in D Minort I also thought of the end of A Clockwork Orange, not Kubrik s end, but Burgess and of course, of course, Elliot s description of how the world ends.Locus magazine called Dying Inside one of the best science fiction novels of all time Yes Yes.

  2. says:

    Dying Inside is a sterling example of 70s New Wave science fiction it is about a telepath whose powers are fading dude is a miserable, depressive asshole who whines endlessly about his life the end.wait a sec, maybe that sounds like a bad read to you well my friend, let me tell you throw that impression away this is a marvelous book from beginning to end it is thought provoking, often delightful, often hard edged, completely enjoyable Silverberg is such a masterful writer and many times i had to stop and reread different passages to better enjoy the beauty of his prose and the intelligence of his ideas that sharp wit the story is never monotonous and always resonant LOVED IT.it is an episodic novel, moving freely from past to present and back again we meet our not so loveable narrator David Selig, his child psychologist, his girlfriends, his sister and the rest of his family, and a fellow telepath our loser ish hero makes his marginal living ghost writing papers for college students, so there are several anecdotes where we see inside a couple students minds our hero is an unrepentant jerkoff, so we also get to read his often excruciating views on women and blacks his thoughts on black empowerment were particularly troubling we are shown a couple of his essays, one on Kafka and the other on the Electra complex, and they are fairly interesting as standalones and as commentary on the narrative itself each chapter is its own separate, challenging, wonderful little experience my favorite parts include a dry and rather evil session with our child protagonist as he toys with an overly literal child psychologist an exceedingly creepy and effective bad trip i think we can safely assume that telepathy does not improve LSD and best of all, a brilliant flashback to our lonely telepath s youth, as he relaxes in a field, moving through the perspectives of a bee, a fish, two kids getting laid in a forest, and a surprisingly spiritual old farmer.of particular interest is the the novel s other telepath the confident, capable, cheerfully guilt free Nyquist the chapters about the relationship between the two are particularly illuminating in illustrating how Selig s main problem is not so much his telepathy but his fear of openness, of genuine human connection Selig s problems do not come from his gifts, but rather from his own neuroses and so the narrative is basically an accounting of how Selig grows to understand his own issues and then tries to move past them.in his many other fantasy scifi novels, Silverberg has proven himself a visionary master of often hallucinatory prose his ideas can be sublimely poetic, so ambiguous as to be almost intangible, so far reaching that they can be a real challenge to digest one of the really fun things about Dying Inside is seeing how Silverberg harnesses his talents for what is basically the prosaic, diary like musings of a not that special guy with some very special powers Dying Inside is bursting with creativity as if the author is illustrating how stories can be told in ways that are new, fresh, effervescent Selig is mordant, jumpy, neurotic and highly sexual, by turns cynical and empathetic, and hilarious his narration is often a real treat and the free flowing, occasionally stream of conscious thoughts have a chatty, relaxed, loose limbed kind of appeal that makes the novel smooth yet tangy going down and it s not just the distinctive, nakedly honest narrative voice that makes this novel so appealing many chapters practically overflow with playful, jazzy approaches to style and structure and there are plenty of sophisticated insights, delivered both broadly and in deadpan Silverberg s generous imagination busts the seams of the narrative the result is a refreshing tonic Nyquist, pausing a moment to detect and isolate Selig s sense of uneasiness, mocked it gently I think what really scares you is contact, any sort of contact Right Wrong, Selig said, but he had felt the point hit home For five minutes they monitored each other s minds a version of this review is a part of a longer article on Robert Silverberg posted on Shelf Inflicted.

  3. says:

    The sensory shutdown is not always a willed event, naturally It happens to us whether we like it or not If we don t climb into the box ourselves, we ll get shoved in anyway That s what I mean about entropy inevitably nailing us all in the long run No matter how vital, how vigorous, how world devouring we are, the inputs dwindle as time goes by Sight, hearing, touch, smell everything goes, as good old Will S said, and we end up sans teeth, sans eyes, sans tastes, sans everything Or, as the most clever man also put it, from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, and then from hour to hour we rot and rot, and thereby hangs a tale David Selig was born with telepathic abilities As he ages he finds that as his hair goes, as his other senses dim in intensity, so goes his telepathic ability He has always hated being different, but when faced with the possibility of losing this ability, that has always made him feel abnormal, he panics To me David is an early form of GOOGLE He doesn t have to know anything, because he can simply extract the information he needs from the collected knowledge of other people the internet When he takes a test to become a stock broker he finds the answers in the minds of the people around him He is a lonely man and yet never alone His entertainment is the thoughts of the people around him I find my own company wearisome when I descend into self pity To divert myself I try to touch the minds of the passers by and learn what I can learn Playing my old game, my only game Selig the voyeur, the soul vampire, ripping off the intimacies of innocent strangers to cheer his chilly heart David makes a living writing term papers for college students He uses his ability to probe their minds for the proper vernacular in which the paper must be written to lend authenticity to the plagiarized finished product He goes to a lot of work for 2.50 a page especially when he has a goldmine waiting to be exploited in his head David, if he could get passed his own obsession with self pity, and exploit his ability for financial gain at least one part of his life would be easier He makes friends with a fellow telepathic named Nyquist who is much at peace with his abilities and uses his ability to steal stock tips from brokers that can be sold to shady investors The trouble with you, Selig, is that you re a deeply religious man who doesn t happen to believe in God Nyquist was always saying things like that, and Selig never could be sure whether he meant them or was just playing verbal games No matter how deeply Selig penetrated the other man s soul, he never could be sure of anything Nyquist was too wily, too elusive It is easy for David to get laid, not only is the sexual revolution of the 1960s in full swing, but he knows what he needs to know to say the right things I scored a cheap pickup in a manner I ve always despised I scanned the various single girls in the big restaurant, of whom there were numerous, looking for one who was lonely, thwarted, vulnerable, sexually permissive, and in generally urgent need of ego reinforcement It s no trick getting laid if you have a sure way of knowing who is available, but there s not much sport in the chase The trick is maintaining relationships His sister hates him His ex girlfriends despise him His best friend Nyquist steals the one girl he feels he could love for the rest of his life, little knowing he was driving her insane There are a plethora of literary allusions through out the book November is the cruelest month, breeding onions out of a dead mind I m living an Eliot poem I m turning into words on a page Robert SilverbergSilverberg has been a lifetime voracious reader and it shows He mentions poets Dante Alighieri, Charles Baudelaire, Robert Browning, Thomas Carew, Richard Crashaw, John Donne, T S Eliot, Allen Ginsberg, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Homer, Rudyard Kipling, Comte de Lautr amont, St phane Mallarm , Pindar, Ezra Pound, Arthur Rimbaud, Lord Tennyson, Thomas Traherne, Paul Verlaine, W B Yeats.He mentions painters Hieronymus Bosch, Simone de Beauvoir, S ren Kierkegaard, Arthur Koestler, Laozi, Claude L vi Strauss, Karl Marx, Michel de Montaigne, Bertrand Russell, Henry David Thoreau, Arnold ToynbeeHe mentions scientists Alfred Adler, William Bates, Edgar Cayce, Sigmund Freud, Josiah Willard Gibbs, Carl Jung, Timothy Leary, Wilhelm Reich, Joseph Banks Rhine, Immanuel Velikovsky, Norbert Wiener, Karl ZenerA book that had me speculating about what I would do with such an ability, time traveling me back to the days when I read comic books and dreamed about having abnormal abilities David fought against his ability clear up until the first signs appeared that he may lose it, and then he fought like crazy to keep it Some will find this book dated It was published in 1972, but I found it to be a time capsule, a historical document of not only a place, but also where we were politically and socially A quick read, and yet, profound with bottomless depth.If anyone has recommendations as to other Robert Silverberg s I should read Please share The First Edition I was fortunate to find.

  4. says:

    Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction all time greats, there is no doubt about that in my mind He belongs up there with Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein etc If you have never heard of him it would be because he is the most criminally underrated sf authors ever I have said virtually the same thing in my previous review of his book Nightwings, and I will probably be saying the same damn thing again next time I review one of his books simply because it bears repeating.Among long time avid sf readers Silverberg is in fact quite well known and Dying Inside is often regarded as one of his very best books I just reread it today for discussion at Reddit SF Book Club where it is the selected title for October 2012 He who peeps through a hole may see what will vex him This old proverb is quoted a couple of times in the book and sums up the basic plot about the life of David Selig, the protagonist of the book, quite well David Selig is a telepath who is slowly losing his telepathic powers He regards his telepathic gift curse as a separate entity residing within himself, the gradual loss of this power is like a part of him is dying inside Dying Inside puts the reader inside Selig s head much like his probing into other s people s mind Silverberg puts in a lot of attention to details of a telepath s life, and reading this book is a visceral experience Art by Leo and Diane DillonI used to imagine having telepathic power is bound to be a lot of fun and come in very handy This novel shows how it can lead to a very miserable existence depending on the personality and outlook of the person with the power Selig feels guilty about using his power to spy on other people but is addicted to doing it.This results in a severely conflicted individual, and the deterioration of his power only compounds his misery In contrast his friend Nyquist who has the same ability is well adjusted and is having a whale of a time using it While the general tone of the book tend to be rather melancholy there are humorous comments and witticisms scattered trough out the book which saves it from being too leaden Selig s attempt at jive style Greek tragedy is particularly hilarious.What makes Silverberg special among sf authors is his prose style, it is eloquent and lyrical yet it is not like the style of other lyrical sf authors such as Ray Bradbury, Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe Silverberg has his own unique voice which can veer from elegant to hip and sarcastic as the narrative demands The novel has a non linear timeline but it is easy to follow even without any indication of the date at the beginning of each chapter due to the clarity of his narrative Unlike Silverberg s other sf novels there is no mind blowing sci fi technology in this book, no aliens, space travel, no world building to speak of etc The setting is contemporary America in the 60s 70s and there is no climax in the conventional sense I believe this book is essentially about how people relate to each other, especially those who are or should be near and dear to us The end result is one of the most beautiful, exquisitely written sf novels I have ever read.

  5. says:

    Strangely enough, I found this one a real treat to read It might have something to do with the fact that I read A Time of Changes, The World Inside, and it all within the same day, somewhat in spirit of how damn quick Silverberg wrote these great classics And because I read them all back to back, I found that being this familiar with the artist s text made al three books flow like water, common themes kissing intimately and oh so sexually Like connection Basic human connection The first novel revelled in the breaking down of the barriers of self The second novel, for all it s permissive sex, alienated everyone from deep and meaningful interactions And then, the the third, David Selig, a powerful telepath living in the Baby Boomer generation here on earth, even with the gift to break through, could never quite make the bridge of intimacy.Is it a tragedy Yes He squanders his talents as a kid and loses his ability as he ages, getting frantic with time, and yet it s still the question of intimacy that each little vignette keeps coming back to The novel s scenes jump through time, circling and circling back to peck at this theme, diving deeper into the the problem of telepathy, of squandered gifts, and all the while, we as readers are treated to an honestly delightful and revealing look, so I assume, into Robert Silverberg, himself I say this because David Selig is absolutely rich with humanity, being funny, flawed, intensely sexual I think there might be a theme here , unabashedly intellectual, lazy, drug exploratory, and an all around real guy He s just as fucked as the rest of us, and there s so many things that ground him in the text, so many stream of consciousness moments, and so many insightful reflections, that I couldn t help being utterly, confoundedly, impressed.It d be awesome even as a traditional fiction tale, utterly mainstream, but it just so happens to have telepathy In today s market, this one would probably do very well and no one would blink twice There s much worse blurring of the lines out there Yeah I m looking at you, David Mitchell.For those of you looking for one of those true classics of the SF field, who want a taste without truly wanting to commit to a learning curve, you could do much worse than read this one It might as well be a novel about a man s descent into sexual impotency, of the rage and fear and embarrassment and loss of connection and identity It s just that clever, that deep, and that good.Nominated for 73 Hugo, right on the heels of the other two novels, both of which were nominated for the 72 hugos, both in the same year Does anyone think that Silverberg was out to prove something during this time frame Hmmm The fact that he managed to be so prolific and write such good stuff should be a testament of anyone s real talent, and my hat goes off to him Bravo

  6. says:

    Dying Inside is likely the most powerful SF tale of a telepath losing his powers that has ever been written, and is required reading for anyone wanting a taste of the best of New Wave SF from the early 1970s much better than Daniel Keyes Flowers of Algernon, in my opionion It is also extremely personal and autobiographical, since Silverberg s prodigious output of the late 1960s was starting to slow down Regardless of how far we should read into protagonist David Selig s brilliant, lonely, frustrated, and troubled psyche, it is undeniable that Silverberg has presented one of the most unflinchingly honest portrayals of someone losing their creative powers.I also loved the detailed depiction of the social and academic scene of New York in the 1960 70s, which must overlap with Silverberg s real life to some extent It s amazing how much sex and mind altering drugs people did during that period was it really like that Or perhaps nobody wants to own up to it Either way, this book is easily one of the most impressive novels to come from Silverberg s most creative phase, and well worth your time.

  7. says:

    4.5 to 5.0 stars Robert Silverberg is one of those writers that has never disappointed me and Dying Inside is no exception This is often considered Silverberg s best novel and, while not my personal favorite of his, it is easy to see why The story is told in the first person by a telepath, David Selig, who is slowly losing his ability to read minds David, despite his ability to read minds, is almost completely isolated from the rest of society and is unable to form any close attachments He is painfully lonely and yet unable or unwilling to reach out to anyone emotionally.The writing is deeply emotional, incredibly intimate and no holds barred in its depiction of the David who is shown to be a very unlikeable character for much of the story He is at times manipulative, exploitive, sexist, racist and unable to feel any empathy for anyone this despite being able to KNOW what they are feeling In spite of all of these considerable failings, Silverberg makes us FEEL for David and hope for him to be able to find happiness This is the true genius of Silverberg This is an incredible book about isolation and feelings of loneliness and one that will stay with you long after the book is over HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Nominee Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction NovelNominee Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction NovelNominee Locus Award for Best Science Fiction NovelVoted 33 on Locus All Time Best science fiction novels pre 1990.

  8. says:

    I finished Dying Inside this morning and I m still not sure what to say about it Perhaps I should start by saying that I don t believe this is science fiction at all I kept looking for the science part and it just wasn t there I believe that it would have been classified as general fiction if it hadn t been written by a famous science fiction author.I have to say that I have met few fictional characters that are pathetic than David Selig He s not pathetic because he s losing his telepathic powers, he s pathetic because he allows his mind reading ability to paralyze him and keep him from living Further, people around him kind of sense when he s reading their minds and it makes them creeped out even though they can t explain why He is unlovable because he loathes himself He doesn t try to make anything of himself It seems that he s only had one real job in his life He sees losing his ability as losing something important Somehow, I think the loss of his ability is the gain of his humanity I thought it was interesting the way Silverberg switched between first person narration and third person narration even though it was David Selig narrating the whole time It makes it quite clear that David doesn t have a clear self identity Maybe that s his ultimate problem.

  9. says:

    3.75 starsI felt like the telepath, the mind reader, the voyeur while reading this novel Silverberg sucked me in to the mind of David Selig so completely that I had to force myself to take a break from the book after hours of voracious reading to come up for air and perspective It appears to be the autobiography of a telepath, but reads like a confession of mind crimes, social ineptness and stunted maturity He fears his gift is fading and dying, and he flops impotently against the impinging silence Silverberg succeeded in evoking many emotions from me with David Selig s monologue frustration, depression, outrage, compassion I m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this novel It is definitely not traditional science fiction, but it is very well written, keeping my attention, almost exclusively, the entire weekend And for once, I did not read the Foreward until I finished the book It contained information that would have spoiled the experience of Dying Inside with David Selig.

  10. says:

    DYING INSIDE is a great character study from an outstanding author, Robert Silverberg.

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