Dying Inside

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For the song of the same name by The Cranberries, see Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. For the song of the same name by Jerry Cantrell, see Degradation Trip Vol 1 & 2.
Dying Inside
DyingInside(1stEd).jpg
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
Author Robert Silverberg
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication date
1972
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 245 pp
ISBN 0-684-13083-1
OCLC 524029
813/.5/4
LC Class PZ4.S573 Dy PS3569.I472

Dying Inside is a science fiction novel by Robert Silverberg. It was nominated for the Nebula Award in 1972,[1] and both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1973.[2]

Summary[edit]

The novel's main character, David Selig, is an undistinguished man living in New York City. David was born with a telepathic gift allowing him to read minds. Rather than use his ability for any greater good, however, Selig squanders his power, using it only for his own convenience. At the beginning of the novel, David earns a living by reading the minds of college students so that he can better plagiarize reports and essays on their behalf.

As the novel progresses, Selig's power becomes continually weaker, working sporadically and sometimes not at all, and Selig struggles to maintain his grip on reality as he begins to lose an ability on which he has long since grown dependent.

The book contains a number of memorable elements, such as David's relationship with a fellow telepath he meets as a young adult, or his strained interaction with his estranged younger sister (who has long distrusted him because of his ability), or his obsession, during one section of the novel, with proving that his girlfriend, a woman named Kitty, is also telepathic after he discovers that he can't read her mind. There's also an interesting moment where David's power causes him to vicariously experience his girlfriend's acid trip, and a bravura sequence in which the adolescent Selig, during a visit to a farm, enters the minds of, variously, a fish swimming in a stream, a hen laying an egg, and a young couple in the midst of passionate sex.

Reception[edit]

Baird Searles wrote that he "found the novel rather dull", despite being technically well done, because Silverberg had reduced the impact of his science-fictional devices to the "pedestrian".[3]

Literary and Other Allusions[edit]

One of the most striking features of Dying Inside is the frequent reference it makes to various artists, writers and other academics, including such notable individuals as:

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1972 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  2. ^ "1973 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  3. ^ "Boo Kreviews", The Haunt of Horror, June 1973, p.122