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{Read E-pub} Î The Man Who Fell to Earth ⚷ Thomas Jerome Newton Is An Extraterrestrial From The Planet Anthea, Which Has Been Devastated By A Series Of Nuclear Wars, And Whose Inhabitants Are Twice As Intelligent As Human Beings When He Lands On Earth In Kentucky, Disguised As A Human It S With The Intention Of Saving His Own People From Extinction Newton Patents Some Very Advanced Anthean Technology, Which He Uses To Amass A Fortune He Begins To Build A Spaceship To Help The Last Antheans Migrate To Earth Meanwhile, Nathan Bryce, A Chemistry Professor In Iowa, Is Intrigued By Some Of The New Products Newton S Company Brings To The Market, And Already Suspects Newton Of Being An Alien As Bryce And The FBI Close In, Newton Finds His Own Clarity And Sense Of Purpose Diminishing 3.5 to 4.0 stars I really struggled between giving this 3 or 4 stars and settled closer to 4 for one primary reason the ending of the story was deeply emotional and I believe will stay with me for some time Apart from the excellent ending, the rest of the story was well written, moved along at a good pace and kept me interested. The Man Who Fell to Earth is my second Walter Tevis novel and unfortunately I didn t like it anywhere near as much as I did The Queen s Gambit Superficially it s a sci fi novel the protagonist is Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien from the planet Anthea Venus , who comes to Earth to make enough money to build a rocketship to send back home and bring his people over to water rich Earth Alright, fine, that s the premise and, very loosely, the plot What it is in actuality About a sad and lonely alcoholic who happens to be an alien What frustrated me the most was how little happened Newton gets rich patenting alien tech Then he continues to amass wealth And he continues to amass wealth He meets a couple people along the way And he continues to amass wealth He starts drinking And he continues to amass wealth And he continues to amass wealth And zzz It s not a long novel just under 200 pages but it felt way longer because there s almost nothing here to engage the reader Knowing what little I do about Tevis life, I get that it s basically about his lifelong battle with alcoholism and how having been a sickly child kept him weak and away from school so he couldn t make friends which must ve felt lonely and depressing Loneliness and depression lead to substance abuse as an explanation for addiction, that s totally believable if hardly revelatory Except overstating this without exploring any deeper isn t just unsatisfying but it s also immensely tedious to read I wonder if the phrase feeling like an alien as a way of describing having trouble relating to others social isolation originated with this book Tevis also takes a dim view of the US government but that feature s par for the course when it comes to alien stories It s well written and parts of it are mildly interesting when Newton is interrogated by Federal agents at the end but The Man Who Fell to Earth was mostly repetitive and very, very boring The man was very odd Tall, thin, with white hair and a fine, delicate bone structure He had smooth skin and a boyish face but the eyes were very strange, as though they were weak, over sensitive, yet with a look that was old and wise and tired In short, he looks a lot like this Ground control to Major Thomas The eponymous Man Who Fell to Earth is one Thomas Jerome Newton, a rather commonplace name, not alienesque like Xarx or something along that line Of course, his real name is very unlikely to be Thomas Jerome Newton he is from a planet he calls Anthea , but if he has an Anthean name it is never mentioned He has come to Earth on a solo super secret mission, so secret that he destroys the single seat spaceship he came in on Using his knowledge of hyper advanced science he soon builds a business empire selling amazing new products like uh a high speed film that develops itself, a new kind of TV, stereo systems, and various gadgets Things were going according to plan until the pesky, primitive humans become his friends Thrilling adventure Disillusionment, loss of identity and heartbreak ensue The Man Who Fell to Earth was first published in 1963, the story is set in 1985 and spans five years or so This being the case some of the alien science is rather anachronistic in term of our real world science today for example super high quality films instead of digital photography I suspect Arthur C Clarke would have fared better with the imaginary gadgetry but this novel is clearly not about the science The central theme seems to be loneliness and its impact on your goals There are also observations about humanity s lack of appreciation for the riches of our planet, the futility of war, and some satire of government bureaucratic incompetence Due to Earth s higher gravity, Newton is physically weak and frail, but he also seems unlikely to have the strength of character to set up a business empire While on a business trip he meets a hard drinking hillbilly girl called Betty Jo helps him out when he has an accident They do not become romantically involved but he hires her as his personally assistant, he picks up her taste for gin and they soon go on benders together After a few years on Earth with no way to communicate with his home planet Newton begins to feel lonely and miserable, he also feels that he has gone native in that he now thinks like a human than an Anthean The interrelationship between Newton and several characters he comes to call friends is quite sweet and touching There s a starman A feeling of melancholy pervades throughout the book Newton is not a happy alien even when things are going well for him, and when they go south the man who fell to earth probably wishes he had fallen somewhere else Newton is a nuanced, sympathetic character However, if you take out the sym part of sympathetic he is also that It is hard to believe the Antheans chose him for this mission for his stamina The Man Who Fell to Earth is a very good read, I cannot find any serious flaw with it However, I feel that the book ends too abruptly and somewhat inconclusively so I am holding back my often overly lenient five stars rating I can recommend without hesitation if you like thoughtful, contemplative and somewhat philosophical sci fi.Notes Anthea is implied to be Mars, but by 1963 scientists already suspect that there is no life on Mars, so Tevis avoids using the name Decades ago I saw the 1976 film adaptation , starring David Bowie, I thought it was weird and could not make heads or tails of it The source material here is a breeze to read There is a scene where Newton is interrogated by government agents, this is a notable scene because it is extremely well written and vivid Don t read the goddam intro by Ken MacLeod before reading the novel because it s riddled with spoilers Not cool Mr MacLeod Walter Tevis Mockingbird is fabulous, don t miss it.Quotes There are times when you seem, to us, like apes loose in a museum, carrying knives, slashing the canvases, breaking the statuary with hammersHow human he had become, to rationalize that way He blamed her for his going native and becoming obsessed with vague guilts and vaguer doubts She had taught him to drink gin and she had shown him an aspect of strong and comfortable and hedonistic and unthinking humanity that his fifteen years of studying television had left him unaware of He felt like a man who has been surrounded by reasonably amiable, silly, and fairly intelligent animals, and has gradually discovered that their concepts and relationships are complex than his training could have led him to suspect Such a man might discover that, in one or of the many aspects of weighing and judging that are available to a high intelligence, the animals who surround him and who foul their own lairs and eat their own filth might be happier and wiser than he It dismays us greatly to see what you are about to do with such a beautiful, fertile world We destroyed ours a long time ago, but we had so much less to begin with than you have here His voice now seemed agitated, his manner intense Do you realize that you will not only wreck your civilization, such as it is, and kill most of your people but that you will also poison the fish in your rivers, the squirrels in your trees, the flocks of birds, the soil, the water I had nearly forgotten why people start reading in the first place the joy of an honest story I m so used to the writer as the essential protagonist, the writing as his conflict, and whether or not I want to throw away his book as his comedic or tragic end But this just unfolds cleanly, without seeming consciously written at all Never an ohhh that was beautiful and very rarely a distracting wince I got deeply engaged without any self discipline at all It s lightening quick and so satisfying that I had to, for the first time, linger in a subway station to finish a book because I didn t want to wait until I got home And that precise location, my friends, was the enigmatic, Escher like layer of the W 4th St station, between the blue and the orange floors, quite possibly the smelliest place out there, just to attest to the refreshment of the reading experience I have the DVD and cannot wait to watch it maybe even tonight.Why only 4 stars then Because I m still moonlighting as a snob And, as such, switching back to Gravity s Rainbow and its two essential companions.