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City | [Clifford D. Simak]

City

Jenkins was a robot. He was built to be the perfect worker, tireless and uncomplaining. But, quite unexpectedly, he also became a close companion to generation after generation of his owners as the human race matured, moved beyond the confines of its once tiny planet, and eventually changed beyond all recognition.
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Publisher's Summary

Jenkins was a robot. He was built to be the perfect worker, tireless and uncomplaining. But, quite unexpectedly, he also became a close companion to generation after generation of his owners as the human race matured, moved beyond the confines of its once tiny planet, and eventually changed beyond all recognition. And then, because he was a good and dutiful servant, Jenkins went on to serve Earth's inheritors.

Here is a masterful tale of an Earth overrun by ants, a series of parallel worlds ruled by dogs, and a Jupiter where the human race finds its Gold Age - if "human" it could still be called.

BONUS AUDIO: City includes an exclusive introduction by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mike Resnick.

©1980 Clifford D. Simak; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Simak's unforgettable compassion and affection for all creation shines through." (scifi.com)

  • All-Time Best Science Fiction Novels (Locus Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (146 )
5 star
 (51)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (70 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (69 )
5 star
 (34)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 06-14-10
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 06-14-10 Member Since 2008

    Holly

    HELPFUL VOTES
    572
    ratings
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    95
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    7
    Overall
    "Disturbing"

    This was a book I couldn't stop reading and it was also a book I couldn't stop thinking about once it ended. It's message was thought provoking. A story of a family, the Websters, the plot evolves into the ultimate destruction of humanity. And yet we see that other alien races in the novel tend to make similar errors as they, too evolve. Life's questions, such as "to kill or not to kill" and "what does it mean to be human" and even the more abstract scifi rule to not interfere with another race are prevalent throughout the novel. If you are looking for a light reading experience, this is not the novel to read. But if you are looking for a book that will evoke discussion and comment on the human condition, this is a gold mine. Do not let the age of the book fool you into thinking it is no longer pertinent. The story is more pertinent today than it could have been when it was first written. The author's own comment prior to the Epilogue was intriguing. The narrators were very good and overall, this was an excellent read. I am delighted I bought it.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 08-27-08
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 08-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    52
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    "A very special kind of story."

    A little Rickety around the edges as any novel from the 1940s imagining the far future would be, it is the only criticism of an otherwise remarkable narrative. A leading writer in the field of speculative fiction, Simak created his own sub-genre that explored the nature of humanity and the universe with optimism, compassion and gentleness. His words hold a special kind of magic, based on a undefined spirituality that sets him apart from the humanistic philosophies of so many of his contemporaries. Listening to his words, one cannot but help feel that Simak was one special kind of man. Probably not for everyone, this is not space opera, this is sci-fi as philosophy and literature.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 01-31-10
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 01-31-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "interesting"

    This is a very interesting and thought provoking story. I liked Way Station better, perhaps because it was one continuous story. The City stories are linked as well by the robit character of Jenkins who ends up being very close to human, sort of super human. It's just a little harder to care about him. Harder to care about the Websters after they give up. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much and would recommend it to any SciFi lover.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis CRYSTAL RIVER, FL, US 09-15-13
    Dennis CRYSTAL RIVER, FL, US 09-15-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    152
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    Performance
    Story
    "A Bit Slow!"

    When I bought this book it had good reviews. It is consided a classic. I found it to be a slow paced book. It just didn't grip me at all. I kept looking at the counter waiting for it to end. NO action very little drama. It did to be fare have a monent or two that wasn't bad, but even that had no action to speak of. The narration was fair to good.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 05-13-09
    Jennifer SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 05-13-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "a book from my past"

    I enjoyed it but of course is kind of out dated and not as good as I remembered it, But it is a classic...

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Sarasota, FL, USA 11-30-08
    Jason Sarasota, FL, USA 11-30-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Dull"

    Simak's Way Station is an energetic, exciting and fun novel. That's why I went directly for City.

    What a disappointment. City plods along at a sluggish pace. At the same time it jumps from era to era without giving the reader time to care about the characters.

    You do not get to find out the fate of the people who populate the book. Instead it just jumps ahead several hundred years without telling the reader what happened.

    For example the reader goes from a post WW2 atomic society to thinking robots and talking dogs in the first 3 hours of the book. This might sound interesting. It is not.

    The book clumps along at the pace of a seventy-year-old man wearing lead healed shoes.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
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