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Logan's Run

Narrated by: William F. Nolan
Length: 2 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's the 23rd Century and at age 21...your life is over! Logan-6 has been trained to kill, born and bred from conception to be the best of the best. But his time is short and before his life ends he's got one final mission: Find and destroy Sanctuary, a fabled haven for those who choose to defy the system. But when Logan meets and falls in love with Jessica, he begins to question the very system he swore to protect and soon they're both running for their lives. When Last Day comes, will you lie down and die...or run!

©1967 William F. Nolan and George Clayton Thomas (P) 2016 Dove Books-On-Tape, Phoenix Books

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A Blast from the Past

I was first introduced to Logan’s Run through the television series that began in 1977. I was young enough that I only remember a few things about it—the robot in the ice cave, Logan demanding to know if he’d get his four years back, and maybe a dozen other equally small details. But I’ve always had a fond place in my memory for the short-lived series and was glad to stumble across the audio book read by the author, William F. Nolan.

So first off—Logan’s Run the book is a lot grittier than I remember the TV series being. In it we follow a sandman (a sort of cop) whose job it is to kill “runners”, people who turn 21 years old and decide they don’t want to die for the good of the world. (Evidently to combat overpopulation after something called the Little War, it was decided that all people would be killed on their twenty-first birthday.) Logan is approaching 21 and wants to make his mark on the world before dying. When he retrieves a key and the codename “sanctuary” from a runner, he decides that his mark will be made by finding Sanctuary and destroying the hope of all runners. He believes this will make him a legend among sandmen, but to pull off the feat, he has to pretend to run.

What follows are several adventures which Logan and another runner named Jessica experience as they follow lead after lead trying to reach Sanctuary. Logan believes that a possibly mythical “42 year old man” named Ballard is manipulating them bringing them to trap after trap until Logan begins to outthink him. This is partially true, but as Logan and Jessica survive, they gain experiences most of their peers never have. They begin to understand that their society is doomed to deteriorate and die. The basic problem is that children are not capable of maintaining the technology upon which their society depends and they are not capable of producing more. These experiences allow Logan to grow up in a way that none of his peers do and cause him to have a highly credible moral conundrum when he has his chance to end the hope of Sanctuary at the end of the novel.

I suppose that it should be said here that the runners (including the supposedly ingenious Ballard) are really stupid. The reason that the sandmen can track them is they have a device embedded in their palms that both keeps track of their age and permits them to be tracked by computer devices. When a citizen turns 21 the sandmen are alerted and use their scanners to hunt them down. To defeat this system, all people need to do is leave for Sanctuary before their twenty-first birthday. If they “ran” at twenty years and eleven months, no monitor would treat them differently than any other citizen and they could escape without ever endangering themselves. However, we wouldn’t have a novel if the runners figured that out so I suppose we’ll have to overlook this major flaw in the plot.

Mostly Logan’s Run is a straightforward adventure story but that moral conundrum, combined with Logan and Jessica’s growing feelings for each other, and one superb surprise at the end of the book, make this a story well worth the attention of fans of classic science fiction. If you like old SF, you might want to check it out.

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Profile Image for Mr. Brian Jenkinson
  • Mr. Brian Jenkinson
  • 08-01-18

A bleak bright future

Having seen the film, and the TV series first, I read the book already know what a sandman looks like, and the domes. The book takes you on a discovery behind the sandman's choice, truth or lies, and his growing relationship with Jessica. A chase to start, that leads into a violent escape and a surprising ending.

Find out why Logan was running...