Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Book Review: Logan's Run

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 that chose 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!

Logan's Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson was originally published in 1967. A re-release came in the summer of 1976 from Bantam Books to coincide with the movie release.

As I have mentioned previously, I came of age with the film release of Logan's Run. Its story was slightly different - people were not put to death until their 30th birthday. As a pre-teen who barely knew anything about life, that seemed like a long time away. I wanted to revisit the story through the original novel as a much older adult with many experiences behind me.

The novel is only 149 pages which is on par with books of this time period. Writers back in the day simply did not bog down their stories with a lot of excess. Had this been written today, I could see it easily have been two to three times the original length. There is a lot of worldbuilding here. Each chapter jumps to another location (sometimes more than one) where the reader is introduced to a new group or culture or environment. But we don't spend much time in any of these - just long enough for Logan and Jessica to get into a situation and then get out of it. This is a run, after all. There is an urgent need for them to keep moving, and the story keeps them moving. I partially wish the pace had eased a bit just so we can get more depth.

I did appreciate eventually getting the details of the Little War and how the world got to the point it had. I also appreciated getting a bit more of Logan's background. Neither of these made it into the film. There was likely also allegory within the pages to things that were happening in the 1960's that the authors were commenting on. Having been born to late to experience that time first-hand, I probably missed a bit.

I was able to see how the film took what other parts of the story that I thought were the strongest in order to make a big screen adaptation. Had the film adapted everything here, it might have been a chaotic narrative.

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