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Up if you missed it during your childhood I read this because it "Is The 1 Answer "the 1 answer What the hell was that crazy book I read 20 years ago uestions House of Stairs has showed up on LibraryThing s Name That Book group three times in the past year Half of the YA books in that group turn out
be William We got a Contact Us uestion the other day that turned out to be 2 William Sleator books So I figured it was high time I read something by this mysterious manJesus There s a reason people remember it This book was crazy I read it in about 2 hours and could not put it downIn a sucky future America where veryone lives in huge run down apartment buildings and subsists on synthetic food 5 teenage orphans of various personality types find themselves the subject of a sinister psychological Tangled Webs (The Black Jewels, experiment They are blindfolded taken from their group homes and dumped in a huge brightly lit building filled with neverending stairs bridges and landings There is one toilet which is also the only source of water in the middle of a narrow vertigo inducing bridge Most importantly there is a machine with flashing lights and sounds that sometimes dispenses food contingent on certain behaviors from the teensLola the badass Peter the shrinking violet Blossom the spoiled self centered brat Abigail the pleaser and Oliver the alpha male have to figure out how to behave to get the machine to feed them For a while it feeds them if they all cooperate on anlaborate dance when the lights start flashing But what happens when the machine begins to demand other kinds of behavior from themI was worried that this book would have an anticlimatic A Fairly Honourable Defeat ending that there would be noxplanation of why this was happening to these people But it has a very satisfying nding that will leave you thinking about it for a long time It s like 1984 for a slightly younger setA fantastic book but so disturbing I wouldn t recommend it to anyone younger than about 14 A chilling and suspenseful tale that stick with the reader for years to comeThis book is recommended for 9 12 year olds however I think it might be a bit intense for the younger side of this group and I as an adult thoroughly njoyed Slater s treatment of this psychological horrorPersonal Note I read this book as a tween and it stuck with me all these years I remember not being able to put it down and upon revisiting it it is still just as fascinating to me I read many of the com reviews and so many of them were from adults that still remember the impact this book had on themMy ReviewThis is an incredibly creative and original science fiction tale that chronicles the vents that take place when five teen aged orphans are behaviorally trained to respond to a machine Similarly to Lord of the Flies anarchy rules and the reader is able to view the dark side of humanity when left to its own devices This *MIGHT BE A NEW EXPLORATION FOR *be a new xploration for tween who for the most part has been The Man Without a Face exposed to heartwarming tales There is nothing warm and fuzzy in this book It is sheer dark and cold though we do see triumph of inner character from some of the players The author draws the reader in immediately and through crafty writing is able to keep the reader right at thedge unable to put the book down This book is a great introduction to science fiction and psychological thrillers A uniue and memorable tale the terrifying tale is one that could be njoyed by older tweens. Machine The five must learn to love the machine and let it rule their lives But will they let it kill their souls. I think this is the last ntry in my YA Sci Fi kick but it s a high note to Gone (Gone, end on I ve spent than half my life searching for this book Really I checked it out from the Lawrence Public Library when I was 9 or 10 and read the first 15 pages and then it got away from me I rememberverything about it vividly 5 teenage orphans in a near future distopia find themselves without Threads Of The Shroud explanation in a gigantic white room consisting only ofndless staircases and a machine that irregularly dispenses sausage when one character sticks out her tongue xcept for the title and author And how could I go to a librarian and describe the convoluted plot of an obscure 70 s kids book For some reason I *Thought I Couldn T So I Would *I couldn t So I would about this book from time to time for the next 18 years despairingly and then I was reading a review of The Hunger Games in the New Yorker and Laura Miller gave a uick summary of the genre of YA distopic sci fi and described this book with complete citations So I retrieved it from the library probably the xact same copy I read when I was 9 and I read it in a few hours and it s great Simple and scary with both inspiring and disturbing implications about the human soul Just what kids want Now that I ve settled this part of my childhood I can continue reading the metafiction of my agegroup A modern classic I read House of Stairs freuently as a child and was happy to see this speculative novel from 1974 stands the test of timeThat s because Sleator wisely keeps the futuristic science fiction touches to a minimum There s a very 70s reference to air pollution but it isn t pivotal The rest of the book is about what doesn t change human natureI m handing this to my son to read now I have the feeling he ll be as riveted by it as I was at his age Rating 35 Review Five orphans named Lola Peter Blossom Abigail and Oliver all aged 16 suddenly find themselves in a weird place where there are no walls floor rooms or anything normal The only thing this place has is lots and lots of stairs defying gravity All of them are scared to find themselves in such a place and want to get back to their lives Slowly they star After googling different phrases for a while I finally found the name of the book I read when I was around 12 that catapulted me into my interest into psychology and the human mind The story of five teenagers locked in a place that consisted only of stairs and landings the way they were trained like Pavlov s dogs to respond to the demands of a machine for food demands that became Untitled. ever horrible I remember reading this and being horrified by concepts I couldn t uite yet really grasp but what stuck with me was the fact that notveryone acuiesced The last scene of the book with the traffic light I think cemented my firm regard and defense of individuality ven before I could verbalize that notion Whileto be william
didn t understand it really as a kid this book and the message in its story has remained with me ntire life This would d Probably the first dystopian novel I ver read Because of this book near the beginning of season one of LOST I was already predicting the cages and fish biscuits that would show up in season threeUPDATE Reread in 2013 after reading multiple times from ages 10 20 It has held up really well for a book written in the mid 1970s besides some unfortunate stereotyping that was common at the time I am insanely addicted attracted to storie. One by one five sixteen year old orphans are brought to a strange building It is not a prison not a hospital; it ,I didn t understand it really as a kid this book and the message in its story has remained with me
William Sleator ☆ 0 characters,
S about the group in peril when people are thrust into an alien setting absent of any social rules and obligations Under such circumstances it usually doesn t take long for humans to throw off the shackles of civilized conduct and resort to a brutal survival of the fittest approach That s not just the pessimist in me coming out bu Young adult fiction must be a really tough genre to wrap your head around for a writer You have a story that you want to tell and you have to tell it in such a way that it is simple nough for your target audience to read yet Jingling Daddys Bells BDSM Menage engagingnough to keep them reading The themes have to be familiar The DOS enough for them to understand and relate to yet unusualnough to be interesting for them Go too far in the wrong direction and you have a failure So how does a YA writer do it balancing all those issues while still writing a good bookDamned if I know I ve never managed to write a decent book for adults much less young onesFortunately there are plenty of talented writers who can write for young people and one of those is William SleatorA YA writer who specializes in science fiction Sleator has written his fair share of strange fantastic and sometimes disturbing books Of all the ones I ve read this book is probably the one that creeped me out the mostThe setup for this story is I first read the synopsis for this a few years ago and the concept immediately caught my attention Set in an unknown but clearly dystopian future we follow five kids in their Against All Odds early teens who are suddenly dumped alone on a nevernding room of stairs There is a machine that spits out food but only when the group perform certain actions which they have to determine by trial and Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism error When the machine starts rewarding violence of the physical and psychological types the kids are pushed toither follow directions of take a stand for what they believe inIt s pretty damn awesome Peter Lola Blossom Abigail and Oliver are our protagonists and they all clearly differ from one another with the five of them presenting a nice range of reactions and interactions to ach other and the situation around them Peter is a follower and lacks confidence Lola is a doer confident and looks for a way out Blossom is a fat spoiled girl who grew up with wealthy politicians and seems to have learnt to manipulate people by dividing them against ach other Abigail is used to being looked at but lacks any real sense of herself and her value as a person outside others thoughts and Oliver is used to being in charge used to having power and resents any competition to this positionThe worldbuilding is nice with just nough tidbits thrown in to make me want to know We learn the boys and girls are separated until they are adults and in a relationship supposedly to prevent sexual mishaps That some of the wealthy and members of the government live behind a wall in large houses whilst the rest of the population are denied *Such A Luxury And In Many Cases *a luxury and in many cases ven aware the sort of lifestyle Vampireville (Vampire Kisses, evenxists That the sitting President is a toady to his political advisors It s random stuff that often has no bearing on the story but it gives us a glimpse of what s outside the room without Pirate of the Pacific (Doc Savage, ever actually letting us outThe finale is done very well and provides a great deal of the horror as we do get to discover where the kids are why they are there and who or what is pulling the strings Highly recommend picking this one. As no walls no ceiling no floor Nothing butndless flights of stairs leading nowhere xcept back to a strange red.