Up the Line

Robert Silverberg
Up the Line Cover

A Product of Its' Times


This book is definitely a product of the times in which it was written. Set squarely within the mindset of the sex & drugs counter-culture that sprang from 1960's America, much of it simply falls flat today. I get that Silverberg was going for humor - and there are a few humorous situations - but the rampant sex, the misogyny, the pedophilia, and the incest pretty much ruined it for me. I very nearly quit at about 1/3 of the way through but decided to persevere. I guess I'm glad I finished because it did get better. By better, I mean that it went from a DNF 1/2-star rating all the way up to a less-than-mediocre 2 stars.

The creepy sex stuff kept rearing its squicky head but, behind all that unnecessary cruft, there was a pretty cool time-travel story/history lesson trying to catch my attention. Unfortunately, every time the story started to get interesting, along would come some poorly-inserted boinking. Ah well, I did enjoy the ending - partly because the book was finally over (hah!) - but also because it happened to be a fun little twist. At the end of this one, Silverberg continues to be hit & miss for me. Too bad this one was mostly a miss.