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Camp Concentration

Camp Concentration

(1968)
A novel by

 

"Fiendishly clever."
Brian Aldiss


"A brilliant piece of science fiction..-It is a work of art and if you read it, you will be changed."
Ursula K Le Guin


Thomas M. Disch is one of the overlooked masters of science fiction, and Camp Concentration is one of his finest novels. The unlikely hero of this piece is Louis Sacchetti, an overweight poet who's serving a five- year prison term for being a "conchie", or conscientious objector, to the ongoing war being fought by the United States. Three months into his sentence, Sacchetti is mysteriously taken from prison and brought to Camp Archimedes, an underground compound run by General Humphrey Haast. This is the so-called "camp concentration" of the book's title, a strange oubliette where inmates are given a drug that will raise their intelligence to astounding levels, though it will also kill them in a matter of months.

Sacchetti's job is to chronicle the goings-on at Archimedes in a daily journal that is sent to Haast and other select members of the project. Through his writings, readers get to know the various characters that inhabit the camp, geniuses whose intellectual fires burn brightly even while their bodies slowly go cold. Although these latter-day Einsteins are supposed to be thinking up new ways of killing the enemy, most of the inmates are instead focusing their studies on alchemy, which Haast hopes will allow them to discover the secret of immortality.

Camp Concentration is one of those SF books that falls squarely into the "literature" category both for the eloquence of Disch's writing and the timelessness of his ruminations on life and war. This is a thoughtful novel that offers insights into human existence, and it will likely stay with readers long after they have turned the last page. Ursula K. LeGuin summed up the book best in her cover blurb, which says simply: "It is a work of art, and if you read it, you will be changed." --Craig E. Engler

 
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Used availability for Thomas M Disch's Camp Concentration


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

April 2002 : USA Hardback
Title: Merchanter's Luck: Rendezvous at Downbelow Station
Author(s): Thomas M Disch, C J Cherryh
ISBN: 0-7862-4137-3 / 978-0-7862-4137-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 1968 : UK Hardback
Title: Camp Concentration
Author(s): Thomas M Disch
ISBN: 0-246-97352-8 / 978-0-246-97352-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Distribution Services
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 2006 : UK Paperback
Title: Camp Concentration (Abandoned) (S.F. Masterworks)
Author(s): Thomas M Disch
ISBN: 0-575-07877-4 / 978-0-575-07877-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Gollancz
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

April 1999 : USA Paperback
Title: Camp Concentration: A Novel
Author(s): Thomas M Disch
ISBN: 0-375-70545-7 / 978-0-375-70545-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1988 : USA Paperback
Title: Camp Concentration
Author(s): Thomas M Disch
ISBN: 0-88184-386-5 / 978-0-88184-386-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1980 : USA Mass Market Paperback
Title: Camp Concentration
Author(s): Thomas M Disch
ISBN: 0-553-13117-6 / 978-0-553-13117-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

August 1969 : UK Paperback
Title: Camp Concentration
Author(s): Thomas M Disch
ISBN: 0-586-02846-3 / 978-0-586-02846-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Panther
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

July 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: Camp Concentration
Author(s): Thomas M Disch
Publisher: Chu Hartley Publishers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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