Ehrlich (1950) The Big Eye – Science Fiction Utopian BCE


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Ehrlich, Max. The Big Eye. (Doubleday/Book Club Edition: Garden City, NY, 1950)

Octavo. 221 pages. Hardcover in green boards with dust jacket. Reprint of the 1949 original.

Condition: Dust jacket shows wear and tear but is all there. Book is in very good condition.  DJ has been placed in Brodart to protect the dust jacket from further wear.

“Max Simon Ehrlich (October 10, 1909 – February 11, 1983) was an American writer. He is best known for the novel The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and the movie of the same name.

“Ehrlich began his career in newspapers, working as a correspondent for the Albany, New York Knickerbocker Press and Evening News during his college years, then after graduating as a feature writer for the Springfield, Massachusetts Republican. From there he turned to radio, working as the chief writer of the script division of WSPR in 1938 and 1939, in the script division of the American Jewish Committee from 1939 to 1941, and from 1941 to 1945 he was the assistant script director of the radio division of the American Red Cross.

“After 1945, Ehrlich was a novelist, playwright, and television dramatist. He wrote radio scripts for such series as The Big Story, The Shadow, Big Town, and Mr. and Mrs. North. He also adapted many novels, plays, and short stories for radio. His television work includes scripts for the series Barney Blake, The Big Story, The Defenders, The Nurses, The United States Steel Hour, and Star Trek (episode “The Apple”).” – Wikipedia

The Big Eye was his first novel.  Goodreads gives The Big Eye 3.4 stars. One review states “ The Big Eye was published in 1949 and was set in the near-future world of 1960, which learns that the world is going to end on Christmas Day in 1962. The narrative gets a bit preachy at times that makes the plot lag a bit, but it’s a good story and I especially liked the optimistic message that mankind might pull together in the face of catastrophe. Ehrlich, who wrote many of the best Sherlock Holmes radio scripts, succeeds in pulling off a surprise ending that would have been right at home in an early M. Night Shyamalan film.” and another says “Maybe the first real science fiction I ever read, which I actually read immediately after the end of the Cold War. I knew it was pulpy and cheesy, but I enjoyed pulpy and cheesy even then.  The message was stark and very real for its time, and there was no veiling of it. Not a whole lot of layers here. Just a sledgehammer drilling its agenda across.