The Santaroga Barrier

The Santaroga Barrier Santaroga seemed to be nothing than a prosperous farm community But there was something different about Santaroga Santaroga had no juvenile delinquency or any crime at all Outsiders found no house fo

  • Title: The Santaroga Barrier
  • Author: Frank Herbert
  • ISBN: 9780765342515
  • Page: 189
  • Format: Paperback
  • Santaroga seemed to be nothing than a prosperous farm community But there was something different about Santaroga.Santaroga had no juvenile delinquency, or any crime at all Outsiders found no house for sale or rent in this valley, and no one ever moved out No one bought cigarettes in Santaroga No cheese, wine, beer or produce from outside the valley couldSantaroga seemed to be nothing than a prosperous farm community But there was something different about Santaroga.Santaroga had no juvenile delinquency, or any crime at all Outsiders found no house for sale or rent in this valley, and no one ever moved out No one bought cigarettes in Santaroga No cheese, wine, beer or produce from outside the valley could be sold there The list went on and on and grew stranger and stranger.Maybe Santaroga was the last outpost of American individualism Maybe they were just a bunch of religious kooksOr maybe there was something extraordinary at work in Santaroga Something far disturbing than anyone could imagine.

    574 Comment

    • Rob says:

      I guess thematically and stylistically The Santaroga Barrier is a book of it's time. It leans very heavily on the ideas Herbert used as an inspiration. What makes this book stand out is the depth of these ideas. To Herbert they were not merely interesting concepts. He delved deeply and conveyed part of that interest and understanding in this book. It does not have the epic scope and wide variety of themes of the Dune saga but of all his works outside that setting, The Santaroga Barrier is probab [...]

    • Lars says:

      'The Santaroga Barrier' is as little Science Fiction as possible - no spacecrafts, no aliens, no other planets but earth - it doesn't even play in the future. It's a classical piece of Soft Science Fiction which examines the society of today, or, more precisely, of America in the late Sixties. A psychiatrist is sent to some remote valley in California to investigate why the people there don't consume as much goods as the rest of the country and why they almost never leave their valley. He discov [...]

    • Christian says:

      Da demasiadas vueltas a la historia. Quizás hubiera funcionado mejor en formato de cuento.

    • Bart says:

      Please read the full review on Weighing A PigI’m not too thrilled to write a review about this book. The Dune-series is among the best thing I ever read, so I hate to report that Frank Herbert didn’t even come close with The Santaroga Barrier. () The premise is interesting nonetheless, and Herbert manages to create an eerie vibe in the first couple of chapters.()

    • Nicole says:

      I am now a decided Frank Herbert fan after reading this and Dune. And the added treat was that it was set in Northern California - a combination of old ag Santa Rosa I imagine before it got big and other locales as it references Avenue of the Giants which starts further north and the mention of Black Bart which is Redwood Valley/Willits and the buildings and cheese and beer and opinionated newspaper which makes me think of Ferndale and Boonville. The premise of a rather closed-off, conservative [...]

    • Erik says:

      Wow, can't believe I'm giving one of my favorite authors a 2 star review. This story felt like it was only partially completed. The writing style is so Herbert that the reading was pleasurable, but I am afraid I just did not get the real point behind "why" the book was written. So much of the "sinister" aspects of the book felt artificial. I kept wondering aloud "Why in the world did that just happen!?" more times then I care to recount, and that is definitely not a good thing. The ending was eq [...]

    • Janet says:

      Pure pulp, from my perspective. The writing was pedestrian, and characterization shallow and unbelievable. Dasein acted like a tantrumy toddler, Jenny was an early version of a manic pixie dreamgirl, and most of the rest of the characters were cardboard cutouts. Plus, I just never could get past the thought that the real threat, in this story, is the idea that people have no right to refuse to buy commercial products, or to reject their marketing efforts. Both the "market study" that Dasein was [...]

    • Martin says:

      I like Herberts' focus on economics in his books: The science (fiction) of greed driving the wheels of progress, in this case the progress of a stubborn Berkley PhD to expose the psychotropicly enhanced citizens of a North California valley, while himself becoming high on dairy produce.The engaging array of characters and fast pace in this book make for a quick and enjoyable read. This is a good book for Creighton fans to move up to on the way to Philip Dick, with aspects of both, as Herbert's s [...]

    • Will says:

      A psychologist is sent to a peaceful but introverted California valley on a market study to investigate why the residents refuse to participate in the modern mass-market economy. He finds a community so intriguing but disquieting that he's torn between an equal desire to stay or to flee.In contrast to Herbert's tendency to tell the narrative from several points of view at once (The White Plague, Dune, etc), The Santaroga Barrier finds him focusing on the main character alone. This approach puts [...]

    • Tim Martin says:

      _The Santaroga Barrier_ by Frank Herbert features an odd choice for a hero; Dr. Gilbert Dasein, a psychologist from the University of California at Berkeley, employed to do of all things a market study. Meyer Davidson, agent of a powerful investment corporation, one that owns a chain of retail stores, was upset about what was termed in the marketing world as the "Santaroga Barrier," Santaroga being a small farming community and town located in an idyllic mountain valley in California. Davidson w [...]

    • Bryan Cebulski says:

      Although Herbert isn't an especially exciting prose stylist, I enjoyed reading this one. It isn't full of complex concepts and systems that you need to figure out as you go like Dune or some of his other works, so it moves along pretty well, at least in Herbert-adjusted terms. I also just love spooky town mysteries. The build-up in unease is effective. Despite not being quite as exciting as it could have been I found it more interesting than, say, Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines trilogy.A few criti [...]

    • Stephanie Ricker says:

      I walked into this book completely blind, which I really enjoy doing sometimes. I had no idea what it was about. It's still science fiction, but radically different from Herbert's other scifi; it's set in a valley in California in the late 60s. Usually the world-building is one of the best things about Herbert's scifi, so what's so great about a pseudo-scifi novel set in boring old California? Herbert does a phenomenal job of crafting a subtly creepy atmosphere without giving much at all away. I [...]

    • Martin Doych says:

      Писана през 1968 г творбата е остаряла добре (тоест това, че е писана преди почти половин век не й е проблемът). Поизмъчи ме с мудното действие и езика - не знам дали второто е проблем на превода, но първото - едва ли. За сведение - фантастичното е съвсем малко (не е кусур, просто да [...]

    • David Thompson says:

      I had no idea what to expect of this book. I bought it because, well, it was Frank Herbert and not from the Duniverse. (Are we using that as a word to describe the world of the Dune series?) I accidentally gave myself a misdirect by reading a paragraph near the end, where I had placed my bookmark. I'm glad I was wrong.There wasn't much science, but it does take place in a dystopian California - depending on which side of the barrier you live. Otherwise, I thought it was a wonderful story as you [...]

    • Dave Warawa says:

      While it's not the Dune series, The Santaroga Barrier contains some similar elements. In Dune "The Spice" is the mysterious drug that is ingested into the entire culture and fabric of the community. The Santaroga Barrier has "Jaspers" that has the same effect on the residents. The book is about the community of Santaroga and its ability to shut out the rest of the world from entering. It's a decent fantasy novel by Herbert. It probably would have given it a 3.5 if possible.

    • Daniel says:

      I thought I had read this short Frank Herbert story in high school when I first devoured Dune & everything else he had written but on what I thought was a re-read I'm less sure. Almost at the borderline of not being SF this was a fun take on the "small town with a dark secret" horror trope. Segments clearly inspired by LSD were familiar in proportion to unsettling.

    • Rick Scott says:

      I kept reading for a surprise ending. There isn't one.

    • Pamela says:

      This tale captured my interest. The insular community was both ideal and disturbing. What is reality anyway - it's as finite as a bit of cheese.

    • Gibs says:

      I have long thought - and do even more so after this, my third reading - that The Santaroga Barrier (TSB) is one of Frank Herbert's most underrated and important works. It does not, at least at first, have the "feel" of a work of science fiction; certainly not if comparison is made to the Dune Chronicles or other "hard" sci-fi in the Herbert canon. But there is a strong and pronounced sci-fi undercurrent which makes it appropriately applicable to the genre.The themes of TSB are very typically He [...]

    • vonblubba says:

      Ho iniziato a leggere questo romanzo senza aspettarmi troppo, non saprei dirne il motivo. Forse perché quando si nomina Herbert, si pensa quasi unicamente alla saga di Dune, e quindi mi aspettavo che le altre sue opere non fossero all’altezza. Fortunatamente mi sbagliavo.“The Santaroga barrier” mi ha preso fin dai primi capitoli. La struttura stessa della trama è fatta apposta per coinvolgere il lettore gradualmente, man mano che il mistero di Santaroga viene svelato. Il protagonista ste [...]

    • David Haws says:

      I enjoyed the novel, and thought that it was close enough to the quality of his Dune books. The protagonist’s sentimentality is what I would expect from young, post-WWII pulp writers, which makes me think that maybe this was a trunk novel, at least begun in the early 50s while Herbert was living in Santa Rosa and working as a writer for the PD (Press Democrat). I think he should have made Dr. Dasein a first year graduate student, being sent out (in naïve enthusiasm) by his advisor, Dr. Selado [...]

    • Andrew says:

      the book started a little slow, but the style was very herbert and held your attention the whole time. still not sure if i would consider santaroga utopian or distopian? or what herbert intended in this area. about 1/2 through his message comes out - santaroga is the anti-america. very conservative and almost communistic. they are cut off from tv, politics, economy, modern society in general. the idea of jaspers rang a bell for me as being very similar to melange in dune (especially the first du [...]

    • Gilbert Stack says:

      The Santaroga Barrier by Frank Herbert is about a valley in California which desires absolutely no contact with the rest of the country. They aren't militant about it, they simply refuse to purchase things which are not domestically manufactured. Herbert's lead character is a psychologist hired by a chain of department stores to find out why their products won't be bought in Santaroga, but he has a hidden agenda as he also wants to find out what happened to the woman he wanted to marry when she [...]

    • Mark Austin says:

      ★ - Most books with this rating I never finish and so don't make this list. This one I probably started speed-reading to get it over with.★★ - Average. Wasn't terrible, but not a lot to recommend it. Probably skimmed parts of it.★★★ - Decent. A few good ideas, well-written passages, interesting characters, or the like.★★★★ - Good. This one had parts that inspired me, impressed me, made me laugh out loud, made me think - it got positive reactions and most of the rest of it was [...]

    • Raymond Ford says:

      The Santaroga Barrier (1968) was pure Frank Herbert. He describes a town that insulates itself from the messed up outside world through the help of an ever pervading hallucinogenic substance - that everyone in the town takes. Our hero, Daisen, is sent into the town to figure out what makes it tick. The ensuing story is full of societal troubles (i.e TV, war) and one town's grand solution - a collective, drug induced subconsciousness. Herbert's storytelling this time around, unfortunately, is som [...]

    • jobiwan6 says:

      Like most people, I read Dune first, fell in love, then sought out his earlier books. And, like most people, was disappointed that they all weren't Dunes. What I came to realize was that most of Herbert's earliest works were stories appearing in science fiction magazines like Amazing Stories & Astounding Science Fiction, and the books were just fleshed-out versions of these short stories.Reccuring themes throughout Herbert's writing: ecology, religion, power, the relationship between an envi [...]

    • Johnnie Gee says:

      I wasn't crazy about this story - and when I finished the book I really wasn't sure exactly what happened. It is a story about a very independent, self surviving town that doesn't like outsiders and the citizens go out of their way to make them leave. The citizens leave to go to college, serve in the military and do what other civil minded people do. But, everyone comes back to the town where they were raisedl of them!! I can't give a spoiler if I wanted to because I still don't know why they ca [...]

    • Peri says:

      Santaroga Barrier is about a psychologist named Gilbert Dasein who is assigned to do a market study in a town called Santaroga. No outside businesses have become established in the valley because no locals will patronize them - and it's Dasein's job to find out why. I don't want to say much more than that. One of the best parts of this book is figuring out what's going on in Sanataroga along with the protagonist. Suffice it to say that the mystery is worth solving! I can't promise you'll love th [...]

    • Nicatel says:

      Letto in italiano, nella versione dell'Editrice Nord.Scritto da Herbert pochi anni dopo il celeberrimo "Dune", è completamente diverso da esso sia per ambientazione (in America a fine anni '60), che per tipo di fantascienza, che per mole (molto più breve di "Dune").Il romanzo parte bene, tanto da ricordare un po' i telefilm tipo "Twin Peaks" o "Eureka", con lo straniero che arriva in un paese di provincia dove gli abitanti nascondono "un segreto". Si legge spedito e con interesse fin oltre la [...]

    • Erik says:

      Another well-written Herbert novel. You never quite get to the truth of things, but it doesnt really matter in my opinion. I felt I could identify with the main character Dasein rather well, and understood his motivations at the end of the novel, something that other readers had complained about. Unlike most Herbert books, i felt this had a fair amount of closure - which was welcome relief.The target of Herbert's research this time around was psychology - indeed dream interpretation is a recurri [...]

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