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The Man Who Played to Lose

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Published: 1961
Language: English
Wordcount: 8,101 / 30 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 92.1
LoC Category: PZ
Downloads: 969
Added to site: 2009.10.16 25562

Sometimes the very best thing you can do is to lose. The cholera germ, for instance, asks nothing better than that it be swallowed alive....

Show Excerpt

al followers in the nearby jungle. But he was pretty well all alone; there's got to be a rotten apple in the best-picked barrel and these boys were smart. The only sensible thing to do was staring them in the face, and it didn't take them long to see it.

"We'll take you back with us," Huey's friend told me. "When we get to a safe place we can sit down and talk this out."

I wanted to insist on finishing my supper right where I was, but there's such a thing as playing a little too much for the grandstand. Instead, I was herded into the center of the group, and we marched off into the jungle.

Only it wasn't a march; there was no attempt at order. For a while we used the trail, and then straggled off it and went single-file through masses of trees and bushes and leaves. Being in the center of the line helped a little but not enough; the spines kept coming through and I got a few more nice scratches. The trip took about half an hour, and when we stopped we were in front of a cave-mouth.

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
JoJo Biggins

This is an OK story that suffers from an unbelievable beginning and ending that keeps it from being "good". A galactic government spy is sent to quell a planetary uprising. How he gets into the underground, and how he converts the rebel leader are just too far outside the realm of normal human behavior to be taken seriously. The story is worth reading, it just has some holes in it.

Paulo Respighi

A special operative from the Comity--the association of planets--lands on Wohlen with the assignment to wipe out the guerrilla bands that cropped up after the brief civil war. He goes about it in a rather peculiar way, by helping them.

The best character is the general. Though the story is narrated by the operative (he has several names) he keeps his own thoughts and plans to himself to keep the plot moving. The descriptions are pretty good.



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