The Space Merchants - C.M. Kornbluth, Frederik Pohl The Space Merchants is a classic scifi satire about advertising and over consumarism. The book was a fast & fun read for me, the ending was not as promising as the way there though.

At the beginning of the book we get to know the protagonist who is working for the Fowler Schocken conglomerate as advertising executive and his life as well as that the earth in the future is vastly overpopulated and the gap between the upper and lower classes is immense. The food is synthetic, only the rich people can buy "real" meat (which I noted because I'm a foodie). The people live in apartments that are not bigger than closets and have fold-able tables and beds.

Mitch is getting promoted and is taking over the section which is entrusted with the so called Venus project. His task is to sell the consumers the Venus as desirable planet to live and work on. His company is also looking for ways to exploit the resources on Venus. From now on, trouble awaits Mitch from every angle of life. First, there is a terrorist group known as the "Consies" or "Natschus" who ought to protect the earth and its inhabitants from exploitation. His life gets significantly altered as the project advances, it gets literally unhinged from what it once was. His identity gets stolen and he is thrown in the lowest dump in some faraway place (somewhere in Asia). There he has to slave away and gets firsthand insight how the consumerists endure their hardship. Mitch desperately wants to escape and joins a Consie group, where he proofs himself being a useful member and therefore gets promoted and can return to New York.

I enjoyed the description of the oversized chicken and how the workers slice that meat everyday. The poor chicken starves half to death at night and only gets fed to produce more meat. (imagine a 3 meters high living chicken in a barn)

The Space Merchants is most of the time a fun read but at some points it lacks, some of the ideas are too simplistic or the execution thereof are inconclusive or not believable.

I enjoyed to follow the character Mitch through his ups and downs. His estrangled wife with whom he is desperately in love makes a noteworthy appearance although I did not like her.