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The Demolished Man Paperback – July 2, 1996


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Paperback, July 2, 1996
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (July 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679767819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679767817
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In a world policed by telepaths, Ben Reich plans to commit a crime that hasn't been heard of in 70 years: murder. That's the only option left for Reich, whose company is losing a 10-year death struggle with rival D'Courtney Enterprises. Terrorized in his dreams by The Man With No Face and driven to the edge after D'Courtney refuses a merger offer, Reich murders his rival and bribes a high-ranking telepath to help him cover his tracks. But while police prefect Lincoln Powell knows Reich is guilty, his telepath's knowledge is a far cry from admissible evidence. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

SALES POINTS * #14 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written * The first-ever winner of the Hugo Award for best sf novel of the year. * 'Bester's two superb books have stood the test of time. For nearly fifty years they've held their place on everybody's list of the ten greatest sf novels' -- Robert Silverberg * 'Alfred Bester wrote with the pedal to the floor and the headlights on full beam. His work combined erudition with an unparalleled imaginative inventiveness. Bester was writing cyberpunk while William Gibson was still running around zapping the other kids at school with a toy raygun' -- James Lovegrove --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

And in my mind, the END of a book is what really should be good, because that is the last thing the reader reads.
EMAN NEP
This is a classic science fiction novel first published in 1952, which is a must read for anyone interested in the history of the genre.
Dave_42
The ending started to pick up the book a bit, but then the last chapter, like so many others, was quite disappointing.
S. Bernard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on July 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Even 49 years after its initial publication, The Demolished Man still stands as a true science fiction novel. The story of Ben Reich living in a future world where mind reading is a commonality amongst a group known as 'Espers.' In a world without crime, for one can know when you will commit one, how is one to go about plotting a murder? Ben Reich has the perfect plan. This book captivated me from beginning to end when I read it 10 years ago and I continually reccomend it to those that enjoy science fiction. Author, Alfred Bester, won the first Hugo Award for Science Fiction for The Demolished Man. In my opinion this book is still the hallmark of science fiction novels, unfortunately, however, Bester himself is so unheard of in many literary circles and more so in the general public. I highly reccomnend this book for anyone who has a flare for science fiction.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Chad M. Brick on February 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Bester's "The Demolished Man" is a true classic of the sci-fi genre, and perhaps the first cyberpunk novel. Though it does appear dated at times, Bester's work remains as fun and powerful as when it was written fifty years ago. Threads of Bester's comic book roots can be seen woven throughout the story, which moves along at a brisk, almost frantic, pace.
A near future world where a small minority has developed their latent ESP, Bester's world is a compelling mix of utopia and dystopia. The mind police have virtually eliminated crime, either by rooting it out beforehand, or by always catching their man after-the-fact. But this safety comes at a dear price, where the unenforcable promise of the ESPers is only guarantee of privacy that most have.
However, Ben Reich, as head of a major corporate powerhouse, feels that he can outsmart the ESPers. Haunted in his dreams by a mysterious man, and driven by uncontrolled passions, Reich decides to eliminate his chief rival, D'Courtney. The murder sets off a brilliant battle of wits between Reich and the head investigator, Powell, which can only end in the "demolition" of Reich, or the total embarrassment of Powell.
Who gets demolished? What IS "demolition"? Why would Reich risk so much to kill D'Courtney? With so many pressing questions, it was amazing to see Bester wrap this book up in such a fulfilling way. A great mystery with a clever ending, set in a compelling near future world - despite its age, "The Demolished Man" remains a standard-bearer of its field.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Human on February 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Demolished Man was the first novel to win the Hugo award. The book has everything: plot, strong characters. In the future, to committ a crime is an impossible task, due to all those telepaths running around. In case somebody do committ a crime, there is no prison ,what they do is just swipe your mind clean. However, Ben Reich decided that he will committ a crime anyway, He is even hired a telepath to help him to block his thougths. This is actually more the detective novel developing in Futuristic scenario. The Demolished Man is a novel of the future, where along with all new ways of life and powerful technology, only one thing remains unsolved: the mystery of human soul.
P.S. Also if you like this novel read The Stars, My Destination. I think, this is the best novel Alfred Bester written.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on August 7, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a classic science fiction novel first published in 1952, which is a must read for anyone interested in the history of the genre. Age has been much kinder to this novel than to most from that era, and this still is a good read today. It is the winner of the first ever Hugo award in 1953, and was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1954. It was recognized by the fans when it was rated the 7th best science fiction book in the 1956 Astounding/Analog poll, and moved up to 5th on that poll in 1966. It has faired well on the Locus polls as well, being rated 14th for All Time Novel in 1975, tied for 18th for All Time SF Novel in 1987, and finally 22nd for SF Novel before 1990 in 1998. It is considered by some, to be the beginning of modern science fiction.

It is the story of Ben Reich who is the extremely rich head of a large corporation, and his decision to kill a business rival with whom he has become obsessed. The biggest problem he has is the "Espers", telepaths who can read his plan from his mind, and stop him or easily have him convicted after the crime. This theme will sound familiar to fans of Philip K. Dick, but the two stories are quite different. There are many more events in this book which cause it to twist and turn, but it would be impossible to talk about them without spoiling the story. This is a great book, and well deserving of the awards and accolades it has received.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1996
Format: Paperback
I could not understand why _The Demolished Man_, a classic in the science fiction field, has been out of print for so long. So when Vintage Books finally reissued it in July of this year, it signalled the end of a ten year search for a copy of the book, and it did not disappoint. The concept is intriguing. Ben Reich is the head of one of the largest corporations in the future, but one man, his rival D'Courtney, stands in his way, and so he must die. The catch: society is policed by Espers, people with telepathic powers, who make it virtually impossible for anyone to successfully commit murder and get away with it. Can Reich get away with murder? How he does it and how he tries to get away with it are just some of the questions that will be answered when you pick up the book. But be prepared. Fasten your seatbelts. The action is so fast paced that transitions virtually disappear. In a style that foreshadows William Gibson and the cyberpunks, Bester masterfully creates a decaying world whose ultimate survival depends on the capture of Ben Reich. And he keeps us guessing until the very end
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