- File Size: 7528 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Byron Preiss Visual Publications (May 28, 2013)
- Publication Date: May 28, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D2ITJLS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,925 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$15.95|
|Print List Price:||$17.95|
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The Demolished Man Kindle Edition
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The main conflict is the cat and mouse, detective and criminal game played between Powell and Reich. Neither is terribly sympathetic. Reich is a bit too ambitiously murderous to be likable and Powell is a bit too self righteous. It waffles between an interesting cat and mouse game and grandiose discussions between the main characters and whoever is arround about the way the world ought to be. When it's cat and mouse the story ticks along nicely. Discussions about the way the world ought to be are only made tolerable by the inclusions of details about the Esper lifestyle.
This just is an old book at this point and some conventions seem antiquated. Most disturbingly it feels like Bester knows they're antiquated. There's a long "as you know, Bob," lecture where it is pointed out to the lecturer that Bob, in this case Reich, DOES know. But the lecturer demands to keep lecturing anyway. It comes off as feeling like the problem was understood but no solution could be found so it was just done anyway. And I felt like that was an issue more than in just the dialogue. The plot occasionally bumped into issues that were clearly big deals, the story couldn't continue as is, but the story just barrelled down the same corridor anyway which hurt my suspension of disbelief and left me confused several times.
But it's interesting as a classic to trace its influence and it is insteresting with its worldbuilding and culturebuilding. So if you can take the faults I think there is plenty of gold to find down in the muck. Just don't expect it to read like a modern sci-fi or expect a great twisting story. Or a great straightforward stoy.
Unfortunately this e-edition seems to have been rushed. It is filled with typographical errors, which are made more annoying because the author used odd typography to help you fell the setting. For instance, one character is named 1/4main (Quartermain), and another is Wyg& (Wygand). I am NOT saying these examples are mistakes, but somehow every instance of the word "marry" is spelled "many". There are numerous other instances. I hope it will be cleaned up.
It is a classic detective story, a classic psychological drama and a classic SF world/social structure depiction all in one.
This isn't just a great SF novel. It is a great novel - period!
It was good, very creative, but for me a bit less than Stars my Destination.
Why? Some parts were a bit psychedelic, a la Neuromancer, just a fraction compared to this other classic which I don't enjoy.
The story line just kept getting weaker.
I truly adore this story and hope you will as well.
You can tell that it was written decades ago because there is a pile of ideas and twists (not all of them unexpected) which gives it raw power that is characteristic of that time. Will not dwell on the plot but I do recommend it to everyone who wants to see how we pictured tomorrow yesterday ;-) ... Or just enjoy a good good book
Before buying it I read that this one and "The Stars My Destination" were practically on ALL top 10 (top 5 even) lists of SF - after reading them I can understand and appreciate the fact.
Top international reviews
First of all it presents you with an utterly unlikeable protagonist who through sheer force of character and charisma somehow has you rooting for him in his impossible mission to murder a business rival in a world where psychics can tell you are about to commit a crime before you have committed it.
Then, as you’re being pulled along at lightspeed by his efforts to cover his tracks, adapt to overcome disaster and evade the equally charismatic (although in an entirely different way) investigator Powell, you suddenly discover your being engaged in a deeply thoughtful and intelligent conversation about what it would be like to live in a world where some people could read each other’s thoughts.
And then, that ending. If the whole book was mediocre it would be saved by how it ends. And this whole book is magnificent. Come get into Ben Reich’s head. Nothing will be the same again.
Written in the 50s I think and comes across as a little dated but nevertheless written around an interesting premise - how do you get away with murder when the police are telepathic?
Written in 1953 this is an astonishingly modern novel, it reads very quick and has some great ideas, only a few things link it to the 20th C, like using photographs and printed tape but other than that a great slice of sci-fi. My first from the Gollancz SF Masterworks imprint but not my last.