- 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: 180 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Demolished Man Paperback – July 2, 1996
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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.
A non-psychic man commits a murder in a future world where some can read minds to varying levels of ability. The detective on the case is a top level mind reader trying to build enough evidence to convict the killer. The two main characters are both interesting portrayals of the corrupt mega-CEO and the determined detective looking for justice. Both are highly intelligent and at the top of their respective social ladders and this makes for a high powered game of cat and mouse that works on many levels.
Bester also excels at creating an intelligent and fully realized society where telepathic people and "non-tele's", live work and interact. The way Bester integrates telepathy into the various occupations like law enforcement and sales is interesting and clever. I would be interested in revisiting this book's environment with a completely different story and characters just to further delve into the mind reading characteristic Bester has created.
What is equally impressive is how well this book holds up more then 50 years after it was written which is rare for the science fiction genre. This book also has the distinction of winning the first Hugo award for best science fiction of the year (1953).
Bottom Line: A classic sci-fi book that was original in its time and often copied since. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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