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The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

The Stars My Destination (1956)

by Alfred Bester

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,0171071,272 (4.07)2 / 246
  1. 150
    The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester (timspalding)
    timspalding: The rest of Bester isn't very good. These two are great.
  2. 70
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père (sturlington)
    sturlington: Inspired The Stars My Destination.
  3. 30
    Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks (EatSleepChuck)
  4. 41
    Ubik by Philip K. Dick (falls)
  5. 03
    The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry (pnorth)
    pnorth: Another book based on The Count of Monte Cristo but closer to the original than Bester's.

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English (103)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
The Stars My Destination is like a children's book gone all wrong...

It reads like an original Grim Brothers tale - Hansel and Gretel in the greater solar system - without the Disneyfication. (God I hope Disney doesn't make a movie out of this.)

This is not hard-core sci-fi, a-la [b:The Mote in God's Eye|100365|The Mote in God's Eye (Moties, #1)|Larry Niven|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1399490037s/100365.jpg|2190500]. But it sticks to the golden rule. Invent something (Jaunting in this case) and follow through.

It's a hell of a ride, with a hell of a protagonist, one of the more fascinating literary characters I've met. Gully Foyle, illiterate brute, a savage from the fringe of society, full of bloodlust and motivated by revenge. Not your regular starship captain.

The book has a surreal feel similar to that of [b:Neuromancer|22328|Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)|William Gibson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1167348726s/22328.jpg|909457], and a similar level of intensity. If you like one, you'll like the other.
( )
  meekGee | Jul 6, 2015 |
I've read other books by Bester, but for some reason it took me a long time to get around to this example of classic sci-fi. This book is a wonderful, inventive, fast trip into a future where much has changed, but, unfortunately, the human race has not. Gully Foyle is not a good candidate for hero. He is an uneducated, unthinking lug stranded in a wrecked space ship. When another spaceship, the Vorga, passes him by instead of rescuing him he turns into Ahab, single-mindedly seeking revenge against the Vorga.

I can't imagine why this book has not been made into a movie, because it is full of exciting scenes and colorful characters. Gully is a completely selfish, driven predator for most of the book. It makes for a fascinating read, but maybe a tougher sell for a movie? In any event, I enjoyed the book very much. ( )
  fhudnell | Mar 29, 2015 |
Betrayal, obsession, revenge and redemption. From space simpleton to focussed sophisticate. What more do you need, and a sci-fi setting to boot. A classic tale - memorable and recommended. ( )
  OneOfDem | Mar 10, 2015 |
Gritty and visceral sci-fi, this novel very much fits the mold that became the cyberpunk sub-genre. I'm not sure the injustice/escape/revenge motif is as satisfying as The Count of Monte Cristo, but the ending is one of a kind and worthy of serious literary study. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Jan 27, 2015 |
Have you read "The Count of Monte Cristo?" If not, skip this and read that instead. Both are stories of revenge, but the Count isn't is never as loathsome and idiotic as the protagonist of "The Stars, My Destination." Over the course of the story he evolved from a horrible criminal who indiscriminately hurt others to a different kind of horrible criminal. At the very climax of the story he completed one psuedo-heroic act, and then... the book ended.

The book introduced some great female characters. Specifically, an heiress who sees only in the non-visible electromagnetic spectrum, a misandrist career criminal, and a "one-way" psychic caught on the wrong side of enemy lines. They all had interesting personalities and histories, right up to the point where they invariably and inexplicably became romantically attracted to the protagonist. At that point each of them lost all distinguishing personality traits and became exactly the same: An emotional yoyo alternating between saccharine declarations of love and murderous rage. What makes this most maddening is that these women were the best characters in the book before the protagonist got in their business. In the end the women had precisely zero influence on the climax of the story. When all of the books plotlines converged, a mechanical drinks dispenser was more important than any of them. In fact, none of them were even present during the climatic sequence. ( )
2 vote wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alfred Besterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horen, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Awards and honors
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame they fearful symmetry?
~ Blake
To Truman M. Talley
First words
This was a Golden Age, a time of high adventure rich living and hard dying . . . but nobody thought so.
~ Prologue
He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead.
He was Gully Foyle, the oiler, wiper, bunkerman; too easy for trouble, too slow for fun, too empty for friendship, too lazy for love.
"Vorga, I kill you filthy."
It was an age of freaks, monsters, and grotesques. All the world was misshapen in marvelous and malevolent ways.
Gully Foyle is my nameAnd Terra is my nation.Deep space is my dwelling place,The stars my destination.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Bester's original title, used in the UK editions, was "Tiger! Tiger!" (a reference to the Blake poem). In the US: "The Stars My Destination".
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
In a future where humans have learned how to teleport, provided they have previously physically seen their destination, Gully Foyle's is marooned in space, and he becomes obsessed with getting revenge after another spaceship passes him by.
Haiku summary
Don't mess with Gully.
He'll do whatever it takes
To fuck you over.


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679767800, Paperback)

When it comes to pop culture, Alfred Bester (1913-1987) is something of an unsung hero. He wrote radio scripts, screenplays, and comic books (in which capacity he created the original Green Lantern Oath). But Bester is best known for his science-fiction novels, and The Stars My Destination may be his finest creation. First published in 1956 (as Tiger! Tiger!), the novel revolves around a hero named Gulliver Foyle, who teleports himself out of a tight spot and creates a great deal of consternation in the process. With its sly potshotting at corporate skullduggery, The Stars My Destination seems utterly contemporary, and has maintained its status as an underground classic for forty years. (Bester fans should also note that Vintage has reprinted The Demolished Man, which won the very first Hugo Award in 1953.)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Gully Foyle, Mechanic's Mate 3rd Class, is the only survivor on his drifting, wrecked spaceship. When another space vessel, the Vorga, ignores his distress flares and sails by, Foyle becomes a man obsessed with revenge. He endures 170 days alone in deep space before finding refuge on the Sargasso Asteroid and then returning to Earth to track down the crew and owners of the Vorga. But, as he works out his murderous grudge, Foyle also uncovers a secret of momentous proportions.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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