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The demolished man by Alfred Bester

The demolished man (original 1953; edition 1999)

by Alfred Bester (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,484921,523 (3.96)146
Title:The demolished man
Authors:Alfred Bester (Author)
Info:London : Millennium, 1999.
Collections:LT connections, Your library, Favorites
Tags:20th century, crime, fiction, murder, mystery, novel, paperback, sf, telepathy

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The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester (1953)


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English (88)  French (2)  Romanian (1)  Italian (1)  All (92)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
In a future where the law is staffed by telepaths, how can you plot a murder? Ben Reich thinks he’s found a way. Does he succeed? You’ll have to read the book to find out, and I envy anyone their first reading of this classic of science fiction. ( )
1 vote Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
I'm of two minds about this book. I loved the world, the espers & their guild, the little details Bester has (such as the orthography of names, or the patterns of telepathic communication), and how the plot built with mystery around the murder and the Man with No Face. And then it turned out the secret was that D'Courtney was secretly Reich's father? It was such an underwhelming, and Freudian, conclusion to that mystery, and such a poor explanation for the characters actions. I was hoping for something larger, and frankly more motivating and plausible. And so, while I loved the book up to that point, it's hard to rate it highly when the big reveal was so disappointing. ( )
1 vote teknognome | Nov 14, 2016 |
This first-Hugo winning novel has a lot of "what happens next?" power when I didn't dwell on the unlikely crime, or puzzling over how rare murder had supposedly become only for several to occur or be referred to in the story and mostly be little remarked upon. I did appreciate the depiction of a society rife with ESP, how this ability's operation in social and work contexts would work long after it was been accepted by that society as everyday. This aspect felt very real, producing some interesting dialogue and scenarios. I was surprised to learn this novel was a precursor of Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report". It's a fast-paced thriller and a fun ride if you look past its 1950s pedigree (a hurdle I can overcome, but not entirely ignore). ( )
1 vote Cecrow | Oct 31, 2016 |
Hugo Award winner. Tight blend of future-scape and human psychology that keeps your attention. Dated to be sure but full of vivid character images with interplay easily making up for the 50's feel of the place.
1 vote fredjryder1946 | Aug 30, 2016 |
What to write about this first ever winner of the Hugo award? The main conclusion must be this: times have changed. The CIA had a secret program (‘Project MKULtra’) trying to gain insight into mind control during the 1950s and the early sixties. Arthur C. Clarke dabbled in the paranormal (see the foreword to Childhood’s End – also published in 1953), Asimov had telepaths living in a second Foundation, and Frank Herbert wrote The Santaroga Barrier as late as 1968. It were trippy times, and the belief in the potential powers of the mind was hopeful and naive.

Is this book science fiction? Not because it’s set in 2301 AD, as that doesn’t matter for the story: it could have been 1981 AD just as well. Not because it features Venus or Ganymede as locations, as that doesn’t matter either, it could have been Hawaii and Malawi too. The fact that humans colonized the solar system is not explored one bit – the most comical moment of the book is when a character wonders if he’ll catch the “10 o’clock rocket” to someplace off-planet. Not because cars are called jumpers and can fly. And not because the judge is a computer, as that could have been any bureaucrat.


Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig ( )
1 vote bormgans | Jun 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alfred Besterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Byttner, GöranTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiFate, VincentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Figueroa, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, HarryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehman, SergeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lippi, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Makarský, LubošTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcel, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meltzoff, StanleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Papy, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pınar, RehaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepper, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pukallus, HorstTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serra, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tamminen, ArviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viskupic, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vonnegut, KurtIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Horace Gold
First words
In the endless universe there is nothing new, nothing different.
Explosion! Concussion! The vault doors burst open.
Tenser, said the Tensor. Tenser, said the Tensor. Tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun!
Its lucky for the world I'm willing to stop at one murder.   Together we could rape the universe.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679767819, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:14 -0400)

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