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Demolished Man (Sf Masterworks 14) Paperback – Jul 8 1999

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Paperback, Jul 8 1999
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Millennium Paperbacks (July 8 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857988221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857988222
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #567,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 155 reviews
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
The Best Science Fiction Novel July 31 2000
By rareoopdvds - Published on
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.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
masterpiece but flawed e-edition Oct. 8 2013
By JAMES - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel is phenomenal. There is a reason it won the HUGO in 1953.

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.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A true sci-fi classic! Feb. 1 2001
By Chad M. Brick - Published on
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.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Hugo series start with a bang Feb. 28 2000
By Human - Published on
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.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Bester's Classic Aug. 18 2013
By VoxVulgus - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The Demolished Man may or may not be Bester's best work, but it is his best known and most readily available. Read the first few pages in the sample to get an idea of his style. It's typical for the period - very exuberant, romantic phrasing, heroic characterizations and so on. I would recommend the book as one of the better written examples of that style, as well an interesting rumination on how human "will" and character adapt to techno wealth. (also a common theme in the "epic" SF from the 50s).
But the science is fantastical (a failing of 50's SF) and if you don't like the writing style, you'll most likely not finish the book, so do take a peek first.

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