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Golem 100 Hardcover – Apr 1980

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671253212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671253219
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,595,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb231c6e4) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa567b36c) out of 5 stars Dark, twisted foray into the world of the subconcious Nov. 17 2001
By Michael_GR - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book represents all of Bester's trademarks - psychology. twisted humor, fast action, eccentric characters - taken to the extreme. The book is about a group of bored rich houswifes who dabble in magic to avert tedium and manage, without their knowing, to actually summon a demon. A small group of misfits - BLaise Shima, a scent expert, Gretchen Nunn, a detective, and Inspector Ind'dni, hunt for the source of the Demon who terrorizes the city.
The Science in this science fiction book is psychology, mainly Jungian psychoanalysis. In this book the world of the collective subconcious comes to life.
The world in Golem^100 is the sort of demented corporate-run future described in Bester's earlier work, The Computer Connection. Here it's described in even darker tones.
There's a lot of dark humor in Golem^100, and some of it may not be to everyone's liking - if you're offended by necrophilia jokes don't read this book. If you can stomach some VERY graphic violence (with innards all over the place), twisted humor and a plot that involves mutants, demons and radioactive drugs, read this book. While not a masterwork, it's a very original, inventive, thrilling read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa607a00c) out of 5 stars Senseeing and Seesensing Sept. 11 2005
By doomsdayer520 - Published on
Format: Paperback
This old book doesn't quite have the immortal greatness of Bester's two masterpieces, The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man. Those two classics deserve to be rediscovered due to their sheer relentless weirdness and Bester's very strange and vivid imagination. After one has digested those two novels, Golem^100 becomes a little easier to handle, though that weirdness is still there in spades. This one does have Bester's most fully-realized and well-crafted characters, as these unique personalities try to battle an interdimensional demon by trying to travel to its world, through the use of weird drugs and esoteric rituals. Bester does incredible things with human (and inhuman) psychology here, as mind expansion starts to cross the lines between psychic realms and even between good and evil. The illustrated portions of the novel, highlighting trips to these dark realms, could be better artistically, but this is a very audacious method of visual storytelling. Note that this book does have some scenes of horrendous brutality and degradation that could be a turn-off for some readers, and a few sections written in stream-of-consciousness or hipster slang are getting pretty dated. But this is another case of Bester's truly cracked and bizarre imagination, and his very small number of novels places him far above sci-fi writers who have written dozens and dozens. But sometimes you really have to wonder what this guy was on... [~doomsdayer520~]
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb2b16c60) out of 5 stars Good, but too stylistic for the sake of it.. March 30 2002
By S Smyth - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With too much time on their hands, a group of well to do ladies conspire to summon the devil. This they unknowingly do, unleashing a chain of unlikely and gruesome murders. During the outbreak of the murders the perfume designer, Blaise Shima, who has an extraordinary sensitivity to odours, is drawn in by way of the strong smell of death that is coincidental with the creature / Golem that the ladies have set loose.
Police investigator, Subador Ind'dni is baffled by the killings but learns the truth when he is eventually confronted by the strange goings on between Blaise Shima and the Psychodynamicist, Gretchen Nunn, who has been employed by Blaise Shima's employers to discover why their top perfume designer is acting oddly.
Attempts to destroy the Golem appear to have succeded, but Gretchen Nunn is ultimately a replacement to the ladies that instigated the problem, and Subador Indin'dni becomes the Golem.
Much of this book is very similar to Iain M Banks' material, a couple of sections pretty much a precursor to sections of Use of Weapons and Against a Dark Background. The opening chapter is similar to John Updike's, The Witches of Eastwick. Overall, Golem 100 was a straightforward read apart from a few parts toward the final pages, which were a bit tiresome and which can be skimmed through. A section in which a number of murders were taking place was awkwardly handled: the break from Suabador Indin'dni to a sequence of murders and back again, taking a page or two to figure out what the intended effect was supposed to be, since it was a stylistic divergence from the preceding text.
All of the illustrations worked okay, but were sometimes a little confusing because they were either post or pre sync to the text.
In general, Golem 100 is a well put together piece of work all the links well thought through and convincing. The satirical aspect of the book was - I'm afraid to say - dependant upon events that I've forgotten the relevance of, making this aspect of the book little more than slightly comedic. Doubtless there are others, who will be better informed than myself, and more appreciative of Alfred Bester's intentions...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5842e94) out of 5 stars Might have been daring and outrageous - now dated and creaky June 9 2012
By Timothy P. Scott - Published on
Format: Paperback
Reading this 30 years after its writing really exposes its flaws. Bester tries to create a futuristic dystopia (22nd century) in what is now New York, complete with a new "hip" argot and supposedly outlandish mores and customs. Alas, in 2012 it comes off very labored and inadvertently humorless. In the course of the narrative he attempts to deal with "big issues" such as free sexuality, womens' empowerment, megacorporations dominating society, Jungian analysis, but sabotages his own earnest intentions by creating a silly plot with even less believable characters. You literally care about none of them, and when a major character mutilates and murdered another towards the end of the book, I was neither shocked or sympathetic.

Perhaps it's my own jadedness due to age, but Bester's attempts at "extreme fiction" seem pretty risible now. There are plenty of grisly murders, and the PLO occupies part of New York like a mob, led by an ancient crone. The "Inspector" is a "homosexual" high caste Hindu, and the protagonist a beautiful, voluptuous black woman, blind but who can see through others' eyes. (She doesn't realize she's blind until another character points it out.) -- I would say he's trying too hard.

The other moderately interesting aspect was the use of Jack Gaughan's illustrations throughout. It is almost an experimental novel in some aspects due to the use of these.

In other words...not a classic by any means. I get the feeling Bester was channeling Willam S Burroughs, but Cities of the Red Night and Place of Dead Roads followed this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4eac378) out of 5 stars The Horror Within... Aug. 26 2012
By Gregory Alan Wingo - Published on
Format: Paperback
Truly one of Alfred Bester's most vulgar works but also one of his best ones. This dystopian vision of the future of America's northeastern corridor reads like a road map for a Libertarian future.

Bester explores the definition of what a literary text is through his use of visual imagery over textual narrative at several points in the novel. To quote China Mieville "...Chapter 13 is the revelation...though which words must find their way. The images are the engine, organizing what language there is, invoking awe and, on the last page, an irruption of sudden textless terror. This is how you'll discover modernism and its typographical games..."

It is also an easy and brutally hilarious read.

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