Monday, February 06, 2012

The Demolished Man

The Demolished Man. Alfred Bester. 1951. Random House. 245 pages.

Explosion! Concussion! The vault doors burst open. And deep inside, the money is racked ready for pillage, rapine, loot. Who's that? Who's inside the vault? Oh God! The Man With No Face! Looking. Looming. Silent. Horrible. Run....Run...

The Demolished Man is the winner of the first Hugo Award. I am not sure it's an absolute must-read. But. If you're a fan of science fiction, I think you should definitely consider reading this one! Depending on your expectations, of course, you might just find yourself surprised at how clever and literary well written it is.

The mystery elements of The Demolished Man made it a great read for me. The novel stars two characters. One, Ben Reich, who is determined to murder his business rival, Craye D'Courtney. With (future) society being what it is, murder is unheard of because telepaths (espers) always, always are able to read the minds of the would-be murderers and stop them before the crime is committed. But Reich plans to bribe a few high(er) level telepaths to help him cover his tracks, AND he plans on using a catchy song to distract other mind-readers in the area, to keep them from peeping his intentions.

Eight, sir; seven, sir;
Six, sir; five, sir;
Four, sir; three, sir;
two, sir; one!
'Tenser' said the Tensor.
'Tenser,' said the Tensor.
'Tension, apprehension,
And dissension have begun.' 

The second main character is Lincoln Powell, the detective on the case. (The murder is successful.) Both characters narrate this one. So readers get the view points of both the detective and the criminal. I wasn't sure how I felt about this--at first. But I think it works well, for the most part!

Have you read this one? What did you think? What did you think of the ending? Of what happens to criminals... And what did you think of the "romance"?!

This one surprised me. It did. I really liked it so much more than I thought I would. In fact, I think I may even love it. I couldn't help thinking of this Alfred Bester when I read it.

Read The Demolished Man
  • If you're a fan of classic science fiction
  • If you want to read the FIRST Hugo Winner
  • If you're interested in reading science fiction with a focus on telepaths
  • If you're a fan of mysteries and detective fiction

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Susan 9:01 PM  

Oh, I am looking for a copy of this desperately! I want to read it for the Grandmaster Challenge. I'm delighted that you enjoyed it so much! I was able to read your review and no spoilers, so thank so much for that too, Becky.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP