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Golem 100 [Hardcover]

Alfred Bester
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1980
Regina and her bee-ladies, bored members of the elite, while away the idle hours by playing at conjuring the Devil - a game which leads to horrifying consequences. Alfred Bester's other novels include "Tiger, Tiger", "Extro" and "The Demolished Man".
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Edition edition (April 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671253212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671253219
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,434,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing tour de force... 3 Oct 2005
By A Customer
Bester's later works are generally ignored in favour of his classics Stars My Destination (Tiger Tiger) and Demolished Man. Both are excellent novels, but he only truly shone in the second half of his writing career.
Golem 100 is a brutal, uncompromising and exhilirating read. Bester's use of language never ceases to astound and his utter disregard for convention and predictability will ensure you will never, ever forget this book. He creates worlds, characters and absurd situations, and dumps them without care or warning. He almost abuses his own imagination.
Under no circumstances should Golem 100 be overlooked! Try it and find out just how far ahead of his time this fellow was...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Though this is commonly viewed as one of Alfred Bester's minor works, in my opinion it is his masterpiece. Though opening on the simple happenings of life in a future a lot different from the views presented in most science-fiction, Bester quickly elevates the plot to the level of high sf in the extreme. Following the usual Freudian theme Bester often adopted, and displaying more than usual his intricate web of ancient mythology and modern scientific ideas, and showing off to spectacular effect his skill in text art and drawing, the book takes you to the darkest depths of the human mind and the universe at large, leaving you feeling as if you've just leapt from the edge of a precipice, and only by a magnificent feat of chance smoothly executed a perfect triple somersault, all in the mysterious, brilliantly written, and absolutely unguessable twist of an expertly crafted ending.
You won't land.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, twisted foray into the world of the subconcious 17 Nov 2001
By Michael_GR - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but too stylistic for the sake of it.. 30 Mar 2002
By S Smyth - Published on Amazon.com
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...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Senseeing and Seesensing 11 Sep 2005
By doomsdayer520 - Published on Amazon.com
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~]
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, but inconsistent and repulsive. 24 April 2000
By Kenneth Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
This is the first Bester book I have read - I've always disliked the juxtaposition of humor and horror, so there is much for me to dislike in Golem100. Quick synopsis: Several horrible murders occur in New York of 2175, and 3 dissimilar personalites come together to try to find the culprit. Golem100 occasionally succeeds as a detective/crime novel, and I found it hard to put down. It is NOT science fiction - it's more of a hallucinogenic-psycho-drama set in the future. Some of the stylistic devices are very inventive. I've heard that this book is hard to fathom - I didn't find it a difficult read, but be prepared to have your intellect taxed. It's basically a pornographic version of "Fantasic Planet".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Horrible 12 Jun 2014
By Robert Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
I first and last read Bester about 35 years ago. "The Stars My Destination". Liked it. This book was nothing like it. Meaningless, strings of words making no sense, at one points pages and pages without even punctuation. Really struck me as something someone would write if they were being forced to submit a manuscript and really didn't want to. Reminded me terribly of both "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" by Robert Shea and "Bill the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Bottled Brains" by Robert Sheckley and Harry Harrison. A waste of time. As much could be accomplished by reading a dictionary in an unknown foreign language (without translation). What parts did make sense were not good.
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