...as well as a whole lot of fun. Prepare yourself for the plunge into a fully realized future society, as well as into the minds of the people that inhabit it, for an exploration of humanity and society very much unlike any other out there. Age means nothing; "The Demolished Man" may be an "old" sci-fi, but that does nothing to diminish its power. The future is always mutable.
The unthinkable happens. Driven by nightmares dominated by The Man With No Face, infuriated by the machinations of a rival, ruthless businessman Ben Reich prepares to commit a crime unheard-of in over seventy years: he will consciously, premeditatedly, murder another man.
And he does.
Of course, although murder is considered somewhat antiquated, the police force is still set up to deal with it, and it is up to Lincoln Powell, detective and telepath, to discover the identity of the murderer-and his motive.
Of course complications ensue. The characters are fully realized, sympathetic or antipathetic as their function in the story demands; the society is rich and complex; nothing has a simple solution, and the final revelation is one that even the reader didn't see coming. Occasionally the story seems too reliant on Freudian psychology...but that's a minor quibble, an unimportant chip in a masterpiece. Read and enjoy. Alfred Bester doesn't get read as much as he used to-although thanks to the excellent science-fiction show Babylon 5, and the associated Psi Corps novels, he may be coming back into fashion. And speaking of fashions, it's time to go play Sardines at the house of Madame Maria Beaumont, the Gilt Corpse...Let the games begin.