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The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Alfred Bester
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 Mar 2010 S.F. MASTERWORKS

Gully Foyle, Mechanic's Mate 3rd Class.

EDUCATION: none

SKILLS: none

MERITS: none

RECOMMENDATIONS: none

That's the official verdict on Gully Foyle, unskilled space crewman.

But right now he is the only survivor on his drifting, wrecked spaceship, and when another space vessel, the Vorga, ignores his distress flares and sails by, Gully becomes obsessed with revenge. He endures 170 days alone in deep space before finding refuge on the Sargasso Asteroid and returning to Earth to track down the crew and owners of the Vorga. But, as he works out his murderous grudge, Gully Foyle also uncovers a secret of momentous proportions . . .


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The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) + The Forever War (S.F. MASTERWORKS) + Gateway (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (29 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575094192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575094192
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Long out of print, and hugely influential on both the SF New Wave of the 60s and the cyberpunks of the 80s, Bester's second novel is a fast-moving pyrotechnic extravaganza with enough bloodshed for Tarantino and enough social analysis for Marx. The solar system is torn by warfare--the discovery of a human capacity to move short distances by the power of mind has blown open the balance of economic power. A marooned spaceman, Gully Foyle, seeks revenge on the ship and crew that left him to rot, and pursues them among hereditary industrialists, sensory-deprived monks, circus freaks and the convicts of the deepest Hell on Earth. Marked by hideous facial tattoos, and haunted by his own flaming double, there is nothing that Foyle will not do-- and he is pursued by a selection of Furies as highly coloured as himself. Bester's profligate imagination gives us Dagenham, the radioactive courier, Jizbella, the consummate feminist thief, Robin, the one-way telepath, Ang-Yeovil, secret master of intelligence and Olivia, the albino who sees infra-red. Streetwise and high-gloss, this is one of the finest of SF classics, full of evocative scenery and much-imitated stylistic gimmicks that for once work perfectly. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

you can see seeds of science fiction's next half century sprinkled throughout its pacy. compulsive narrative (SFX 2013-12-03)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best sci fi novel ever. Buy it now. Right now. 20 April 2000
Format:Paperback
This is the greatest science fiction novel ever written, and in my humble opinion one of the greatest novels of the 20th Century. Strangely, it has long been known to me as "Tiger Tiger" and I have never got used to this, its original title.
Underneath the superb and imaginative futuristic setting is the story of a man transformed from a Dave Lister-style space bum into a raging, semi-literate savage intent on killing the spaceship Vorga that left him stranded. Through his weird and often violent trials and tribulations he is transformed into a powerful, intelligent and finally great man on whom the future of civilization rests. The story he uncovers and the "driven" people at the centre of the immense power struggle in which he finds himself, are remarkable and yet terrifying.
This is a superb futuristic novel which at its heart is an acute and insightful reflection on the present day world. It seems to offer something new every time I read it, and I never tire of re-visiting this wonderful story.
This is a breathtaking, pulse racing, thoughful and magnificent work of fiction, with a million great ideas tightly woven into one excellent, coherent story. It is a great achievement in itself, and also the reason why we have William Gibson and cyberpunk.
Buy it now. There is no excuse not to.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blinding pace; an unforgettable, amazing novel 5 July 2003
Format:Paperback
This is certainly not a perfect book. There is a lot in it that turns me off; that doesn't sit right with me (The descriptions of Presteign and his contemporaries' lifestyles, the circus bufoonery and some of Bester's future vision for women) - These elements do not seem to fit with the rest of the book, and chapters which do not focus on the main character, Gully Foyle, are just nowhere near as interesting as the rest of the book.
But oh, the rest of the book - The other 70% - That's the reason why I'm giving this the full five stars, and why I do consider it, though not perfect, still one of the finest and most unique books I've ever read. First of all, the pace: This book reads faster than anything else I've come across. Without wanting to sound cliched, Bester's prose burns off the page at a speed somewhat faster than lightning. He moves effortlessly across continents and planets, from action scene to action scene, all in the space of a typical chapter. The action is blinding (Bester wrote a lot of comics, earlier in his career, and it really shows), often violent and visceral in a way that I just didn't believe '50s novels could be, and Foyle is a madman, more than a man, a towering anti-hero. Yes, Foyle: One of the best characters ever created. Perhaps 'anti-hero' wasn't fair - He defies description. You just have to read about him. He changes so much during his adventures, and all in a totally believable way. Lastly, I want to mention the actual technology, the sci-fi: It has not, on the whole, dated badly. Most of it still seems wonderful and far-flung, though believable, today. And better than that, it's cool! In one of the best chapters of the novel, Bester introduces nano-augmentation and proceeds through a blistering set of action scenes that easily out-Matrix 'The Matrix.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't praise this book highly enough. It's part social critique, part re-write of the Count of Monte Cristo, part play, part novel, part re-telling of the "Hero" monomyth, and through all its rough and ready ugliness and glory shines a firm belief in humanity and our ability to redeem ourselves if we'll only stand still long enough to listen.

I can think of few other novels which make me want to laugh, cry and dance with joy just for the remembrance of them.

A wonderful book that no sci-fi fan should be without - 10/10
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic 4 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
The plot is quite simple, but the momentum it builds is so well balanced it sees you through the quirkier aspects of the storyline. I would say there are not many instances where you are made overly aware that this book was written about 50 or so years ago, some people say the attitudes to women are the most obvious, but I don't really agree in this respect.
Not so keen on the concrete poetry bit, but parts like the prison break more than make up for it. Stars... is so dynamic it would make a great film, but Hollywood is unlikely to make a film where the hero is SO antihero it would be impossible to reconcile without ruining the whole story.
This is a really great book to read when you've been wronged by someone. Foyle's quest for revenge is cathartic and absolute in it's single mindedness.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up-tempo; c. 308 BPM. 26 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Burning with the bright and energy of the pulps, Tiger! Tiger! is of science fiction without actually being it. The throwaway invention of gadgetary, the grotesquery, the literateness, and the memorable and extraordinary supporting cast take back seat to the driving character of Gully Foyle, and a way of writing that inspired all the Simmons, the Delaneys and Bankses that were to follow. There is no time to think; a dazzling orgy of riotous incident, this is Space Opera gone Greenwich Village Hip; wide-screen Charlie Parker, rather than wide-screen Baroque; and immense fun.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vorga, I kill you deadly! 5 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Brian Aldiss coined the term "wide-screen Baroque" to describe this marvellous, pulsating, vibrant novel. It's brash, it's silly, it's chaotic, it's full of witty asides, and it moves with a smooth, deadly precision. It's funny, thrilling, and contains one of the immortal characters of science fiction in Gully Foyle...
Sheer lunatic epic out-of-control joy, a book to read and re-read for its superb style as much as its twisted revenge tragedy plot...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas but old fashioned and clumsy
First off, I would say that this book does have some good ideas, especially when you consider how long ago it was written. But that's just it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by sean monaghan
3.0 out of 5 stars Ive read better but i'd recommend it.
A decent enough read but as a sci fi nut i didnt think this book was THAT great, Dont get me wrong, i still enjoyed it but it was a bit 'meh' in places.
Published 2 months ago by Raul Endymion
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest SciFi book ever written
This is one of my 2 favorite scifi books of all time (other one is Dune).

Alfred Bester was not consistently amazing, like some other great writers, but at his best he... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mike McAllister
2.0 out of 5 stars over rated
for those who claim this is one of the greatest SF novels ever written, i can only surmise that they can't have read much SF..... Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Haylock
3.0 out of 5 stars jaunting and telepathy - nice ideas!
My return to the reading world of science fiction is not without flaw. I found this book difficult to read. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ter
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi At It's Best!
Having just recently started reading Science Fiction books again I was absoloutely blown away by this story. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Markie
2.0 out of 5 stars Overated
I read a lot, many and varied subjects both fiction and non-fiction. This is the first book in a long time that I stopped reading about three quarters of the way through. Read more
Published 11 months ago by P. M. Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars great stuff
a fine book i was surprised to realise it was published in 1956 i only checked as one or two of the phrases seemed a bit old. Read more
Published 11 months ago by m. dosa
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stars My Destination (S.F. Masterworks)
Supposed to be one of the best science fiction stories of all time - and difficult to disagree in my view. You don't get much bigger /strategic thinking than this
Published 13 months ago by Archersphilia
1.0 out of 5 stars Book is defective
The book has a binding defect. To return the product i am supposed to travel to a drop off office or pay for postage. Ripoff!
Published 14 months ago by delg
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