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

Alfred Bester
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Mar 2010 S.F. MASTERWORKS

Gully Foyle, Mechanic's Mate 3rd Class.


SKILLS: none

MERITS: 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: 1.8 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,119 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 alternate Paperback edition.


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
53 of 55 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
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
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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23 of 26 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest SciFi book ever written 31 Jan 2014
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 was truly astonishing and surpassed them all. And this book is his very best. The power, catharsis, pace, and meaningful transformation in this story is awesome to read.

The protagonist is definitely an anti-hero....but he does have a valid gripe, to say the least. Its hard to say much about this story without spoiling it. But the feel of much of the story is very Gibson like....moving around the world in a cyberpunk way...but this was well before that genre ever started. Its a cyberpunk feel without being cyberpunk. And there are things like tickertape machines that you will have to accept as part of its time, but that is easy for me to get by.

The flow of the story, the power of his vengeance, is written superbly. It sends chills up my spine reading it.

The ending ..is incredible. It would not work for some authors or some stories, but it fits perfectly in this sort of story and the way it is written. If your mind is open to it, it will never leave you.

This story is a gem. Everything went right in its creation. Behold the masterpiece.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic 4 Jan 2004
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of it's awards
Great read. Absolutely loved it. A thoroughly enjoyable character with great depths. Would definitely recommend it.
Published 11 days ago by Darren Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is an amazing sci-fi story. I am reading it for the third time now.
Published 19 days ago by Mrs. J. M. Faulding
4.0 out of 5 stars Not dated
I am so impressed that a book written so long ago has not dated. One reason for that is that the book doesn't get bogged down with the detail of how future technology works or for... Read more
Published 23 days ago by A. Bradburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic
This book is a brilliant timeless classic. A must read .
Published 1 month ago by AMERICANA FEVER
5.0 out of 5 stars It's life, Jim, but not as we know it...
Every few years I dig this out and have another read of it and I'm always amazed by the quality of the writing and the story's power to involve the reader. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ivan
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story but too rushed for me
For me not one of the best sci if books of all time, some great ideas but not developed in enough detail for me, also feels slightly dated in a way that Asimov and others don't... Read more
Published 3 months ago by hwth79
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 6 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 6 months ago by Raul Endymion
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 7 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 10 months ago by Ter
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