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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best sci fi novel ever. Buy it now. Right now.
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...
Published on 20 April 2000 by James Adamson

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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. My strong preference is that the differences to the world in which science fiction novels are written are clearly and simply explained. This novel fails my test! There is only really confusion over many aspects of the storylines. A little like many of the old...
Published 14 months ago by Ter


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4.0 out of 5 stars Not dated, 10 Aug 2014
By 
A. Bradburn "Heaven" (Blackburn, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
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 that matter the intricacy of physics to explain how one jumps from one place to another etc. As long as you accept the possibilities it reads well. For those who need the underlining detail this may be ian little rritating. The book took me somewhere else in the universe and that is what I look for in my Sci F.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge is for dreams, never for reality, 21 Aug 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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Having won the very first Hugo award for best science fiction novel with The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester faced a somewhat daunting task in trying to follow up his unparalleled early success. The Stars My Destination (originally published as Tiger! Tiger! in the UK) proved to be a second influential masterpiece from this legendary grand master of the genre; while it can not lay claim to a Hugo award, many fans consider it the better of Bester's first two novels and one of the best science fiction classics of all time. Personally, I find The Demolished Man to be a more polished, enjoyable read, but there can be no doubt that The Stars My Destination is a triumph. The novel introduces us to one of science fiction's most memorable characters. Gully Foyle is essentially 'everyman,' meaning he is essentially meaningless to society. With no education, no skills, and no ambition, his life consists of nothing more than just getting by. Then, he suddenly finds himself stranded alone on a desolate spaceship, forced to spend six months inside a locker no bigger than a coffin (standing up, no less), his life of utter nothingness interrupted only by incredibly dangerous forays inside the vacuum of space on missions to replenish his food and oxygen supplies. If nothing else, though, Gully Foyle is a survivor. After about six months of his torturous existence alone in space, a ship from the very same line he flew on appears; Gully sends flares and signals into space like confetti, yet the ship zooms by, leaving him to die. Gully Foyle does not just get angry; he devotes the rest of his life to destroying that ship and the crew who left him to die. He will stop at nothing to exact his revenge, absolutely nothing.
Foyle's return trip to earth comes by way of a detour that leaves him branded with the tattoo of a tiger-like mask on his face and the words Nomad tattooed into his forehead. It is this mask (and the interplay it eventually leads him to have with his own emotions) that serves as the central motif of the story. The mask represents the beast in him, the man who kills, rapes, plunders, usurps, and storms his way through life demanding it adapt itself to him rather than vice versa, and he has to learn that brute strength and selfishness will not accomplish his goals. Back on earth, his life is suddenly of great importance, as it turns out there was a very, very precious cargo onboard his ship which the government wants and the company who owns it wants back, deeming it the only thing that can avert defeat in the war between the inner planets and the outer planets. This war follows a total breakdown of all socioeconomic and political foundations caused by the discovery of jaunting. In this future, man can now teleport himself hundreds of miles just by concentrating and willing the move to happen. The technological aspects of Bester's future world are interesting if not sometimes prophetic, but this story lives and dies with its main character. Foyle is indeed everyman in a sense, and his thoroughly human (albeit sometimes dangerously psychotic) emotions and desires make him accessible to readers of all generations of the past and future.
I was a little surprised by the degree of comedy buried in these pages; while it is generally dark and sometimes meaningfully sarcastic and scathing in its implications, it manages at times to approach hilarity. The story of how jaunting was discovered is a riot. On the whole, this influential novel is a prototypical example of science fiction at its best; good science fiction does not rely on hard science or brilliant technological assumptions. While a story may necessarily be built in the environment of hard science, success depends almost entirely on the strength of the characters and their humanity (be it good or bad); that is the heart of good science fiction, and Alfred Bester understood this perfectly. That is why this novel will be read and studied for years and years to come.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for cyberpunk fans, 22 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. Timothy W. Dumble (Sunderland, England) - See all my reviews
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It is unsurprising William Gibson cites this novella as a major inspiration to his work -in particular 'Neuromancer'. The parallels are striking and make this a must read book for followers of cyberpunk.

The desparate and driven Foyle is an obvious inspiration to Gibson's Case.Bester's classic cyberpunk background of multinational/ familial dominance (Presteign clan) is a clear precursor to the zaibatsus of 'Neuromancer'and the plutocratic Tessier -Ashpool family.Both works feature femme fatales- Olivia Presteign here and Gibson's 3Jane Tessier-Ashpool.Whilst Bester has potential informers conrtrolled by sympathetic nervous system blocks, Gibson has Case controlled by mycotoxin sacs slowly destroying his nervous system.

The themes of telepathy(Robin Wendsbury) here and altered realities (Riviera)in Neuromancer, synaesthesia and drug taking are also commonalities originated by Bester and developed by Gibson. At the heart of both works are central characters bent on survival and revenge caught between the aims of National intelligence agencies and plutocratic families or oligarchical multinational companies.

Although at times the plot has the unsophisticated feel of a comic strip or Manga work it is the depiction of Gully Foyle's evolution from an unskilled, meritless space crewman and selfish ,reckless miscreant to a controlled, outward looking human being capable of remorse and in the end who assumes almost the status of a deity that is the stength of Bester's narrative.Foyle's emotional,intellectual and spiritual journey is all sparked by that most motivating of all human senses - that of injustice. Bester's moral is clear- there is greatness in all of us - the problem is how to unlock it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This book is a brilliant timeless classic. A must read .
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's life, Jim, but not as we know it..., 3 July 2014
By 
This review is from: The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
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. It's one of those "cinematic" experiences that drags the reader along at a cracking pace - yet it never feels hurried or having had corners cut. primarily, it's a voyage of self discovery; Gully Foyle goes from a barely sentient ape of a man to a a well rounded sophisticate, driven by emotion and the need for revenge. Improbably out of universe yet perfectly feasible in-universe, this transformation is neither forced nor stretches credibility but develops in a logical and involving way and it's possible to identify with rather than merely sympathise with or worse, simply observe the character. By many critics' standards this character-driven writing takes it well out of genre-fiction into the realms of, :Ahem!: literature. I think this is a valid observation; it\s rare for a work od "speculative" fiction to receive any positive notice from mainstream critics, yet this ticks all the right boxes. It's got as much zapping with blasters and zero gravity as any of the standard space operas, but the perspective is entirely different and somehow more worthwhile.

There are some - I would hesitate to say "problems" - rather dated gender viewpoints, but nothing untoward. The misogyny, such as it is, is rather subtle and in no way detracts from the story or characters. It's merely a reflection of the times in which it was penned.

Incidentally I suspect that this book was largely the inspiration for Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series, a creation far glossier, slicker and altogether shallower but of course also written as something of a punk-rock statement to the old-rock science-fiction establishment, of which The Stars My Destination is a classical if rather untypical example.

I'm now on my third paperback. The first two were titled "Tiger, Tiger!" and have walked off somewhere and I was a bit surprised when the title changed but then I've been an occasional reader of this since the early 70s. This new edition is bigger, too. I've also an e-pub version and a couple of years back (I think) I acquired an audiobook version which surprised me by being less involving than the paperback under review. This is the definitive one, in my opinion.

The book should appeal to a wider audience than the space opera crowd, so if you're not normally a sci-fi aficionado, you may be pleasantly surprised ay where this takes you..
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3.0 out of 5 stars jaunting and telepathy - nice ideas!, 22 Oct 2013
By 
Ter (Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
My return to the reading world of science fiction is not without flaw. I found this book difficult to read. My strong preference is that the differences to the world in which science fiction novels are written are clearly and simply explained. This novel fails my test! There is only really confusion over many aspects of the storylines. A little like many of the old Heinlein stories I have read in the distant past, I believe the intention was to produce quite a trendy stroll through a brave new world - in my opinion this one fails to do so. I did like the idea of the jaunting, and of the problems it would produce. Also the throwaway lines about the advantages, and more importantly, the disadvantages of being telepathic. Overall, not one of my favourite reads.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi At It's Best!, 4 Jun 2013
By 
Markie "marx1977" (hereandthere) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Having just recently started reading Science Fiction books again I was absoloutely blown away by this story. The concept is fabulous in it's execution which sees Gully Foyle turned from a nobody into the most wanted man in the universe, while being driven by his quest for vengeance on the ships crew that left him to rot on his own stranded craft. Not only that but unbeknown to Foyle he holds two secrets which could hold the key to ultimate victory in a cosmic war which is being fought in the background to all the action surrounding him. Foyle becomes the lone man raging against the system to exact his terrible revenge on all who stand in his way. Of course the story is so much more than this as Foyle begins to see things in a different light the more he uncovers about himself and the people who abandoned him. The action never lets up, and although the story does leap from one scene to another, the cracks n the plot are well papered over to never let it spoil your enjoyment. I would definitely love to see this turned into a movie. Excellent!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great stuff, 3 May 2013
This review is from: The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
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.this book is a gem it could have been written yesterday,a tight story line based around gully foyle survived marooned in a space wreck for 170 days then passed by by possible rescue craft leading to his vow of revenge against those responsible.hes an anger fueled hate machine who suffers the world.entwined in this an amazing substance and a unknown ability linked to jaunting the ability to transport oneself by thought.its all set in a fascinating time...read it
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed Sci-Fi., 6 April 2007
By 
Hugo Rune (Ealing, London) - See all my reviews
Fantastic read! The pace of this book is unrelenting. Your classic page turner. The Sci-Fi ideas crammed in this book are also very impressive.

As I'm now systematically ploughing my way through the Masterworks series (enjoying it very much), this is just the story I was looking for.

The fact that human teleporting has now been discovered makes for a "slightly" unrealistic future world but doesn't take away from this very convincing story, in where society adapts to a world where just about anyone can teleport. The characters are very satisfying, convincingly futuristic. The anti-hero lead character is also a strong aspect of this book, going on an epic journey for revenge, focused utterly on the spaceship and company that left him to die in space.

Highly recommended for sci-fi fans. One of the best (so far) of the SF Masterworks series.

I went straight on to read The Demolished Man after this (also very good).

A future world with telepathy instead of teleporting...
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb SF masterpiece, 11 April 1999
By A Customer
Another superb addition to Millennium's SF Masterworks series. Bester's 1956 story deals with the adventures of one Gully Foyle, apparently the sole surviving member of the starship Nomad. Driven by his desire to exact hideous revenge on the crew of the starship Vorta, which ignored his distress signals when he drifted alone aboard Nomad, Foyle is not a likeable character, and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. The characterisation throughout the book is excellent, and the plot moves at an incredible speed, piling on several unexpected twists as the climax approaches. Despite the book's age, (over 40 years), it compares favourably with current sci-fi, and is certainly one of the best books I've read recently.
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The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) by Alfred Bester (Paperback - 29 Mar 2010)
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