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on 17 January 2017
Fantastic Novel
Best way to describe this - think essentially The Count of Monte Cristo in Space
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on 4 June 2003
I can't believe that this book has not been reviewed before in Amazon. This is a truly seminal work which shockingly reflects the alienation, bitterness and cynicism of the post-war world. With a character loosely modelled on Swift's Gulliver the narrative explores 20th Century politics and culture with the inner Solar System as a backdrop. We see a disturbingly faithful reflection of society cruelly driven by fear and propaganda with science and technology as the fulcrum of the machinations of the ruling oligarchy. It is our own world stripped to the essential core.
With eloquent prose the story describes the magnified and distorted passions of a lassez faire and deeply divided scientific culture. The principal character is a desperately driven iconoclast suffering death and rebirth in the clockwork model universe created by Bester.
I read this book twenty five years ago and the detail has not gone away yet. If anything it becomes more vivid as human society converges on Bester's aweful visions.
This is his only work of any moment. The remainder of his collection I have read and find them to be entertaining but trivial by comparison. It is a pity that he had so little left after writing Tiger! Tiger!
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on 19 March 2002
...I first read this book very many years ago soon after it first came out in paperback and it still lives in my memory as one of the most exciting reads in any fiction genre you could hope to find. The wonderfully inventive use of technology embroider the plot's twists and turns, whilst the electric pace makes it a genuine page-turner. The characterisation is tremendous too, and Gully Foyle is a man you won't forget in a hurry (God forbid I should ever meet him though).
Bester was a really terrific and original writer, if somewhat low on output of as high quality as this (although the Demolished Man is also an excellent read). I rate this book as one of the very best adventure novels of all time. Try and get hold of a copy, even if you think you don't like science fiction.
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on 26 November 2000
A really gripping tale of ultimate vengeance with lots of twists and turns. The central character of Gully Foyle is a wronged man and a classic anti-hero. Alfred Bester is one of the all-time sci-fi greats and I rate this book ahead of The Demolished Man as his best and one of the very best Sci-Fi novels.
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on 21 October 2010
I ordered this because I read it years ago. Its a fabulous book - great story, and very unusual, and I'm very fussy about my SF.
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on 29 December 2015
I first read this book in my late teens and thought it was brilliant then. It's one of the few novels I've read multiple times (some of the others being "God Bless You Mr Rosewater" by Kurt Vonnegut and "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson) and it's still a great book at the fourth or fifth reading
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 September 2009
Published in Britain in 1956, Bester's short novel (248pp), is considered to be one of the founding works of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. It's a complicated story of one Gully Foyle, sole survivor of an accident in space which has left him alone and barely alive in the floating wreckage of a space ship. When another ship (the Vorga) passes close by Gully sends up distress flares but is ignored. This sets up a boundless hatred in Gully's soul and he vows to have revenge. His search for vengeance takes him from ignorant third-class mechanic to human weapon cum socialite back on earth, where normal society has broken down as people have discovered how to `Jaunte' - i.e. move from one co-ordinate to another in an instant.

There are some gaps in my understanding that I think are due to Bester's failure to fill-in the reader about the society he sets up in this book and his `science' (if that is the word) is profoundly sketchy. Nevertheless, it is an astonishing creation and even if you don't like Science Fiction, you could find yourself caught up in the unfortunate Gully's lust for revenge.
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on 22 March 2016
One of my favourire all time books. Also knows as The Starts My Destination. An SF classic.
Evidently Sting has the film rights! Come on..MAKE THE MOVIE!!!
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on 27 July 2014
the greatest sic fi novel ever written. Well ok a really good rewrite of the Count of Monte Cristo set three centuries from now but i love it.
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on 28 May 2004
I bought this book in July 1967.
Tiger Tiger, and then later The Magus, are the only two books I have read and finished in one sitting and then turned back to page one and re-read immediately.
Recommendation or what?
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