The Demolished Man

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Vintage Books, 1996 - Fiction - 243 pages
In the year 2301, the wealthiest man in the universe is determined to commit murder in a world in which telepaths are used to detect possible crimes before they can happen. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.

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I was set to give this story five stars throughout most of the book, but the ending threw me off. Way off.
The majority of the story is a detective story; we follow a crime from the angle of the
perpetrator, and the investigating police officer. The caper is made all that much more exciting by the existence of people with esp, known as peepers, of which our investigator is one, and our perpetrator is not. A thrilling game of mouse and peeper cat made the book a quick read, and fun to follow. The inclusion of the catchy lyrics the perpetrator has purposely stuck in his head to keep himself from leaking his crime to the psychics around him interspersed throughout the dialog and action was a great touch that really increased the tension through certain parts of the story.
The conclusion however, I felt turned suddenly to a different tone altogether. The plot became less understandable, and the ending somewhat preachy. I suddenly got the impression that the author wrote the whole book as a means to state the exposition. Five stars until the last thirty pages or so.



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About the author (1996)

ALFRED BESTER was born in 1913. His fiction career included writing for the pulp magazines, comics, radio, and television. His extraordinary book, The Demolished Man, was the first winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel and was followed by the brilliant novels The Stars My Destination, The Computer Connection, Golem100, and The Deceivers, and numerous short stories. Bester was honored by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America with a Grandmaster Award. He died in 1987.

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