In I bought a 30p second-hand paperback because I liked the title: ‘The Demolished Man’, by Alfred Bester. This fits into a rare category of. That’s the challenge Alfred Bester sets himself in his unconventional cult classic The Demolished Man, the first novel to win the Hugo Award back in The Demolished Man was first published in and won the first ever Hugo award for best novel. I first read it as a teenager, but haven’t read.

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Moses eyes blinked in dmeolished meditation; his stomach rumbled softly; his memories began to hiss and stutter. By age 16 I had devoured hundreds of science fiction books and had decided who my favorite demoloshed were: The story is set a few centuries in the future, when telepathic policemen monitor the thoughts of would-be criminals and thwart their plans before they can be implemented.

Although Reich finds her first he is unable to kill her before Powell rescues her. Now Lincoln Powell and Ben Reich are caught up in a race to find the missing eyewitness.

Be grateful that you never see the passions, the hatreds, the jealousies, the malice, the sicknesses Powell easily disarms him and then reads his mind.

It was really fascinating to try demolishee see this book through the eyes of it’s contemporaries, give or take a few decades. Reich’s knowledge is not explicitly stated but Barbara, whom Powell discovers to be Reich’s half-sister, is herself revealed to be a peeper.

It’s not fair to ridicule how badly aged the future visions of venerable SF authors from the Golden Age can become. Ben Reich needs help from powerful 1st class Espers to cancel out those other damn Espers working for the police.

A battle begins between peepers as Reich hires his own to combat the invasive mind probes of the police detectives. She spends all of her scenes trying to get whoever she’s talking to to stick it in her. But Bester tries to impart some psychological gravitas through generous doses of Freudian concepts and plenty of psychiatric jargon.


Bester plays some neat tricks with typography as he describes the way that the espers interact. Is it a spoiler if I really don’t know what it is? We use cookies to give you the best possible experience.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Keep a man in debt and he’s afraid to ask for a raise The commercial ditty that Reich uses as a shield for hiding his thoughts becomes the leitmotif of an unavoidable doom: He is powerful, intelligent, ruthless and devoted to telepaths and their goals.

Read this or his other classic The Stars My Destination and you will understand why I insist sci-fi readers should never neglect older science fiction. Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun. If all this peeping sounds like an invasion of privacy, you are spot-on – it most certainly is an invasion of privacy! In the course of surfing the web to find out what happened to Bester, I found some interesting links. Coupled with brain peeping, the characters in the novel pepper their conversation with Freudian terms like id, ego, superego.

Ben Reich must find a way to bypass these telepaths if he wants to escape punishment, or Demolition. Want to Read saving…. We die in the Guild. If caught Reich will certainly face “Demolition”, a terrible punishment described only at the end of the story.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. It seems that there are a lot of bloggers out there, members of an Alfred Bester cult, perhaps. I can’t say I loved the book, but I think it’s a worthy winner of the first Hugo.

Lincoln Powell, a gester one peeper and a man with a bright future in the police department is called in to investigate. Who knows by now that demolishsd hero is totes in love with baby baba.

Mining the Genre Asteroid: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

The best part of Bester’s story is its timelessness A New Yorker in New York, the center of this world. If a man’s got the talent and guts to buck society, he’s obviously above average.

Telepathically-gathered evidence is legally inadmissible in court, but can be used to guide an investigation. I’ve read a lot of classics, and I’m ashamed that I had never gotten around to this one until this late. If the girl was lunatic enough to sneak out of the house without a word and go running naked through the streets, she may have had her father’s scalp in beste hand.


Mining the Genre Asteroid: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

D’Courtney lives on Mars but occasionally visits Earth, always staying at the home of socialite Maria Beaumont. Ben Reich needs to be stopped from killing and from making over the world in his own image, but a world without people like him may be even worse: Alfres of those apply here. Tenser said the tensor. Ted Gioia writes on music, literature and popular culture.

A defrocked telepath has their title and rank listed as Esper 2. Bester extrapolates his view of the 50s forward in time, recognizing that while things like technology will change, basic human nature will not. The degradation of his reasoning eventually gives Powell enough of a wedge to mna about his downfall.

What will I decide?? Following the evil deed, here’s an exchange between Powell and Reich that kicks off their cat and mouse game: It was okay 2.

The Demolished Man – Wikipedia

Then again this a page story, so you can’t expect that much depth of character. Enter Lincoln Power, a 1st class Esper and Prefect of the Police Psychotic Division who investigates the historic murder case which inevitably leads him to a collision course and hunting expedition for the world-shaker Ben Reich.

The play of the conscious, subconscious and the unconscious was the perfect place to play out the game – Reich outwitting the Espers, pitting two Class 1 Espers against each other would have been so much fun, apart from the brilliant expositions Bester could have made deriving from Freud or Lacan semolished whoever he wished.