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The Beast

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  17 reviews
AKA "Moonbeast" One of the finest writers in the golden age of science fiction--and inventor of the intricatley plotted form of SF known as the "space opera"--offers the story of a flawed hero possessing almost superhuman strength. When his wife is kidnapped, war veteran Jim Pendrake embarks upon a search that takes him to a lost colony on the moon--and a secret, sinister...more
Published 1964 by McFadden Books (first published 1943)
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Jim Mcclanahan
This "novel" is comprised of a cobbled together mix of three early stories (1943 and 1944) published under the current title in 1963. Just time enough passed to allow him to acknowledge the existence of East Germany, but not enough to spur him to clean up messy plot lines. In essence the story is about a man who stumbles over an alien engine and is changed by it in just about any way you could imagine: physically (He grows back a lost arm). Mentally: He is suddenly smarter by orders of magnitude...more
Kathy  Petersen
My devotion to sci-fi movies, StarTrek, Stargate, Dr. Who, and such has never quite translated into reading the genre. But I keep trying.

The Beast is one of those that is so complicated if not convoluted that I'm not sure I know what happened. A highly intelligent Neanderthal, regrowth of severed limbs, strange transport and stranger engines, telepathic incidents, million-year-old Moon colonies ... I enjoyed the ride but I'm not sure where I went.

Post script
I then discovered through wandering i...more
Paul David
I first read this book when I was a young teen, and I am reading it again to satisfy a gnawing desire to recall what it was about. I thought it an interesting book, but I hardly remembered anything about the actual story other than, primarily it was strange, and had something to do with a one-armed man finding a doughnut shaped machine that regenerates his amputated arm... and that the story ended up on the Moon.
But now that I have returned to this Beast of a book the most uncanny thing about ou...more
Stay away. I made the huge mistake to read this novel (?), i feel that if i had spent the same amount of time just staring at my rooftop,it would had been much more productive.

The most chaotic book i have ever read. The plot is so messy, the dialogues rediculus, the development is so confusing, the heroes are completely uninteresting, i have never met a mess like that.

One out of five is fair, since if there was an option i would consider rating it with 0/5, however i liked the society of the moo...more
It's really too bad - some SF has not aged as gracefully as others. And sadly, when it comes to the A.E. van Vogt, the current status of his legacy is very under-appreciated.

This author used to be one of the big stars in the early pulp days. His works were often the wildest and most outlandish in a field distinguished by writers with amazing imaginations. A van Vogt story had a mysterious and compelling aura to it - something to be held in awe, and a guarantee of a good engaging read and a bizar...more
This book is disappointing, I can't recommend it. It is very difficult to follow, the main character keeps getting knocked out and wakes up with amnesia over and over, also he has super powers, and it takes place in a version of the 1970s when man already has colonies on the moon and venus, but is still worried about the evil East Germans.

It is cobbled together from some shorter pieces and it reads that way. The hero, his relationships, even the danger are hard to take seriously. This novel is c...more
Victor Gibson
Despite my admiration for this author, and my liking for SF, I can't actually recommend this book. Indeed I have owned it for years but never before finished it I don't think. Maybe I bought it for the Chris Foss cover, which like many SF paperback covers from the 1970s does not seem to relate in any way to the content of the book.

It seems to be a story with multiple themes, some of them only marginally connected. I'm sure I'm not giving anything important away when I tell you that one plot line...more
Nigel Williamson
I have read this book several times, and, although I have enoyed it immensely over the years, I still don't get it - the various sub-plots bounce all over the shop, the characters appear and disappear at random (although there is generally some sort of explanation hidden in the text later on) and the bizarre premises tend to jar rather than unfold into a coherent storyline. All that said, I have had tremendous fun and satisfaction unravelling this book over the years, and I intend to go on doing...more
I really wanted to enjoy this book more as there were quite a lot of concepts that seemed interesting. Unfortunately few of them were fleshed out or explored.

The book jumped around between plots so wildly that I even checked to see if I was reading the same book. It felt at times as though I was reading the plot for 2 or 3 different books all lumped into one.
Okay, I'll just assume that that mess made Big Oaf was a fun character at least. The old line about Poe comes to mind with Van Vogt: "3/5 of him genius and 2/5 sheer fudge." Still not sure how the engine ended up in Pendrake's back yard, but I suppose that was my fault for getting befuddled by all the rest of it (not A E's). :)
Nathan Shumate
Honestly, I've never read a Van Vogt novel that I've really enjoyed. It's always too many underdeveloped ideas thrown into a mixmaster, layered with some truly bizarre gender politics.
Very imaginative but kind of a jumble in terms of plot and themes. Reminiscent of some of P.K. Dick's less successful novels. Mostly an entertaining read, but with a few bog spots.
Most strained of Van Vogt's mash ups but also most enteraining: traverse many an odd terrain and punctuated by many unbelievalbe 'black outs.' Very entertaining nonetheless.
I guess A. E. Van Vogt is sort of a guilty pleasure for me. Takes me
back to being a middle-school aged kid with my nose in a cheap SF paperback.
A great concept. I don't remember that much about it but Van Vogt could write.
Extremely ridiculous
Haljon marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
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Aug 20, 2014
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Aug 13, 2014
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Alfred Elton van Vogt was a Canadian-born science fiction author regarded by some as one of the most popular and complex science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century—the "Golden Age" of the genre.

van Vogt was born to Russian Mennonite family. Until he was four years old, van Vogt and his family spoke only a dialect of Low German in the home.

He began his writing career with 'true story' ro...more
More about A.E. van Vogt...
The Weapon Shops of Isher The World of Null-A Slan (Slan, #1) The Voyage of the Space Beagle The Weapon Makers

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