Steven's Reviews > The Demolished Man

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
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Jul 06, 2011

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bookshelves: science-fiction, hugo-award-winner
Read from July 04 to 06, 2011

Another in my list of science fiction classics that I'm tackling this summer. The Demolished man was the winner of the first Hugo Award in 1953.

A strange mix of science fiction and police procedural, I wasn't sure what to think of this novel. The concept of a telepathic professional class was interesting, and the way Bester used typography to portray different types of thought-communication between "peepers" was quite clever.

However, it was hard to ignore that it reads like what a person in 1953 would imagine that the year 2301 would be like -- lots of space bubbles and flying cars, an amazing amount of paperwork still around, and computers being scarce and highly specialized. It also has a weird 50's approach to relations between men and women and psychology in general -- heavy on the Freud. The whole vibe was one of The Maltese Falcon meets Guys and Dolls -- with some of it in space!

But, it's still a good story. And really quite amusing at times.
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