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Golem 100

3.12  ·  Rating details ·  421 ratings  ·  35 reviews
In a mega-city of the future...

They were nice ladies, really. Just bored. And they never expected to succeed. But intoning ancient rituals to raise the devil, they unwittingly began a rampage of rape, torture and murder. For they concocted a new devil, Golem100. And the Golem continues to grow...

Tracking the monstrous path of depravity are three super talents: Gretchen
...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 1st 1980 by Simon & Schuster
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Average rating 3.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  421 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Manuel Antão
Nov 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Ultimate Freudian SF: "Golem-100" by Alfred Bester



(Original Review, 1980-08-15)


Some months ago I made the mistake of purchasing a copy of Alfred Bester's GOLEM-100. I quickly found out that the only redeeming feature of this book is the art inside, and you can get that for free by simply opening the book at the bookstand. I have never finished GOLEM-100, I got 150 pp or so into it, gave up, and went back to reading ATTACK OF THE ANT
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Lyn
Jul 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In praise of the one star rating.

Good reads should have five stars and then a DNF – did not finish. Because just as love is not the opposite of hate, indifference is the opposite of love, the one star is that rarest of accolades, the book so bad you want to finish.

Many people have a favorite book or a list of the best novels they've ever read. This book falls on the opposite side of the spectrum - the worst book. I trudged through and finished this out of morbid curiosity.

So, what is this about?
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B. Tyler Burton
Something happened to sci-fi writers in the late 70's / early 80's. Either it was the drugs, or the sex, or the mind-blowing hot-tub action, but as a whole they all collectively got really bad. I'm lumping this in with the minor works of Samuel Delaney and Robert Heinlein. We get it, dudes, orgies are groovy, and space sex with tons of chicks is even better on designer drugs from Mars, but, damn, really, did you ever try to read your own books and fall asleep about half-way through? Or did the ...more
The Final Song ❀
Alfred how much drugs did you take?
ALL OF THEM
I appreciate what was he trying to do with all the typography changes and illustrations but damn it really gets confusing at the end.
I liked mostly because of that thought.
It had been a long time since i read something so strange and fascinating.
Tine!
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I*F ** U ** D*I*D*N*T ** L*I*K*E ** I*T ** T*H*E*N ** U ** D*I*D*N*T ** G*E*T ** I*T

ha. I’ve always wanted to write a review like that.

This is a book that I am positive Robert Anton Wilson a) has definitely read and b) enjoyed. Containing nearly every sacrilegious and unholy thing, it asks you to consider not only the plot, which itself asks you to consider the psyche of the characters upholding said plot, but also your own psyche and the psyche of your contemporaries upholding the society
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VanHalen
Despite my love of all things weird in modern majickal horror/sci-fi, there seems to be a limit of crazy hodge-podge ideas that one can cram into approximately 400 pages. I suspect that the limit is learned from my prior exposure to authors such as Neil Gaiman, Tim Powers, Raymond Feist and Roger Zelazny.

I am certain that I heard all of them indicate that Alfred Bester was amongst the best in this style of writing... but Golem 100 reaches my tolerance of scientific/majickal riffing craziness
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John Tye
Aug 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite his prominent status in the science fiction world, Bester produced a relatively small volume of work in the genre. That makes it a treat to find something of his you've not previously read. Unless, of course, it turns out to be this book.

The novel's concept is not completely without merit, with an interesting combination of characters. Unfortunately, the writing does not rise to a particularly high standard, and what is obviously meant to pass for cleverness feels forced and contrived.
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Peteralee1
Oct 15, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely odd. I've some of Bester's other works and really enjoyed it, but this was just too disjointed and strange for me to get in into. I forced myself to finish, hoping that something coherent would emerge, but unfortunately it never did.

Skip it.
Sam
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very different book. Set in a futuristic dystopia, Northeastern US ultra-megapolis. A small group (coven?) of women conjures up a demon who is committing murder -- or maybe one of the protagonists is committing the murders?

Good points about the book: the word-play; the hectic flow of ideas and memes. There were quite a few places where I found words and concepts that were new to me.

Less good points: the plot starts of off nice, but goes of in somewhat weird tangents. The excessive
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Kunal Lal
An odd and remarkable book, more of a literary experiment than a novel. The 2 star rating is for the plot, ideas, characters etc. The sort of things you expect from a fantasy novel. But this isn't a novel, its a desperate attempt by an aging artist to re-invent story telling. Pages of unreadable stream of consciousness ramblings, eye-catching art work in place of paragraphs, strange and abrupt shifts of narrative. At times brilliant, at times maddeningly convoluted, at times just silly.
You can
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Jeremy Hornik
I guess I'm not as into psychedelia as I once was. Fun premise, tons of sex and violence, all major characters people of color or white women... but ultimately the spectacle didn't sustain the narrative. Well, hey, it got me through a plane ride...
Monty Ashley
Aug 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish it. Sorry.
Isabel (kittiwake)
"We can't all be monsters," Shima protested.
"Deep down inside, in our Underworld, we are. Up here, at the top of the iceberg, we censor and control it; but what happens when that brute beast in us escapes control, breaks out of the cage, and runs wild? Then you have Golem 100."
"How does it break out of the cage?"
"Sharpen a wit, baby. the bee-ladies get together in Regina's hive. They play witchcraft games. Of course they never succeed in raising the Devil because he doesn't exist. That's just
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Julia
My rule, when I’m not enjoying as book, is to read the first fifty pages before I stop reading it. (The rule is Nancy Pearl’s from her Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason.) I couldn’t even read that much of this dreck; I read to page 39.

The plot as far as I read: A group of wealthy ladies get together to summon Satan because they are bored. And they keep doing it, because they think they have been unsuccessful. Meanwhile, there are a series of awful, horrific
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Woolsyzygy
Crazy and horrifying. His prose and use of illustration make it a frantic mess, but by the end, it congeals into a haunting, thought-provoking conclusion. Bester has always speculated about how the human race will take its next evolutionary step and has never been afraid to explore bizarre possibilities. The 23rd century New York is a dystopia swallowed by the hip, tragic, and goofy drug/refugee culture; The Golem100 is a pretty far-fetched, almost absurd, monster; the characters who rise ...more
Logan
Jul 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
Crap. I only read about 120 pages and then skipped around to see if it ever started making any sense, but, no. It's just crap. Poorly written, uninteresting crap with terrible dialogue and ridiculous characters and a stoooopid premise. Hard to believe the same guy that wrote THE DEMOLISHED MAN and THE STARS MY DESTINATION and all those dozens of great short stories could spread his legs and drop a load like this one. Ah well.
Clare
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
An interesting read, as always, from Alfred Bester, however, not as good as his other books. I loved the ideas about the id and it is an interesting version of a future world. Although Alfred Bester is one of my favorite authors I could have skipped this book and been fine. Unless you absolutely love his books, skip it.
Christopher Wang
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the beginning was good

the trips with the images was very novel and bester is probably on par with PKD at times

the middle bit dragged on a little long

the very ending was absolutely amazing

the book has grown on me exponentially since I finished it a few hours ago
Splash Champion
Aug 08, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shamlessly reading for the cover. :)
UPDATE: certainly one of the oddest novels I come across. The narrative was far too in-cohesive to be read as anything other than as an experiment in altered perceptions.
 TheGriffinReads
I didn't particularly love this book, but it was the first "orthographically experimental" work I encountered. For several chapters, Bester attempts expressionism in typography and imagery, eventually abandoning written language for several pages.
Zepp
May 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I was not expecting this.
But I read it anyway.
Megan
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Despite all the sex and the violence and general pulpiness, this book definitely contains some of the sweet social commentary that I love from Bester's more highly-regarded books.
Keith
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Bester wrote some of the best stories in the genre, but this, more experimental, book just doesn't do it for me. To list it as OK falls so far beneath the usual standard I would apply to his work.
Matt Piechocinski
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I think what Bester was trying to pull off was pretty cool, but some parts really fail in execution to the extent that I lost track of what the hell was going on.
Andrew
Feb 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
One of the worst science fiction books ever... by a man who also wrote one of the best.
Max
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A different yet satisfying Bester effort. Doesn't live up to the standards set by The Demolished Man and The Stars, My Destination. Still a great read with a scene of displaced comic gore.
Janice
Was with this book up until the last 20 pages or so. Too much anarchy in the end. Though I think that was part of the point of the book, so...
Matt Sears
Mar 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, pulp
Fifty pages of decent action driven sci fi/horror, and then 330 pages of diluted psychobabble and condensed dick jokes. There are some moments, but would you sift through shit for a few quarters?
Νικόλας Μάντζαρης
Very interesting conceptually and - mostly - stylistically, but other than that it contained a lot of "pseudo-science" and logical leaps that seemed almost childish at some points.
Philip
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book can best be described as 392 pages of "What the hell was that?!?"
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Alfred Bester was an American science fiction author, TV and radio scriptwriter, magazine editor and scripter for comic strips and comic books.

Though successful in all these fields, he is best remembered for his science fiction, including The Demolished Man, winner of the inaugural Hugo Award in 1953, a story about murder in a future society where the police are telepathic, and The Stars My
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