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The Stars My Destination

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  37,242 ratings  ·  2,355 reviews
#5 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series,
a library of the finest science fiction ever written.

“Science fiction has only produced a few works of actual genius,
and this is one of them”—Joe Haldeman

“Bester at the peak of his powers is, quite simply, unbeatable”
—James Lovegrove

Marooned in outer space after an attack on his ship, Nomad, Gulliver Foyle lives to obsessive
...more
Kindle Edition, 236 pages
Published June 5th 2011 by iBooks (first published 1955)
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Jeffrey Bates https://www.goodreads.com/user/rate_b...# Not necessary-- both good books. This particular book is the one that turned ME into a Sci-Fi Fan for LIFE.…morehttps://www.goodreads.com/user/rate_b...# Not necessary-- both good books. This particular book is the one that turned ME into a Sci-Fi Fan for LIFE. I was about 8 or 9 when I first read it--and have reread it just recently. ( age 59 )(less)

Community Reviews

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4.12  · 
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 ·  37,242 ratings  ·  2,355 reviews


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Bill  Kerwin
May 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is my favorite classic science fiction novel. It is rich in incident, ambitious in conception, terse and unemotional in style, and fiercely Romantic in theme. Although it is a revenge tale based on The Count of Monte Cristo, its heart is perhaps closer to Frankenstein, but to a Frankenstein in which the monster is capable of self-redemption, of moving beyond isolation and bitterness toward an enlightened humanity. And all the things that are good about this novel are embodied in its hero—Ca
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Terry
Gully Foyle is my name
Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

Sci-fi from its formative days is funny. Not funny ha-ha (not always anyway), but funny-weird…at least for me. I am often unable to get over the clunky writing and wispy plots despite the many cool ideas on display. Sometimes even a premise as cool as a galaxy-spanning empire held together by the prods and pokes of a few cognoscenti using an arcane sociological science still can’t make a plodding plot
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Kemper
You ever have a novel that you know is considered a classic of its genre yet you know absolutely nothing about it other than the title? This is one of those for me. I knew nothing about it other than the vague notion that it was an important sci-fi novel, but when it popped up as a deal on Audible I took a chance on it and went in cold.

How’d it work out? Pretty well.

A couple of centuries from now humanity has developed the ability to teleport themselves using only their minds in a practice call
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Bradley
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-Read 6/5/17:

Reading this is like being on fire, snarling like a Tyger, and being the dumb brute and the intellectual mastermind at the same time. Reading it a second time is like chumming up with a psychopath and learning that he's really the good guy because everyone else is just as crazy as him.

And then, what else can we expect when practically everyone can Jaunte (teleport) practically anywhere they want? Society is radically changed in the next five hundred years, and it's not just the te
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Lyn
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Gully Foyle, that’s my name, me.”

Alfred Bester has created in Gulliver Foyle one of Science Fiction’s great characters. The protagonist of Bester’s 1956 novel The Stars My Destination is a brutish, driven by internal energies force of nature and provides the most memorable element of this archetypal SF story.

That and jaunting.

Bester describes a future society where personal teleportation – jaunting – has transformed human society in virtually every way, from economic to sociological to legal. T
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Catie
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that this book pretty much just blew my mind. I mean, am I crazy, or is this one of the most profound things ever written?

"You pigs, you. You goof like pigs, is all. You got the most in you and you use the least. You hear me, you? Got a million in you and spend pennies. Got a genius in you and think crazies. Got a heart in you and feel empties. All a you. Every you….”

Alright, you probably have to read the book to appreciate that, and you should! Can I entice you further by saying that an
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mark monday
¡WOW BOB WOW!
GULLY FOYLE IS FAST AND FURIOUS!
A MADMAN OUT FOR VENGEANCE, LEFT FOR DEAD NOT ONCE - BUT TWICE!
HE IS HUMAN JUGGERNAUT, HE IS FORCE MAJEURE, HE IS BOTH ROCK AND HARD PLACE!
HE HURTLES THROUGH SPACE & TIME & MISADVENTURE, HE WEARS MANY FACES, A LOVER AND A RAPIST, THE MOST VIOLENT MAN IN THE ROOM, THE ANGRIEST BOY EVER, A HUMAN TIMEBOMB!
HIS FACIAL TATTOOS:
A TIGER, A TIGER!
BURNING BRIGHT!

THE ONLY GIRL FOR HIM - ANOTHER SOCIOPATH!
THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR HIM: THE STA
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Matthias
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews
Grab no guesses you! Read it, is all.

This book has been quite the ride. Gully Foyle is your guide in a future where teleportation ("jaunting") is the main mode of transportation and where interplanetary tensions seem to mount up to an unavoidable Solar System War.

Gully Foyle is a guide you might not like very much, but boy, will he take you places. You'll feast your eyes on locations such as Nightmare Theatre, Freak Factory, sub-terranean prisons, a Sedative Garden and an asteroid consisting of
...more
carol.
An excellent analysis of the Trump candidacy and events leading up to his election as #45. Uses both his perspective and that of the anonymous supporter to chilling effect. Guest appearance by Ivanka near the end.

***********************************
Forgive me my little joke; when I picked up the classic by Bester, I had no idea what I was in for, except a classic sci-fi--in space, with a rather appealing title.

The main character is Gully Foyle, a spacer with no real motivation in life. Content to
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RandomAnthony
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy shit, The Stars My Destination is a revelation. How'd this novel get past me for so long?

I picture Alfred Bester as a mad scientist, surrounded by paper and typewriters, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, knocking this fucker out in the mid-50s. Bester writes likes he has to get all of his ideas out of his head RIGHT NOW, like they're going to explode if they stay in his brain too long. People who buy special diseases so they can go into the hospital and hang out with cute nurses? Neurol
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Nandakishore Varma
I have been trying to write a proper review since the past one week - and I have to give up. There are certain books which impressed me, which resist all my attempts to condense them into a few short paragraphs. However, if I don't write something now, this book will join my "forever unreviewed books" list, so I am putting up a somewhat inchoate review.

This book contains one of the most unpleasant protagonists I have ever encountered. Gully Foyle is totally without ambition, content only to surv
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Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, top-20
I first read this book decades ago under the title of Tiger! Tiger! (British edition). I just reread it recently for the purposes of writing this review. Fortunately I have memory like a sieve so I enjoy this reread just as much as the first time.

The Stars My Destination is one of the few sf books that is included in almost every all-time best sf books I have ever seen, and I have seen many. If I see such a list without this book I will probably dismiss it.

The story is centered upon Gully (Gulli
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Paul Bryant
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
Oh I forgot to list this one! Wow - oversight city! (A city not found on any maps). God knows whether this is really a five star novel, but it was when I read it as a young teenybopper, and it bopped all over my teeny brain and imploded it into a zillion sparkly pieces which took many months to gradually meld back into a usable item again - I think that's why I did so poorly in my physics exam. It was called Tiger! Tiger! then, partly because Gully Foyle, the antiest of heroes, has a facial tige ...more
Sandi
Jun 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandi by: Online Book Club Selection
Shelves: sci-fi, 2008
I have two thoughts on "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester. One is that it really reads modern for a book written in 1956. The other is that it has some really antiquated ideas about the future.

First for the positive. For the first 200 of the 250 or so pages of the story, I couldn't stand the protagonist, Gulliver Foyle. However, he grows as a human being to the point that I ended up spending the last 50 pages cheering him on. Bester did an excellent job of taking Foyle from being almost
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Algernon
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

This was a golden age, a time of high adventure, rich living and hard dying ... but nobody thought so. This was a future of fortune and theft, pillage and rapine, culture and vice ... but nobody admitted it. This was an age of extremes, a fascinating century of freaks ... but nobody loved it.

Alfred Bester began his career with stories published in Thrilling Wonder Stories , Startling Stories , Astounding Science Fiction - names that have come to define that brief period known as the Golden
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Sercan Vatansever
Sonunda bir tokat atan kitaplara karşı hislerimi kesinleştirmem çok zor oluyor. Ortalarında bırakmayı bile düşündüğüm bu kitabı sabah bitirdiğimden beri defalarca hakkında düşünürken buldum kendimi. Kitaba olan hislerim kitabın kendisi gibi karmaşık. Okurken ölesiye sinir olduğunuz bir kitaba karşı, bitirince en sevdiğiniz kitaplar arasına dahi sokabileceğinizi hissetiğiniz oldu mu daha önce? Resmen boyun eğdiriyor.

İtiraf etmem gerekirse 'Kaplan! Kaplan!' biraz baştan savdığım bir kitap oldu. A
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Scott
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I love the thrill of discovering an older work of SF that still rocks.

The Stars My Destination is one such book, a thrill ride from beginning to end that despite being published in 1955 still hits hard and holds its own in 2017.

Several times while reading The Stars My Destination a very clear thought occurred to me- this shouldn't be working. The narrative is flush with odd plot developments, amusing 1950s sci-fi anachronisms (Newspapers being printed in the far future when they're struggling
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Megan Baxter
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gully Foyle is not a likeable man. But he is a compelling one. And in The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester wrote one of his best. (I do like The Demolished Man a little bit more.)

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Manuel Antão
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
"The jaunte rules supreme..."



I read this book more than 20 years ago and finally I got to read it again (It's been for some time on my TBR Pile of long-ago-SF-Books...)

There's many SF classics to be read, and I have read most of them.

Often, when reading books from the "good old day", the datedness of the tale, writing, and characters is very obvious to the modern eye. Not so with this book.

SF is a difficult and transient literature at the best of times. It claims to treat of the future. But noth
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Stuart
The Stars My Destination: Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, Intent on Revenge
(Posted at Fantasy Literature)
Much has been written about Alfred Bester’s classic 1956 SF novel The Stars My Destination (Tiger! Tiger! in the UK edition). According to Wikipedia, it is considered one of the best SF books of all time by many authors such as Neil Gaiman, Joe Haldeman, Samuel. R. Delany, Robert Silverberg, and William Gibson. Predating cyberpunk by almost three decades (if you count from Neuromancer in 1984),
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Adam
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who wonder what "classic" means
Fast and furious and blackly comedic similiar to early Vonnegut or Jack Vance mixed with the bitter surrealism of Finney's "Circus of Doctor Lao", this book predicted and influenced trends like the British New Wave,cyberpunk, and new space opera, but retains an oddball flavor of its own. Satirizing 50's anxieties like the red scare and the threat of nuclear annihilation(and unhindered corporate greed and warmongering)and featuring a psychopathic protagonist(loose in world that makes him look lik ...more
Lindsay
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pioneering work of science fiction that captures the dreams and fears of its time while maintaining an entertaining and madcap story.

Gully Foyle is marooned in space in the wreckage of a spaceship. After six months of barely surviving another spaceship approaches, clearly sees him and then leaves him to die. Gully is a low-class uninspired person, but this event catalyzes his monumental will to live and focuses it into a psychopathic lust for revenge where mere survival takes a distant seconda
...more
Felina
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, star-2
Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation.
Deep space is my dwelling place,
The stars my destination.


A man is a member of society first, and an individual second. You must go along with society, whether it chooses destruction or not.

Here's the break down:

Characterization - What a book of incredibly unlikable people. All the female characters are happy to be victims and while they are pretty badass in some regards are totally obsessed with love. Ummm...shut up. All the male characters are power
...more
Jim
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1audio, 2fiction, scifi
4 stars is a bit of stretch for a space opera with plot holes I could pilot a ship through, but I allowed for when it was written, the ideas contained, & the narration. As a straight SF novel today, it's barely OK - the characters are unlikable, the science magical, & the romance is ridiculous - yet it manages to leverage these weaknesses into a story that is really intriguing & even inspiring, if you can put your sense of disbelief on hold.

Gully Foyle, the MC, certainly isn't a her
...more
Kayıp Rıhtım
25. yüzyılın başlarında, tatsız bir laboratuvar kazası sonucu büyük bir keşifte bulunulur. Bu keşif, adını kazanın mağduru ve mucizenin sahibi Charles Fort Jaunt’un “Jaunt”undan alan teleportasyonla ulaşım yeteneğidir. Kişi zihnini, en fazla 1 km uzaktaki yeri hayal etmeye verebilirse oraya ışınlayabilmektedir.

İnsan evriminin mucizesi olan bu yetenek, konsantrasyonu sağlamada herhangi bir engeli bulunmayan herkesçe kullanılmaya başlanır. Jauntlama sınırları anlamsız hale getirince sosyal, ekonom
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Gabriel C.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Trigger warning.

This book has some heavyweights in its corner. If I recall correctly, Sam Delany recommended it in The Jewel-Hinged Jaw. Gaiman wrote the intro (which I'll read after I write this review). I guess I see some of what they saw here. There is a prefiguration of some of the schemae that would later become standard in the works of Gibson and Gaiman and Stephenson et al., things like the atmosphere of carnival, the antihero, the juxtaposition of high and low in a bubbling melting pot,
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Libros Prestados
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ya son dos los libros que he leído de Bester y si tuviera que resaltar algo de él es que no te deja indiferente. Puedes no estar de acuerdo con todo lo que se le ocurre, su visión de las mujeres y las relaciones amorosas/sexuales es algo problemática a veces, pero tiene imaginación y no le tiene miedo a forzar los límites, no solo en cuanto a historia, sino también en cómo reflejarla en el palabras. Le gusta romper el texto, jugar con las tipografías, reforzar gráficamente lo que está describien ...more
Bill
when i was much younger, in my teens and early to mid twenties, i read a lot of sf.it was fun, it was exciting and full of adventure. then when i got into my later twenties, i pretty much lost interest. i'd read a lot of the classic stuff, a lot of the authors i liked were either retired or dead, and fantasy was taking over from science fiction with books about dragons and wizards and their ilk, and that really didn't turn me on.

so then, for close to 30 years, i read very little sf at all and i
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Wanda
You pigs, you. You rut like pigs, is all. You got the most in you, and you use the least. You hear me, you? Got a million in you and spend pennies. Got a genius in you and think crazies. Got a heart in you and feel empties. All a you. Every you...

You’d think that something written in the 1950s wouldn’t have too much resonance now, in 2016, wouldn’t you? And yet, The Stars My Destination still speaks to me. Now we have so many advantages. Things like the internet, for example, which is so useful
...more
Carolyn
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, classic
Gully Foyle, lowest of the low, lazy, crude, murderer, rapist, ignorant brute of a man, hired as a low grade mechanic on the spaceship Nomad. The only survivor of a brutal attack, he scavenged food and oxygen for six months, hiding away in a locker until he sees the spaceship Vorga approach. Finally rescue is at hand, but No, the ship slows, takes a look and then speeds off. Incensed with fury, Foyle swears revenge on the crew of the Vorga. Pulling himself up by his bootstraps he plans his escap ...more
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630 followers
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 Desti
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“Faith in faith' he answered himself. 'It isn't necessary to have something to believe in. It's only necessary to believe that somewhere there's something worthy of belief.” 182 likes
“You pigs, you. You rut like pigs, is all. You got the most in you, and you use the least. You hear me, you? Got a million in you and spend pennies. Got a genius in you and think crazies. Got a heart in you and feel empties. All a you. Every you...'

[...]

Take a war to make you spend. Take a jam to make you think. Take a challenge to make you great. Rest of the time you sit around lazy, you. Pigs, you! All right, God damn you! I challenge you, me. Die or live and be great. Blow yourselves to Christ gone or come and find me, Gully Foyle, and I make you men. I make you great. I give you the stars.”
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