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The Stars My Destination

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  46,698 ratings  ·  3,129 reviews
In this pulse-quickening novel, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people "jaunte" a thousand miles with a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hitmen—and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive.

The Stars My Destination is a classic of technological prophecy and t
Paperback, 258 pages
Published July 2nd 1996 by Vintage (first published 1956)
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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)
J.D. Byrne Bester the character is named after Bester the author. The Psi Corps was largely inspired by Bester's novel "The Demolished Man."…moreBester the character is named after Bester the author. The Psi Corps was largely inspired by Bester's novel "The Demolished Man."(less)

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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
Vit Babenco
Jun 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The golden age of science fiction… The Stars My Destination is a golden book of the golden age…
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.

It is the book of loving and hating… the story of surviving and avenging… the tale of finding riches and identity… The s
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
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
mark monday
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it

Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
“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
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nandakishore Mridula
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
Paul Bryant
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Sandi by: Online Book Club Selection
Shelves: 2008, sci-fi
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
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
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
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Megan Baxter
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-hand, scifi
So, this book is on several lists of classics. It's the rough prototype for the Cyberpunk genre, and it's....really, really odd.

It has a surreal, skeletal feel that reminds me of Harlan Ellison, or Philip K. Dick. No subtlety, no subtext, just raw ideas (and characters) blasting off the page and squirming into your brain.

Its great if you like that sort of thing.

If you need more meat and polish, you may want to look elsewhere.
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),
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2fiction, 1audio, 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 hero. He's a be
Jun 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

I had read a lot about The Stars My Destination before reading it and, as a consequence, I had very high expectations for Alfred Bester’s book. It is often described as being one of the classics of the genre. Having read it, I’m not sure my overly high expectations were met. Nevertheless, this is a great example of well written science fiction and even though it was written during the gol
5.0 stars. A superb, SF novel that deserves the title of Classic. A pure adrenaline rush from start to finish with an excellent main character.
Debbie Zapata
Nov 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Nov 9, 7pm ~~ We finished this during today's Zapata Reading Club phone call. We both liked the story very much, and I will be back to do a proper review asap. I know it will be a long time before either Marco or I forget Gully Foyle!!

Nov 11, 230pm ~~ I first discovered Alfred Bester when I picked up a paperback of some of his short stories many years ago at a library book sale. When Marco and I decided to start a read-aloud project together last year, that book was one of the first ones we read
Nicholas Armstrong
Aug 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
A teacher told me that we must always think in the time frame: in the context with which a writer wrote his works; okay, I can do that. Bester wrote this in the 50's, 56' I believe, so if the problems in this novel had been based in the technology then that would have been one thing; if the problems had been based in American social standards or concepts of the time that would be one thing; that isn't the thing. The thing is that this is simply a poorly written book.

I will at least agree that B
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, sfmasterworks
SF Masterworks 5: On the face of it, the story of Cully Hoyle, a man with limited education, skills, merits etc, and his relentless quest for justice... did I say justice? I should have said revenge. But this book is much more than a Count of Monte Cristo in the 24th century. First published in 1956, one of the seminal cyberpunk stories; first written usage of 'jaunt' to mean teleport; first use of synesthesia in written English language and more! Also Bester unlike almost every other creator re ...more
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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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.” 198 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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