Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

Why I read this book?

This was the October from the Sword and Laser Book Club. It was picked since it was the winner of the Hugo Awards in 1953

What's the book about?

On the 24th century murder is no longer an option. Police have telepathic powers and can pretty much know everything that is happening in your head. Ben Reich however, things he can get away with it. Can he hide his thoughts from detective Lincoln Powell?

What about the main characters?

Ben Reich is a egocentric S.O.B that is obsessed on having it all, the biggest company and ll the power it would entitle. He is smart, but he can easily be blinded by his own obsession. Lincoln Powell, a level 1 telepath is very full of himself but with a reason. He is good at what he does and he knows it. He is very given to be overconfident, but he catches up quickly when he "looses" his step.

Final thoughts

First thing I thought about the premise for this book was "isn't this Minority Report?. But as you advance in the book you realize that, although it probably inspired a bit of the movie, is far from being the same story.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Not only the story developed in lots of ways I was not expecting, but the characters kept me at the edge of my chair. On a very important note for me, the fact that this book was written in the 50s yet the female characters were not lost damsels in distress (at least not all of them) was very agreeable.

The parts written from all telepath point of view was a bit of challenge at first, in a way that you have to certainly pay attention to the page jumps, but once you get used to it is ok. 

The end was very nice. I liked it a lot, and I was not excepting that resolution. I will say, avoiding any spoilers, that as Reich I was also blinded at the fact that changed the whole outcome (let me know in the comments if this happened to you too)

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