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Julian Meynell's Books

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The Demolished Man

The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester I've previously read The Stars Our Destination by Bester and this book is not as good, but it is still really good. The plot this time concerns telepathy. The main character plots a murder in a world in which murders no longer happen because of the ability of Espers to "peep" into the minds of people and detect if they committed the murder.

The overall plot is not as good. The plot of both books does not make a whole load of sense, but that is more obvious with this book. The characters and imagery are not as compelling. Having said that the book is still a very good book. There are two things that make Bester one of the greatest SF authors of all time. The first is his love of words. Unlike a lot of science fiction authors, Bester is in love with words. He plays with them, most notably here by drawing pictures with them of telepathic communication. The other thing is that his plots hurtle forward. He writes with a relentless speed.

This book prefigures the greater work that was to come. It is almost a test drive for The Stars Our Destination, but it is really well worth reading.