16 Following


Currently reading

The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester 2013 will be a science-fiction year for me, that's for sure! I have no idea why I gave up reading SF, but I am rediscovering the pleasure for this genre. Oh, my, I have a lot to catch up with the classics!

The Demolished Man is one of these SF classics and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It is like a detective novel, only that the events take place in the future, when mankind is divided in Normal people and Telepaths. The latter are capable of reading minds and they have various degrees of skillfulness: the most gifted ones, of which there are only a few, can read the innermost thoughts and even things that are buried deep in the subconscious. That is why, for more than 70 years, it has become impossible to commit a planned murder.

The idea behind this novel reminded me of The Minority Report, but I found out that The Demolished Man was first at the party!

Ben Reich, the rich owner of a huge company, is haunted in his dreams by a nightmarish appearance, the Man with No Face. He is convinced that this is a personification of his rival, D'Courtney, so he decides to murder him. He will have to make a perfect plan and avoid being caught by the Telepaths. I won't tell anything about what is happening, you'll have to read the book to see if he succeeds or not!

The crime is investigated by Lincoln Powell, the Police prefect, who is a gifted Telepath. Yet, he can't rely only on reading Ben Reich's mind, because this is not admitted as solid evidence by the Court. He has to provide motif, opportunity and murder weapon in order to get Reich convicted. And this is not the only problem, because he will eventually figure out who is the Man with No Face and will discover that the mankind is in great danger.

The title refers to the process of Demolition that a person who has committed crime is subjected to, but don't think you've got the meaning of it, because you are in for a surprise at the end!

There was something I didn't enjoy, though: some dialogues were too superficial and cheap, not suited for a novel that is otherwise very smart and imaginative!