The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 19 March 2012

The Demolished Man

Author: Alfred Bester

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

The Demonlished Man is a phsycological cat and mouse thriller set in a future were humans have tapped into the power of telepathy and certain espers (or empaths) are used to track the thoughts of the population in order to keep things in check. A method of policing the people which has eradicated crime by literally stopping things before they happen.

Ben Reich, an emensly rich and powerful business man wants to seize the competition but when his main competitor Bryce D'Courtney refuses his merger bid, Reich is furious and takes things to the next level, cunjuring a plan to murder D'Courtney and with one stone both expand his empire and beat the legal system. Not everything goes according to plan of course and soon it is Reich who becomes the prey to Detective Powell, setting off an epic search for proof which will lead to final demolishen but not before the odd twist and turn.

Bester investigates the limitlessness of human instinct in a world so changed from the present and past but not immune from ancient nature as opportunity leads inevitably to motives for murder. Incredable scenery springs to life, buzzing with activity, from high tech industry, to the homes of aristocracy and a complete and thourough system of telepathy detailed in the layout of the type itself. Bester's imagination is vast, precise, detailed and relevant with creations that hold up and continue to inspire. It is no wonder this was the first book to win the prestigious Hugo Award.

Though I didn't find myself turning pages in anticipation as much as I did with Bester's other celebrated novel Tiger! Tiger! I did become more and more absorbed as the story went on until I finally couldn't put it down until all the pieces come together. This is an intriguing take on the psycopathic mind which will have you guessing not who done it, but why did they?