The Demolished Man
The Demolished Man

BESTER, Alfred. The Demolished Man.

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BESTER, Alfred. The Demolished Man. Chicago: Shasta Publishers, 1953.

8vo., original blue cloth-backed maroon boards, lettered in white to upper board and gilt along spine; upper edge black; pp. [xii], 11-250, [iv]; a near-fine copy, lightly bumped at the corners and slightly toned to the text-block; jacket with some small nicks and chips to extremities, particularly along spine; one slightly larger chip to foot of inner front flap; very good nonetheless, and virtually unfaded along the spine.
Second edition, stated. Inscribed by the author in black felt pen to the title page: "For Shelia and Connie with much love by Alfie/ April 1969", above his crossed-out printed name.
Set in the year 2031, a wealthy man (and coincidentally murderer) named Reich attempts to evade capture from a telepathic policeman. In an SF Site Featured Review, Todd Richmond wrote that the book is "a complicated game of manoeuvring, evasion, and deception", adding "the game is a very interesting one, because while Reich is a very rich man and has considerable resources, Polwell [sic] has an entire network of peepers to help him gather information and obtain evidence... The best part of Bester's story is its timelessness... There are few references to outlandish or dated technology (with the exception of a punch card computer!) or outrageous social practices or fashions. While Bester's future isn't utopia, neither is it a post-apocalyptic nightmare... Bester extrapolates his view of the 50s forward in time, recognizing that while things like technology will change, basic human nature will not."
Some have compared the plot to a sci-fi twist on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.