The Stars My Destination

Alfred Bester
The Stars My Destination Cover

There are a lot of ideas here to like...


Probably more of a 3-star read for me but I will allow an extra half star for the era in which this was written. The narrative clearly shows that this was originally published in serialized form. Nevertheless, the story itself...

There are a lot of ideas here to like. Unfortunately for me, this book hinges on some of my least favorite SF tropes. Chief among them is telepathy and traveling through time and space using nothing more than your mind, (jaunting). The other thing that made this a difficult book was the protagonist. For the bulk of the narrative, Gully Foyle has almost no redeeming qualities. He is arrogant, angry, glib, misogynistic, spiteful, deceitful, and downright mean-spirited. A remarkably difficult character to identify with!

Bester does write a fast-paced, frenetic tale that shows a lot of potential and has clearly influenced many writers that have followed in his footsteps. To my way of thinking, many of those writers have surpassed him in execution of story while paying homage to his creativity.

Overall, I'm glad to move another classic SF book from the TBR to the 'Read' shelf. This one is unlikely to get a re-read from me tho...