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Publisher's Summary

Marooned in outer space after an attack on his ship, Nomad, Gulliver Foyle lives to obsessively pursue the crew of a rescue vessel that had intended to leave him to die.

When it comes to pop culture, Alfred Bester (1913-1987) is something of an unsung hero. He wrote radio scripts, screenplays, and comic books (in which capacity he created the original Green Lantern Oath). But Bester is best known for his science fiction novels, and The Stars My Destination may be his finest creation. With its sly potshotting at corporate skullduggery, The Stars My Destination seems utterly contemporary, and has maintained its status as an underground classic for over 50 years.

©1956 Alfred Bester; copyright renewed 1984 by Alfred Bester; special restored text of this edition copyright 1996 by the Estate of Alfred Bester; Introduction copyright 1996 by Neil Gaiman (P)2017 Tantor

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What listeners say about The Stars My Destination

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Magnificent

Bester is my favorite Science Fiction writer. I first read this book more than thirty years ago and Instead of aging Bester’s prose just gets better and better. His necessary interpretation or 300 years going forward is entertaining and clever. The narration is superb and it adds to the enjoyment rather than distracts.

58 people found this helpful

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STILL AMAZINGLY GOOD AFTER 62 YEARS

A Science Fiction classic by anyone's standards! A 25th century Count of Monte Christo, the classic story of revenge that Alfred Bester used for inspiration to write what was originally titled Tiger Tiger. I first read the Stars My Destination in 1957 at the age of 7 and was thunderstruck even at that young age. I've continued to re read it every year or two since and it never loses its ability to thrill me. When I saw the audio version available for the first time I was filled with excitement and a bit of trepidation. How would a narrator interpret the characters I knew so well after reading this story 40 times or more over six decades? I practically know the dialogue by heart. Listening was an interesting experience. The narrator certainly did not sound like what I had imagined the characters sounding like. But how could anyone? After a bit I got used to his voice(s) and overall I found the audio version of this amazing story well worth the listen. Listen to it with an open mind and remember that it was written in the mid 1950s when the average person's understanding of the universe and space travel was not what it is today. One of my favorite books of all time.

85 people found this helpful

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Classic SF pulp adventure

This sci-fi classic was a dated yet still exciting and entertaining pulp adventure that broke ground and used a lot of tropes that were not yet well-worn back in the day. Gully Foyle is not a likeable hero. He's a low-born, gutteral, uneducated feral man, aptly expressed in the dialect Bester creates for the lower classes. We find him stranded as the sole survivor of a space wreck, pillaging supplies to prolong his miserable and hopeless existence out in the void, when another ship cruises by. Foyle sends out distress flares... and the ship passes him by, leaving him to die. Consumed with rage, Foyle swears to survive and wreak vengeance on the crew of the ship that left him to die. "Kill you filthy!" I used to be almost exclusively a SF and fantasy reader. One of the pleasures of expanding my literary horizons is that having now read many more classics and literary works than I used to, I recognize references even in my favorite genre novels. So I was a third of the way through the book when I realized that Bester was totally writing a SF version of The Count of Monte Cristo. It's not a beat-for-beat copy with a space theme. Golly Foyle is a very different antihero than Edmond Dante. He's a brute, he's a liar and a swindler, he's also a rapist. And the people who did him wrong didn't care about his woman (he didn't have one) or his position (he had nothing). But like Edmond Dante, he turns from an uneducated sailor into a wealthy, refined gentleman who uses his immense wealth to train and equip himself and become a superhuman vengeance machine, while capering beneath the noses of his objects of vengeance without them realizing who he is. The story goes weird places towards the end - time travel, multi-universe hopping, and psychic powers, all reflective of the era when it was written. (There is no real explanation ever given for how all of humanity just learned to "jaunt," or teleport.) But it's a great (short) epic and deserves its status as a classic in the field.

4 people found this helpful

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Timeless classic

Alfred Bester's The Stars my Destination is classic sci-fi from the 1950's that stands the test of time. Set far into the future, the 25th century, humans have settled the solar system out to Neptune. Along the way, jaunting was discovered which involves personal teleportation over distances up to 1000 miles. The resulting impact on society and the economy results in conflict between the inner and outer system. Gully Foyle is a nondescript mechanic 3rd class on a freighter that is the sole survivor of some unknown disaster. When his emergency beacon is ignored, he is driven by revenge to hunt down the perpetrators. At the same time, Foyle is pursued by many for the secrets the freighter was carrying of which he is unaware. Bester employs many sci-fi elements with jaunting or personal teleportation being a major aspect. Space travel is routine with colonization extending out to a moon of Neptune. Inner versus outer system conflict mirrors the cold war situation at the time. Telepathy is also common with an unusual one way telepath who can only transmit. The special substance pyre is some sort of superweapon akin to a fusion bomb. Bester also creates unique social groups such a cargo cult living on an asteroid fashioned with salvaged spacecraft and a monkish aesthetic cult that severs all sensory nerves . Finally Bester explores long range teleportation with relativistic implications. The narration is excellent with a wide range of characters with good distinction. Pacing and mood are well aligned with the plot and the voice of Gully is spot on. Even in the 25th century, this story will not be dated.

3 people found this helpful

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The Count of MonteCristo with teleportation

A cyclical view of humanity, from a cyclical person bent on revenge, no matter the cost. Interesting reading, if the mechanics of plot supercede the, probably unknown at the time, mechanics of current spacial understanding. Only mildly tinged with the social views of the time, more in favor of maintaining the Dumas feel than to be politic. 8/10, will read again.

16 people found this helpful

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Didn't like it

It was really confusing. Too many far out concepts that have no basis of reality making it hard to follow.

1 person found this helpful

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Very Good Book

Good Sci-Fi, I would recommend this to anyone interested in the genre. Bester was very imaginative for his time.

1 person found this helpful

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This was written in the 50's

It's certainly a good romp although in my opinion it doesn't quite resonate with a modern audience. The narrator did a good job. Female voices are not his forte.

1 person found this helpful

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Tiger Tiger

What a delight! Yes, it’s dated but that doesn’t diminish the enjoyment at all. Masterfully performed by Gerald Doyle; I’m sure to return to this one. Life’s a freak!!

1 person found this helpful

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completely stunned and completely pleased!

best credit I've spent on Audible in a long time. this book gets more relevant as it ages. it reminds me of the Earth Abides, and it's grand storyline, its reach and its character richness.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Grant Garden
  • 04-30-19

Tiger Tiger burning bright

This has to be the best novel ever written. Prophetic, Psychedelic, Astonishing, Incredible, MindBending, Unfeasible

2 people found this helpful

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  • Keith Seymour
  • 05-29-19

Absolutely brilliant, epic sci-fi.

Despite thinking of myself as a Sci-Fi fan, I'd never encountered any Bester before this and as such had no expectations, but my god was I pleasantly surprised. Bester appears to be a master of the anti-hero protagonist (see also Demolished Man) and his scope for world building, nay universe building is second to none. He tells a fantastic story here, reaching through time and space with a huge arc of plot and character development. I was hooked from the first chapter, never once bored and ultimately satisfied by the end. At first hearing of Gerard Doyle's narration I was a little unsure, but by the third page I was settled in and realised that he's a fantastic talent. To the extent now that I couldn't bear to not have him read Bester. It really is a marriage made in the stars. So make this your next Audible destination!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rich
  • 09-07-18

Excellent sci fi tale

I've read this book a few times over the years and I really enjoyed this audiobook version which was really well narrated. Amazing that Alfred Bester published it in 1956, I've always thought it would make a fantastic film but it would need a visionary director and a huge budget to get it right.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-27-20

Golden Age sci fi at its best.

A tale of revenge that becomes a tale of self improvement, growth and redemption. The growth of the main character and his drives throughout the book is enthralling. The world building is simple but excellent. Change one thing, like give people the ability to teleport, and the world changes radically. This newfound faculty of the human race is central to most events in the story and is never overlooked.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-20

First Sci-fi book ever: Sci-fi, ESP and philosophy

Sci-fi and ESP. I'd heard they went together in the past, but first story i know about it. I like the evolution of the a "class" society, where the lower class people and even their language have degraded, and such the leaders have taken it upon themself to be the religion. I also really like the ending, and how this ESP wad intergrated, labyrints to disorientate, people jaunting instead of going on an airplane. Though it's clear that the book was written in 1950's, as it contains some... people who really had a different charecter and a matter capable of changing the face of warfare, like the atom bomb did. And all this is just the world where the main charecter is dumped to slowly starve and be wrath incarnate. But yeah, fascinating story which makes you punder, adequate worldbuilding, and my favorite robot malfunctioning to develop intelligence... which might be common there?

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  • AlexDeDuck
  • 10-10-19

Wonderful cyberpunk novel

It's got everything a cyberpunk novel needs. The rough hero, the mysterious corporations. It's simply brilliant and I cannot recommend it enough.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • "dlavin10"
  • 06-17-19

Timeless Space Extravaganza

A visceral animated story that painted Steampunk pictures in my head. I heard about it in a podcast - The Sketpics Guide to the Universe.