Not Your Average Library Book Checkout

I started October a week behind in my re-reading schedule of the Wheel of Time series.  I started the seventh novel, A Crown of Swords on the 8th, but managed to finish it early on the 22nd, leaving me almost ten days to get some non-WoT reading squeezed in before I set out on the Path of Daggers in November.

Just in case you missed it, after I reported the Prologue for A Memory of Light released early in late September, Tor also released the first chapter , “Eastward the Wind Blew” a few days later.  Last week, in late October, Tor released an audio version of chapter two, which I have yet to finish listening to.  I’ve completed the first section of ‘The Choice of Ajah” prior to writing this blog and will listen to the rest later today.

I reviewed all my neglected book clubs and found several great books in the line up for next month, including the Demolished Man by Alfred Bester for the Beyond Reality group at GoodReads.  These days, I prefer to read ebooks as much as possible, since I can tote around my entire library wherever I go on my Nook Color.  However, this classic science fiction novel, written by Alfred Bester in 1953, just isn’t available in electronic format yet (and may not be any time soon).  In fact, it was last published by Gollanz in 1999 in paperback format and is not currently in print, so only used copies are available to buy.

So, I went searching for a copy at my favorite library, the Kansas City Public Library.  The reason this is my favorite library, aside from the fact that a branch is located in my office building, is they have a large, extensive catalog that rarely disappoints.  The Demolished Man failed to make the cut, though, and no amount of tweaking my search criteria could get this book to magically appear in the search results.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester in the leather-bound collector’s edition published by the Easton Press in 1986

I sighed.  My fallback library resides in my almost hometown of Leavenworth.  I hopped on their website and searched their catalog and found a copy available on the shelf.  I placed a hold, requesting pickup at the Leavenworth Public Library.  A day or so later, I received an e-mail telling me my reservation was ready for pickup.  Saturday afternoon, I stopped by and checked out the book you see in the photo to the right.  I couldn’t believe what I was holding in my hands.  A near pristine leather-bound collector’s edition of the classic.  It even sported a gold satin bookmark!  As far as I could tell, no one had read it since it was published in the early 80s.  While I enjoy the ease and convenience of ebooks, limited editions or collector’s editions of hardcover novels are just plain cool.

I flipped through the book once I got it home and found illustrations placed sporadically throughout the book.  Here are three examples:




And a shot of the title page and bookmark:


I’m looking forward to reading this novel, and not just because I lucked into checking out a collector’s edition from my local library. Here are some blurbs and the synopsis from GoodReads:

“One of the all-time classics of science fiction.” – Isaac Asimov

“A masterful compounding of science and detective fiction.”  – The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“A magnificent novel… as fascinating a study of character as I have ever read.” – Groff Conklin in Galaxy Science fiction

In a world policed by telepaths, Ben Reich plans to commit a crime that hasn’t been heard of in 70 years: murder. That’s the only option left for Reich, whose company is losing a 10-year death struggle with rival D’Courtney Enterprises. Terrorized in his dreams by The Man With No Face & driven to the edge after D’Courtney refuses a merger offer, Reich murders his rival & bribes a high-ranking telepath to help him cover his tracks. But while police prefect Lincoln Powell knows Reich is guilty, his telepath’s knowledge is a far cry from admissible evidence