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Brunner, John
book-date: 1964
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VG+ to near-Fine

Ballantine ("first printing") August 1964 paperback. Condition is VG+ to near-Fine: tight and square with flat spine, age tanning is mild and uniform (consistent with its vintage); light rubbing wear to back cover (see scan #2); slight overall wear. Bookseller stamp on first inside page; no other stamps, marks or writing - a clean copy.

Gerald Howson was born in the gutter, with the body of a cripple. Modern medicine could cure most ills, but not his. Yet his defects were the result of his greatest strength, discovered at puberty, after a life of harsh poverty and ridicule for his deformities - he was one of the world's most powerful telepaths. After his discovery, he is taken in by the World Health Organization: they cannot cure his physical problems, but through their example he learns to use his powers in a psychiacally curative way... learning to become a "whole man." This was a Hugo nominee in 1965, and is one of my "top ten favorite books." I highly recommend this.

Incorporating 2 novelets from the late Fifties: "The Whole Man" and "City of the Tiger", this reworks them and adds twice as much new material. The credits page makes it look like there were 3 sources - but "The Whole Man" was re-titled as "Curative Telepath" for its first American appearance (and both titles are listed in the credits.) The first section of the book is original.

For some more plot details - and to show I'm not the only one who likes this - I quote from a review by my favorite reviewer (from Analog February 1966):
"This is by far John Brunner's best book to date. It well deserved its nomination for the "Hugo" award as best novel of 1964.

Gerald Howson is a crippled child, raised in the London slums of the future - but he is one of the most powerful existing telepaths in a world where the U.N. is recognizing and using psionic abilities to help probe psychoses and help quell political and social insanity. The book is the story of a few of his "cases," in the course of which he realizes that his own outlook on life has become as warped as his body. But Howson the man is by no means Howson the warped child, and in the final section of the book he does find new facets of his own personality, and open new possibilities in psionics.

What is particularly good about the book is the richness with which John Brunner has developed the possibilities of telepathic communication. The concept of catapathic groupings, in which telepathic minds can wall themselves into a fantasy woven of their several dream worlds, is terrifyingly real. So is the rich interweaving of sensual and nonsensual - psionic - experience in the final portion of the book. Why it has not had a hardcover publication in this country, when so many poorer books do, I fail to understand." [-P. Schuyler Miller.]

The 1965 British hardcover of this was titled Telepathist, and that title persisted for many years - for British editions of this book.