I read this first as a teenager, but not since. It came up as a favorite of several friends, so I thought it was time to read it again. I’m glad I did.
As the story opens, Mechanic’s Mate 3rd Class Gulliver Foyle has been adrift in a wrecked spaceship in the asteroid belt of our solar system for 170 days. That he’s still alive is due to his tenacious will and stubborn refusal to give up. Only a small part of the ship is habitable, his supplies are almost gone, but he’s hanging on. Foyle, “Gully” as he’s known, is a simple working man, born and raised in the gutters, with no education or ambition. He’s 30 years old and has made a life for himself in the spaceways until now. He doesn’t even know why his ship, the Nomad, was wrecked. He won’t last much longer. Suddenly another ship appears near his course, close enough to read her name, Vorga. He hails it, sends up flares, pleads for rescue, but is ignored. Thus is born Gully Foyle’s fury and desire for revenge on this callous act that will fuel escape by his own cunning, and fuel his deadly quest for the rest of the book. That quest will take him back to Earth, allow him to learn to jaunt, or teleport himself from place to place around that planet, and send him deep into the lives of several wealthy men and smart women involved in interplanetary trade. Along the way, Foyle will end up in prison, in a circus of his own creation, in the board rooms of the powerful, and in an interplanetary war. Through it all his singular purpose drives him like a tiger after its prey. Because of it he is changed in many ways, and his path will draw others in its wake, some to destruction, some to glory.
Still an amazing read, and not very dated. Highly recommended.
If you’ve never read Howard Chaykin’s graphic adaptation, it’s well worth seeking out.
I have, when it came out. I remember liking it, but the book is the book, and shouldn’t be missed.
Yeah, the book is a powerful read to be sure.