• From The Independent Book of a Lifetime In 1985 I bought a 30p second-hand paperback because I liked the title: The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester. This fits into a rare category of novel - short science-fiction - and I read it during my first two days as a student. University promised friends, drinks, adventures, but I preferred life on Mars. On the third day, I read it again. Since then, for me, The Demolished Man has become a comfort book. All writers should have them. Instead of reading for research, or reading to steal, there are books that recalibrate the original, childish joy of reading to escape. This in turn reignites the urge to write and, for me, The Demolished

    Nov 18,