"He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead. He fought for survival with the passion of a beast in a trap." Gully Foyle drifts in space, the last survivor on an airless hulk. He survives for months alone. Described as "a man of physical strength and intellectual potential stunted by lack of ambition . . . The stereotype Common Man . . . Not recommended for promotion. Has reached a dead end," Gully is transformed when a ship finally happens upon the wreck and then passes by. After being rescued by degenerate asteroid scavengers, he begins a quest for revenge on those who left him to die and he will stop at nothing and let no one get in his way. In the process, he finds himself the central figure in an incipient interstellar war as his wrecked ship was transporting the newly discovered secret to unlimited energy and only Gully knows where it is.
In this science fiction classic, Gully Foyle is a fascinating early anti-hero who lies, cheats, and betrays in his quest for revenge on those who left him to die. Along the way he manages to rediscover a sense of morality. For a piece of science fiction originally published in 1956, this book holds up wonderfully. At its most simple, it is a fast-paced adventure story but there is more waiting to be discovered for those willing to look a bit closer.
Reviewed by dd, 12/05. Other reviews by dd.