Who? by Algis Budrys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think I wanted to like this cold war espionage SF more than I did. The end makes up for a lot of the meandering middle, but unfortunately, there was a lot of normal everyday '50s feel to it with one notable exception: our hero has come back after a blown-up experiment, after having been saved by the Russians, a cyborg.
There is no genetic typing and no one can be entirely certain it is him. On top of that, everyone's weirded the hell out by his expressionless metal face. So on one level, it's just about how to get along when everyone mistrusts you. And then there's also the political level which is just as frustrating.
I am generous with my rating for one reason: the McCarthy Era crapdoodle. It was a load of shit that everyone had to go through. This novel evokes quite a bit of that, and it gets worse by the end.
It's a thought provoking piece that is better mostly on reflection -- rather than the actual reading.
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