Book Review: The Mercy Men (variant title: A Man Obsessed), Alan E. Nourse (1955)

(Uncredited cover for the 1968 edition)

2.5/5 (Bad)

Alan E. Nourse’s The Mercy Men (1955) contains all the necessary parts for a riveting 1950s SF thriller: a disturbing future America where the destitute sell their bodies for medical experimentation, a world wrecked by increasing waves of mental illness, and a hero with a manic obsession with finding the man who killed his father. ¬†However, Nourse’s strategic dousing of the characters and scenes with Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) hoopla muddles the wonder of the world and rigor of the action and leaves the reader imagining all the lost opportunities.

 And of course in the best pulp tradition which Nourse so fervently adheres to, science wins out in the end and provides nicely packaged easy Continue reading