Friday, January 04, 2013

The Power by Frank M. Robinson


The Power

The other night Bill Crider wrote about how much the novel I Am Legend has meant to him over the years. Same here. It's my favorite science fiction novel. I've read it as recently as a year ago. It never loses its power for me.

Another novel I first read in 1956 is The Power by Frank M. Robinson. You may know the name because he's written blockbuster international bestsellers as well as award-winning science fiction novels.

The Power was his first novel. If Cornell Woolrich had ever used the paranormal in any coherent way he'd have done something like The Power. It's a perfect noir, a dark chase novel through Chicago as a small group of scientists try to find out which of them has The Power. Robinson enriches the book by giving us, on the fly, a wry look at academia of that era. He also gives us a man so alone and desperate as to make Richard Kimble of The Fugitive look like a game show contestant. Like I Am Legend, I reread this every so often. I yet to come across a single moment in it that I would change in any way.
I'm pretty sure you'll like and admire this one as much as I do.

1 comment:

John C. Boland said...

I Am Legend never clicked with me, but I've read The Power a couple of times. I like the fact it's set in a normal world with one extremely abnormal phenomenon going on. I also like the movie, which has a somewhat less gloomy ending (and Ms. Pleshett, oh yes). Paranoia is fun.