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.