Reviews of Last Planet, the/Man Obsessed, a (1955)
Review by johnafair (2007-10-13)
At first glance, this would be a rather odd pairing - the two books are completely different, with 'A Man Obsessed' dealing with a man's hunt for the killer of his father, and set relatively close in time, and 'The Last Planet' being traditional Space Opera and set millennia in the future. But there is a thematic link - the societies that produced the lone protagonist of the former and the team of explorers in the latter are both in collapse and in a state of flux.
Both are very much of their time, though Nourse's contribution is more modern in the sense that his hero is flawed, though there is the possible redemption of both himself and his society in general. The ending of Norton's book also allows for the possibility of rebirth, but this is a much more nebulous outcome.
Overall, both stories are still enjoyable reads even half a century and an incredible degree of change - especially 'The Last Planet', which under it's alternate title 'Star Ranger', was amongst my earliest introduction to science fiction.
(This review refers to the 1955 version titled “A Man Obsessed/The Last Planet”)