Okay, so what's on the menu? Brain-stuff. Telekenesis. Always dull to read about. You wished you had it. You took that test in the Kreskin ESP game. No go. You don't have it.
What is this guy, a unicorn? Well, there's a girl in it. There's a spaceship too but they don't seem to be playing it up much.
It's a 1948 serial, combined. Wikipedia:
Gilbert Gosseyn (pronounced go sane), a man living in an apparent utopia where those with superior understanding and mental control rule the rest of humanity, wants to be tested by the giant Machine that determines such superiority. However, he finds that his memories are false. In his search for his real identity, he discovers that he has extra bodies that are activated when he dies (so that, in a sense, he cannot be killed), that a galactic society of humans exists outside the Solar system, a large interstellar empire wishes to conquer both the Earth and Venus (inhabited by masters of non-Aristotelian logic), and he has extra brain matter that, when properly trained, can allow him to move matter with his mind.
That's a lot to take all at once. Hope the author spaced it out for poor Gilbert.
The wikipedia entry includes a review from DAmon Knight:
The World of Ā abounds in contradictions, misleading clues and irrelevant action...It is [van Vogt's] habit to introduce a monster, or a gadget, or an extra-terrestrial culture, simply by naming it, without any explanation of its nature...By this means, and by means of his writing style, which is discursive and hard to follow, van Vogt also obscures his plot to such an extent that when it falls to pieces at the end, the event passes without remark."
And so on. It was so brutal Vogt rewrote the book.