by Ira Levin
The story is set in a seemingly perfect global society. Uniformity is the defining feature; there is only one language and all ethnic groups have been eugenically merged into one race called “The Family.”
The world is ruled by a central computer called UniComp that has been programmed to keep every single human on the surface of the earth in check. People are continually drugged by means of regular injections so that they can never realize their potential as human beings, but will remain satisfied and cooperative. They are told where to live, when to eat, whom to marry, when to reproduce. Even the basic facts of nature are subject to UniComp’s will – men do not grow facial hair, women do not develop breasts, and it only rains at night.
“The Family” was everywhere. For centuries, mankind longed for a world without suffering or war. The Family made that dream come true. They have triumphed. Programmed, every need satisfied, they knew nothing of struggle or pain. They had mastered… perfected Earth.
But for one man, perfection was not enough. For Chip, it was a nightmare. The Family was a suffocating force of evil. His dream was to escape… and destroy!
I’ve had this book for a long time and suddenly decided now was the time to read it. No one opposed to socialism should ever be allowed to read this book, which describes a socialist hell, a capitalist hell, and an oligarch’s heaven. I wouldn’t want to live in any one of them. Interesting book. Glad I read it.