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This Perfect Day [Paperback]

Ira Levin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Nov 2010
Set 150 years after the unification of the nations, Chip fights a desperate battle for freedom in a world benumbed by chemistry and computerization. Chip's grandfather, Papa Jan, first wakens him to a sense of his individuality and later other people crucially affect Chip's life.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (15 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160598129X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605981291
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.1 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Ira Levin's Brave New World. (New York Times Book Review)

Marvelously entertaining. A cross between Brave New World and Doctor No. (Look Magazine)

Ira Levin's brave new world is populated by eight billion members of The Family. Life is planned and programmed from birth through death by UniComp, the supercomputer down inside the earth. (New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A chilling dystopia which questions what it means to be an individual in a world of conformity --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A hundred and fifty years hence what John Lennon could only imagine, Chip's society has realised. War has been beaten, hunger satiated. Borders have been crossed out. There is no more religion and the human race is now a family. And everyone is a member of it. Not only are they one, they're the same. Eugenics has proven to be the jewel in the crown of scientific advancement. Progress has achieved its apogee. Chip has as much Totalcake to eat as he cares for (even if there's only totalcake to eat). Vitamins are readily available. No one ever need feel ugly or unwanted as sex is compulsory and avoidance of it is seen as an illness. Chip doesn't even need to shave. His day has his TV viewing scheduled in to it. Even the rain only falls at night. All this under the benevolent gaze of a super computer-UniComp-who knows best and is there to gently guide humanity to its peaceful existence. An existence where a member's birth, life and death are all preordained along with all other points on that mortal trajectory. And yet Chip slowly begins to feel that surely living is more than existing and so begin his efforts to grow up. Discretion suggests that no more be said for risk of spoiling the book.

It is inevitable that any dystopian novel will be compared with Orwell's Nineteen eighty-four and Huxley's Brave New World. And while it's true Levin is not in the same class as these two as a writer, he is by far a better writer of thrillers. Consequently, This Perfect Day moves at a heady pace and is more action packed. However, where both Huxley and Orwell are trying to grapple with the issues of humanity and freedom in general and the society of their day in particular, Levin's work seems to be a pushing of his political views.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, under-rated future distopia novel 2 Oct 2009
This book is bound to draw comparisons with the like of 'Brave New World', '1984', 'Logan's Run' and so forth but it's strange that it's nowhere near as well known. I've read all of those books, and this one is at least as good, in my opinion.

The story centres around Chip (as he thinks of himself) who is a member of a worldwide society governed by a single supercomputer. Almost every aspect of the citizen's lives are regulated by the computer, including whether particular people are permitted to have children, what they are called (out of 8 potential names), what jobs they do, where they live, and pretty much everything else. Everyone has an injection once a month that dulls their desire to rebel, their sex drive etc, and they are subject to constant propaganda and brainwashing that the computer, UniComp, knows best and will give them appropriate guidance.

The older generation still have some individual attributes and attitudes, but everyone that is young has a very similar appearance and the same sort of personality. Following some 'anitsocial' thinking from his grandfather, Chip begins to have feelings that it might be nice to be able to choose things for himself. This is the start of his exploration of what really is true and what UniComp has falsified in order to keep order. The majority of the book then follows his discoveries as he gradually begins to question the way the society functions while attempting to appear to be a normal citizen. I won't spoil the story by giving any more details.

This is an absolutely excellent book and I would recommend it to fans of any genre, although it fill particularly appeal to sci-fi fans I would think.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great futuristic novel!!!! 23 Sep 2003
This is a great book. As easy as that.
Though 1984 and, maybe 451 fahrenheit may be the closest to what could happen in a real-life situation, I like "this perfect day" the most.
Basically it describes what happens in a world based on societies where everything and everyone is standardized. Even the people. Everything changes with the birth of Chip, with two eyes of different color. Why is he different? What does it mean? It's a futuristic book, picturing a dark and authority-controlled society where everything goes by the rules, and dissenters are removed.
It's scary, intimidating and brilliant. Read it.
This book has not gotten the attention it deserves, in my opinion. It's better than Huxley's "brave new world", and still that book is the most famous.
Anyway, if you like "1984", "Brave New World" or "451 fahrenheit", check out this one. And while you're at it, read Ayn Rand's "Anthem", the book that started it all. See if you figure it out why she wrote it.
One of the best books in the genre!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'This Perfect Day' Ira Levin 28 Feb 2011
By Meerkat
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'This Perfect Day' .. by Ira Levin
I first read this 40 years ago when it was published and have just read the new edition.
In this sparkling original book, Levin postulates a future which extrapolates the process of the worlds' population way into the future.
World peace, so devoutly wished for,has been achieved. The world is now 'A Great Big Melting Pot' with all nations intermingled. War belongs to history and all boundaries have blended into one big whole ... or so it seems.
Each person, now known as a 'member' is classified at birth and is assigned to 'appropriate' work.
TV viewing is programmed into the day, sex is obligatory on Saturdays and it only rains at night. You had better have sex because if you don't your partner will report you to your mentor and you will be sent for treatment. 'I am my brother's keeper' written in the Bible may be interpreted as 'I will take care of him', now it means I am my brother's guard, watching for mistakes and omissions!
'Touch and Go' now means that each member must 'touch' his/her identity bracelet to scanners as they pass through various passages. Everybody has a regular 'treatment' ... vitamins and minerals with a dose of tranquiliser. Food is now 'totalcake' which is freely available - and is all that there is to eat.
In keeping with peace and harmony you might now 'catch two birds with one net' rather than a stone. The book is threaded through with humour, I particularly enjoyed the picture 'Wei Addressing the Chemotherapists' - it doesn't pack quite the same punch as 'The Adoration of the Magi' ...
At first it is amusing, but cracks appear in the peaceful facade and you find yourself caught up in a nail biting thriller ...
Has it dated? Not at all, it is fresh and funny and relevant. I loved it then, I love it now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read!
While I'm not a great science fiction fan, this book is a fascinating view of a possible future. In itself a thoughts in a time capsule.
Published 5 months ago by Forbes
5.0 out of 5 stars Chip has an eye on the future
Chip is being raised in a society that for the most part is organized and has its resources adjusted by computer. There are no fights, no need to shave, and no diseases. Read more
Published 14 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars This Perfect Day
'This Perfect Day' is very much in the tradition of utopian/dystopian writing; a worthy successor to 'Erewhon', 'Brave New World' & '1984'.
Published 18 months ago by John Rowland
5.0 out of 5 stars This perfect day indeed!
I first read this book in 1971 and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's one of those science fiction books that could very well be what life might be like in years to come........ Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2012 by Beverley V. Arnott
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible sci-fi thriller
Who'd have thought the author of the unputdownable Rosemary's Baby would next come up with such a turgid thriller as this? Read more
Published on 18 April 2012 by Charles
5.0 out of 5 stars Find a way to buy this book
This perfect day is the story of a child living in a perfect society, the difference between him and everyone else is that he has different coloured eyes, the first hint that he is... Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars An inetelligent, feelgood novel
I first read this book more than 15 years ago, around the same time that I met my husband. I loaned it to him and he loved it too - I knew we were on the same wavelenth! Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Chip has an eye on the future
Chip is being raised in a society that for the most part is organized and has its resources adjusted by computer. There are no fights, no need to shave, and no diseases. Read more
Published on 30 Mar 2003 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most impressionable books I have ever read
I am desperate to get hold of a copy of this book. It gave me nightmares in my "teens" and now in my (latish!) forties I am desperate to obtain a copy! Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2000
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