Top positive review
39 people found this helpful
A gripping and chilling vision of the future
on 14 January 2002
I first read this as a 10 year old, and have never forgotten it - or any of Christopher's fiction, more of which should be reprinted (especially The Lotus Caves and the Prince in Waiting trilogy). The hero escapes a hideous city, in which the poor are kept as mindless and coarse as possible, and finds his way to the countryside. Here, everything is a dream of upper class delights. Because he is befriended by the son of an aristocratic family, he is adopted, and all seems well. Gradually, however, it becomes clear that his father (murdered in the struggle against the Guardians) was right and that this idyllic life is maintained by lobotomising anyone who dares stand up against it.
This is the darkest and most chilling novel Christopher wrote, but one that makes you think, as all his books do, about what makes a good and just society. It is tremendously exciting, and the friendship between the two boys is vivid and believeable. I think it's as good as famous novels about dystopia, such as 1984, but it's never had the readership it deserves.