In this stolid Swedish addition to a growing body of anti-utopian fiction, the nuclear holocaust has come and gone and in its wake arrives a devastating flood, with appalling consequences for the survivors huddled on a wretched Baltic island. The year is 2023, 30 years after. The afflicted survivors have fashioned a repellent mode of life based on the segregation of the sexesthe men imprisoned, the women in an underground conventso that their numbers will not be augmented by genetic monsters. Centering on a homosexual cabin-boy abandoned by his shipmates, the narrative presents a day-by-day account of a primitive world befouled by suicide, murder, rape, perversion, the virtually total absence of feeling and sensibility. The overriding moral question posed is the value of life in such circumstances, and the author concludes that there is no possible human meaning worth the name. There are moments touched by some dim memory of what life was once like; but the residual image delivers the terrible verdict: the survivors will soon be gone and rats will inherit the earth. Foreign rights: Morrow. January 15
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986 Release date: 01/01/1986 Genre: Fiction
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