Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

No Place on Earth

No Place on Earth, Louis Charbonneau, Doubleday, 1958

In the year 2240, Earth is ruled by the dictatorial Population Control Corps, which keeps the world in a state of constant famine. Petr Clayborne's father, Jack Clayborne, was a senior figure in the Underground, the only political opposition, but was executed when Petr was a child. Petr has no interest in following in his father's footsteps.

Petr is in PCC custody, and is being interrogated, with pharmaceutical help. Members of the Underground are given a false tooth with a liquid memory obliterator, instead of cyanide, if they are caught. Petr has used his fake tooth, and the PCC has supposedly developed a drug to reverse the obliterator. Captain Hartung of the PCC, a romantic rival for the affection of Petr's wife, Alda, is convinced that Petr knows the location and destination of a secret submarine which is about to slip out of the PCC's surveillance.

During the drug injections, Petr relives his life. Alda's father, who may or may not be a senior figure in the Underground, does not approve of their relationship, because of Petr's unwillingness to join the Underground. Alda and Petr are married in a bureaucratic process which bears a strong resemblance to spending a day at the DMV. They decide to have a child before they are authorized to do so, something which is very illegal. Petr eventually finds the Underground, which agrees to help them escape in the above-mentioned submarine. But, at every pickup point in New York City, the PCC is waiting. The only possible explanation is that there is a "mole" in the Underground. Does Petr reveal the sub's location to Captain Hartung? Do Alda and Petr escape via the Underground? What does the Underground know that could destroy the PCC's hold on power?

This one is pretty good. It is very "1984"-ish in that a loyal citizen slowly turns into an enemy of the state. It's a pretty "quiet" story in that there is very little violence until the end. For those who like reading dystopia stories, this is well worth reading.

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