What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Adult Dystopian Sci Fi. Wall separates controlled civilization from wild anarchy. People who don't comply with society rules have choice to get "reconditioned" or banished to the other side of the wall. Written before 1975.

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message 1: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 3 comments Everyone must comply to the strict social rules or get reconditioned. If you refuse to be reconditioned you have the option to be banished to the other side of a wall that separates high tech, controlled, society from people who live in anarchy and have to fend for themselves. Our protagonist is a spy who goes to the other side, the wild side of the wall, for some information. He ends up liking the freedom there better.

One detail I remember is he is appalled that he has to take a shower with water instead of the high tech way they do it on the other side. He still feels dirty after the water shower.

This book was written before 1975, when I read it in high school. I got this book confused with Brave New World, which I just re-read.


message 2: by Kris (new)

Kris | 33475 comments Mod
Sandy, is this book written for adults or teens?

What are some of the rules?

How does he survive on the other side? (Spoilers are okay - just give us a clear warning before revealing a spoiler.)


message 3: by Bargle (last edited Sep 07, 2020 03:49AM) (new)

Bargle | 1179 comments Sounds like Coventry by Robert A. Heinlein. It's a novella, not a full length book. Link to the Wikipedia page for it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventr...


message 4: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 3 comments Kris wrote: "Sandy, is this book written for adults or teens?

What are some of the rules?

How does he survive on the other side? (Spoilers are okay - just give us a clear warning before revealing a spoiler.)"


This was a book that, I think, was assigned reading in my high school adv. English class, so I thought it was a "classic". Not YA, but acceptable for High School reading. I read a LOT of sci-fi and it was a LONG time ago, so I could be confused? I read a lot of sci fi short stories anthologies at that time too. Maybe it was a short?

The protagonist was an agent for this strict advanced tech government that controlled the society, how they thought and acted and what they said. If you got out of line, you were given the choice of reconditioning - made to comply I think chemically, or go to the lawless side of the wall.

Our agent was supposed to contact, I think, an eccentric doctor, thought to be crazy, and a free thinker. His research was considered dangerous or would upset the status quo of the society, so we was banished. The agent finds him and his adult daughter. He stays with them. I think there was some love interest there, with the daughter.

They live with minimal technology. They have no sonic showers, they take water showers. He was really disgusted by that, at first. I think they had electricity but it might have been unreliable. They had to do for themselves and protect against, gangs and lawlessness.

The agent finds the doctor to be brilliant and interesting. Eccentric but not crazy. His eyes start to open to how much more there is to life than in the suppressed, "civilized" side of the wall. I seem to remember the agent going back and forth a few times. Then defecting to the wild side. I don't remember the conflicts or the ending.


message 5: by Andy (last edited Sep 07, 2020 11:38AM) (new)

Andy Love | 2056 comments Based on your latest additions, this is definitely Coventry by Heinlein (as Bargle suggested).


message 6: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 3 comments Kris wrote: "Sandy, is this book written for adults or teens?

What are some of the rules?

How does he survive on the other side? (Spoilers are okay - just give us a clear warning before revealing a spoiler.)"


That kinda sounds like it. Though the title isn't ringing a bell. I did have it mixed up with Brave New World. I am going to give this short a read. Thanks for the tip!


message 7: by Andy (new)

Andy Love | 2056 comments Coventry has been collected in a few different books, so you might have seen it under a different title. Here's a list of where it's been collected http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cg... - you might have seen it in "Revolt in 2100" or in "The Past Through Tomorrow" for example.


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Coventry (other topics)

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Robert A. Heinlein (other topics)