Email this review


The veteran author of nearly two score novels, Bonham has his ups and downs. Here he treats a theme of cosmic significance and potential richness with the superficiality and careless logic of a 1940s movie serial, complete with endless exposition in the dialogue. The year is 2164. Seventeen-year-old Evan Clark awakens after 180 frozen years into a society whose citizens commonly live well past one hundred years into uselessness and boredom. So scarce is living space in Los Angeles, now the U.S. capital, that young people, those under 60, are kept in kennels. Evan's own father, the legendary Dr. Clark, had in 1984 invented the formula that made longevity possible, though he was later killed in an accident; all that's in the history books. Dr. Clark also developed a refinement in the formula that promised not just longevity but continued youth, and he never disclosed it to anyone except Evan. The bad guys want to pull the formula from Evan's subconscious, and the good guys want to erase it from his brain by laser surgery. Although the longevity formula is outlawed elsewhere in the world, we aren't told why (or why it is legal in the U.S.); and a lot more isn't explained either, namely why technology has not kept pace with population growth or why Evan stayed frozen for 180 years undiscovered. There are other loopholes big enough to walk through, in a plot that leaves a multitude of questions unanswered and many more not even asked.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1980
Publisher: Dutton