A VERY PRIVATE LIFE by Michael Prayn
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For some time an agile and high-spirited mischief maker on the contemporary scene, British novelist and essayist Michael Frayn this time extracts luna-logical conclusions from some vlnertable social practices in a Utopian fancy. It's a wild go, but those who manage to keep their seats will arrive back at some home truths. The heroine of Frayn's fauve new world is a young female, Uncumber, legatee of an aristocratic Inner group. These beautiful people long ago, through sweet reason while chafing at inhibiting, societies, created windowless houses of sweet air and sweet thoughts (by pill) to eliminate contact with the primeval world of sweat and tears the Outsiders. Uncumber lives with her sunny and brother, dressed modestly in dark glasses only, fed and tended by pipes, and educated, entertained through acquaintances manifested by holovision. But a wrong holovision number brings to a estless and temporarily unpilled Uncumber the image of a small bald-headed man who speaks a foreign language but whose naked eyes and deep sorrow are committing-Noli, Uncumber takes the terrible journey, to the Outside finally to live in Noli's pot-banging, rather violent household. Noli, at first embarrassed by Uncumber's devotion, looses some hitherto buried aspirations upwards, and Uncumber realizes that again the lower class has been bruised by the upper. She takes the painful, dangerous journey back, where she lives contented with her lot until presumably she knocks off happy pills again. A mocking re- rayn to caste and boob-tube withdrawal.

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 1968
Publisher: Viking