'You'll never be happy until you can think and feel and look like other people . . .' Jael 97 is an Alpha. Deemed over-privileged for her beauty, she is compelled to report to the Ministry of Facial Justice, where her face will be reconstructed. For Jael lives in the New State, created out of the devastation of the Third World War. Under the rule of the Darling Dictator, citizens must wear sackcloth and ashes, and only a 17.5% quotum of personality is permitted to each. Anything that inspires envy is forbidden. But Jael cannot suppress her rebellious spirit. Secretly, she starts to reassert the rights of the individual, and decides to hunt down the faceless Dictator. 'An exquisitely entertaining fantasy' Observer
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Leslie Poles Hartley, known as L. P. Hartley, was a British novelist and short storywriter. His best-known novels are the Eustace and Hilda trilogy (1947) and The Go-Between (1953). The latter was made into a 1971 film, directed by Joseph Losey with a star cast, in an adaptation by Harold Pinter. Its opening sentence, "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there", has become almost proverbial. His 1957 novel The Hireling was made into a critically acclaimed film of the same title in 1973.Review:
An exquisitely entertaining fantasy * Observer * The most exciting and exhilarating of Mr Hartley's novels * Listener * A brilliant projection of tendencies already apparent in the post-war British welfare state . . . Hartley was a fine writer with a strong moral sense -- Anthony Burgess Hartley spares us nothing; each horrid detail of this nightmare world is expertly driven home -- Peter Quennell
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