The state has been recently taken over and is being run by the tyrannical and philistine 'Average Man' party. Under the slogans of equality and happiness for all, it has done away with individualism and freedom of thought. Only Adam Krug, a brilliant philosopher, stands up to the regime. His antagonist, the leader of the new party, is his old school enemy, Paduk - known as the 'Toad'. Grieving over his wife's recent death, Krug is at first dismissive of Paduk's activities and sees no threat in them. But the sinister machine which Paduk has set in motion may prove stronger than the individual, stronger even than the grotesque 'Toad' himself.
One of the most intriguing novels we've seen for some time, unfortunately hampered by a slow, rather bewildering start. Here is superb satire, biting, never blatant, in parts poetic - the whole more effective than any bombast and bitterness could arouse... The hero, Krug, is a professor of international renown. He loses his wife just as a dictator, whom he'd known at school as an unpopular boy, takes over. But his preoccupation with his grief and worry over his boy eclipses all realization of what this dictatorship might mean. As his friends are arrested- in some of the most quietly savage scenes imaginable - he begins to worry about his son's fate. Then the new regime offers him security if he will proclaim his support. He refuses- and in a horror scene, the boy is taken away and killed, and the story ends with Krug mad. In spite of a spate of such stories, this has a violence and immediacy that is impressive. And yet, unless it gets the backing of individual enthusiasm, it probably wont sell. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Penguin Classics Ser.
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: June 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0 x 1.4
Weight (kg): 19.8
Edition Number: 3