THE WORLD INSIDE by Robert Silverberg
This is one of the weirdest science-fiction novel I’ve read in years. The idea behind the story is interesting but disturbing in my opinion. I guess that’s what the author wanted.
In the future, people live in giant towers containing as much as over 800,000 of them. It is consider a sin not to reproduce and they have pushed the level of non-privacy to the extreme. So here you have a society of people copulating and having kids all the time! Your husband might sleep with your best friend’s wife, etc. This society is a giant sexual party.
I could see where the book came from as it was written in the early ’70’s and thought this was a result of too much marijuana and summer of love the author had been involved in. Or maybe, he was just influenced by the hippy generation of « free love ». There is a certain innocence behind the ideas of that book and of course, if it had been written in the AIDS years, it would have turned out very different in my opinion.
I don’t recomment this book to the prude as there is a lot of sexual content (that’s mostly all there is) but the story is very interesting as the author interrogate (through his characters) the validity of such society. It also shows how this supposed freedom of life is actually a new form of Big Brother as anyone who deviates from the Urbmon’s rules is put to death.