The protagonist, Miles Plastic, is an orphan who, at the beginning of the story, is finishing a prison term for arson. Crime is treated very leniently by the state, and conditions in prison are actually quite superior to those among the population at large, leading to an understandably high recidivism rate. Upon release, Plastic goes to work at a state-run euthanasia centre. The centres are not restricted to the terminally ill and are so popular that Plastic’s sole responsibility is to stem “the too eager rush” of perfectly healthy but “welfare-weary” citizens.
Plastic soon falls in love with Clara, a bearded woman who is a “priority case” at the centre. However, she does not wish to die (she was sent there by her department) and the two begin a romance. One day, however, she suddenly disappears, and when he finds her, she has a rubber jaw replacing her formerly bearded face. Distraught, Plastic sets his former prison on fire, and, unidentified as the perpetrator of the crime, becomes elevated in status as the prison’s only “successfully rehabilitated inmate.” Sent to become a lecturer on the worthiness of the prison system, Plastic is directed to marry an unattractive civil servant. A curtain is drawn on the final conclusion as Plastic reaches into his pocket for his cigarette lighter.
Only 1 left in stock
A hardcover edition with red boards, gilt lettering and unclipped, illustrated dust jacket. There is foxing and toning throughout but the text and black-and-white drawings are clear and legible. The dust cover has rubbing and tearing along the edges and losses to the spine. There is some staining on cloth boards.
Now in a clear, removable cover to protect from further damage.
Publisher: Chapman & Hall, London.
Publication Date: 1953.
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