Level 7 (Library of American Fiction) [Mordecai Roshwald, David Seed] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Level 7 is the diary of Officer . (Uncredited cover for the edition) /5 (Very Good) I recently received a copy of Modecai Roshwald’s Level 7 () from 2thD at. In an unspecified nation, the nameless officer X is taken to an ultra-secret installation called Level 7. He has been chosen to be one of four “Push Button.
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All references to government and politics are purposefully general in order to create a more universal message about the dehumanization of nuclear war. Level 7 is of paramount importance for complete war: As one might imagine, Level 7 plunges its occupants into periods of extreme depression.
One of the most powerful scenes recounts the discovery of the length of the tape of music. However, after twelve days the residents discover that the tape repeats itself. Yet another reminder of the repetitive passage of time. One of the more surreal moments happens when the loudspeaker informs the residents that they should consider getting married. Of course, such a marriage will be like none on the surface due to the restricted living arrangements.
For Roshwald, the character of x exemplifies the dehumanizing aspects of nuclear war. He has been trained to follow orders, orders as simple as pressing a button that will result in the annihilation of millions. He, and most others underground, rarely question their role. Over the course of the novel the purpose of the other six levels is described in an educational program by the loudspeaker. Level 6 is for other military personnel. The other five levels are for various important civilians and, the closer one gets to the surface, the less provisions are provided.
The situations often verge on comical. For example, a philosopher characters spouts endless rhetorical about the perfect state of existence underground. In perhaps the most fascinating moment in the narrative, x engages in a series of discussions with a school teacher about the stories they should tell their offspring: I recommend Level 7 for all fans of classic science fiction, especially works on Cold War themes.
Whenever you write about a book, it makes me want to read it immediately. But, hey, who gets jacket blurbs from Bertrand Russell! My copy — the edition — has a Linus Pauling quote as well as the Russell quote: There is a possibility that the astounding series of events depicted by the author will in fact occur a few years from now.
It also contains specific progressive details of his created universe contrasting the monotony of life on Level 7. Have you read One Nation Underground: I highly recommend it — despite the authors very condemnatory attitude towards some of the sci-fi from the era he hates Heinlein a delightful scholarly be warned analysis of a fascinating topic.
Reading it makes me think of the novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin in its protagonist who is known by a number and in the manner in which the reader is led to care about him despite his dedication to what we see as a terrifying government. It is the psychological implications that make these kind of stories engaging.
I had not heard of this book, your review makes me want to find it. I would think that since there is no reference to politics it would be more well known.
I did look up the author, at 91 years old he is apparently still teaching at the U of Minnesota. His scholarly works are rather nebulous The Transient and the Absolute: Its Meaning and Scope — hmmm, so what field is that? Definitely going onto the TBR pile.
Level 7 functions because of its political neutrality, the simple story, and the many surreal moments — a delightful and terrifying nuclear fable. What is your favorite late 50s atomic themed novel? But the plot of this one sounds pretty great. I usually buy two, sometimes even three books for that price!
Well, I recommend the more acknowledged classics first so you get a sense of the era. A Canticle for Leibowitz is generally considered one of the best…. And is probably quite cheap. On The Beach has a film adaptation which is ok as well…. I lent it to my non-sf-reading brother and not only did he fly through it, so did his classics-reading wife, and both raved about it. The stripped-down, methodical reporting style has a cumulative effect; the last 20 or so pages are just devastating in their simply-written bleakness.
So glad to have found your blog where you review these terrific older books with perceptive eyes and mind. Thanks for the kind words.
Review – “Level 7” by Mordecai Roshwald
But yes, I do try to showcase works which deserve wider audiences…. Perhaps that was the point? The Paris Hilton inflection….
I just threw Paris Hilton in cuz I was tired: Holy cow, what a bummer! But yeah, unfortunately, I roswa,d know what happens in the story… Alas, read too many reviews of it online.
And Chaos Died is much more New Wave experimentation — it is also disturbing etc. But, uses, let us say, a very over the top style to convey its point — from the first page I glanced at in We Who are About To… she definitely toned down her extravagant prose. Thank you so leevl for the review of this book! It should roswals interesting to see what sticks out now vs when I was 10 or But then again they have been selected from the masses for such a mission so they must be of an unusual character makeup anyway.
Even after the point when the buttons were pushed that launched the weapons I was still thinking ahead how the wizard behind the curtain would reveal himself and the joke he was playing on levle participants.
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Detailed Review Summary of Level 7 by Mordecai Roshwald
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Level 7 by Mordecai Roshwald
He wrote very little — which is a shame…. What does he teach? Great summary and review. This is going on my reading list. Level 7, by Mordecai Roshwald gaping blackbird. Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Sorry, llevel blog cannot share posts by email.