In this 1970’s book, the author explores a society in the near future which totally controls and represses all members. Difference between members is negated to the point that all members of the society are considered alike – actually genetic manipulation has taken place to make everyone of equal height, skin color, etc.
Even worse is the mind control which extends to every portion of life – and is augmented by chemical infusions. There are only four names for girls and four names for boys. A frequent theme for the youth is winning and losing are t he same- it is the game. The only heroes of this world are Christ, Marx, Wood and Wei
Gradually, the protagonist, Li (or Chip – his forbidden name given by his grandfather) – begins to seek a way out of this stifling atmosphere.
His trials and tribulations – backsliding to the safe norm – and eventual fate make for one of the most exhilarating but depressing books I have ever read – given that it was written in 1970, it is amazing how much of the total control can be seen to be something that could actually happen.