A Possible Vision of the Future,
This review is from: The Glass Bees (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)This is certainly a fascinating read. Junger's vision of the future feels possible, there is a world weariness about his character's views, ideas and memories. The narrator mourns the simpler world, the world in which the calvary charged into battle, when men fought a known enemy. The war of our modern age, as written about by Junger in this philosophical novel, is just a war of distances, pressing buttons, eliminating your opponent without seeing them.
The novel essentially takes place in a day. We follow the thoughts, memories, dreams of a man long discharged from the army, searching for employment in a world filled with robots and other inventions. The world is strongly amoral, these robots entertain, have replaced actors and become the world's source of entertainment. The soldier, through the help of a former colleague, has an interview with a brilliant businessman - a Bill Gates meets Warren Buffet-like character named Zapparoni. Richard, the war veteran is needed to be head of security. This Zapparoni fears his inventors will give away his secrets.
This is more a novel of ideas as opposed to situations. Richard recalls men he went to school with, former soldiers he knew and hung around with after the wars. He reflects on the past and the present. It is not plot-driven and much of the interview between the narrator and the business men happen between the memories and thoughts of Richard. It is a reflective novel, pensive, melancholic but hopeful in some sense.
If you enjoy the Orwell or Huxley, bear in mind this is not a story of scenes, there is no real plot other than a man going to an interview. It is more of a snapshot of a man's life in a possible future world. Considering Junger lived to the age of 102, and this novel was written in the '50s', one wonders what he thought about the world on his deathbed in the late 1990's.