Once Paul Kaufmann had been the richest and most powerful man on Earth. Now he was the prize of a gigantic game of violence, sex and treachery played by those who wanted to follow in his footsteps.
For Paul Kaufmann was dead. His soul was stored in the Scheffing Institute, waiting for the time when it would be awarded to the person judged strong enough to use the mind and memory of Paul Kaufmann.
This was future Earth where the dead were slaves to the living — until at last a man arose to lead them in rebellion...
The cover blurb on the Dell edition is very misleading. The bit about a rebellion of the dead is not even mentioned in the book, though it might be an interesting idea.
Not one of the great works of the sixties, but I did like a little incident involving the Golden Gate Bridge on page 8:
The actuarial sign over the row of toll booths announced the day's vehicle toll: $0.83. As the car passed through a booth, a brief data interchange took place between the bridge computer and the car's, and Roditis' central bank account was automatically billed for the amount. A very nice bit of future-seeing there.
The Berkley edition of 1978 contains an Introduction explaining the roundabout course this story took from initial conception in 1966, through numerous rejections by publishers in 1966 and 1967, extensive revisions in 1968, to its initial publication in 1969.
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