This time the plight of the underclass, as seen from both sides of the welfare office desk, acts as the main fabric of the story. Along with failed space missions to other planets, images of assassinated U.S. presidents, joyless sex, pessimistic views of life, the fate of the world in the hands of a neurotic, working-class Joe Average – or is the narrator delusional? (there’s even a brief appearance of Mrs. Harry Evans, an astronaut’s wife, from Malzberg’s earlier novel, ‘Beyond Apollo’) Everything I’ve come to expect after 11 Malberg novels. Still, they are interesting reads.
“Most of the life and sense of welfare recipients is beyond me.” (p. 115)
“There has always been a low order in my life; a sense of things coming together in however pointless a fashion.” (p. 160)