|Plot Summary of My Petition For More Space|
|"Try to imagine a book that mostly takes place in a waiting line. Hersey does it with this marvelous tale. It is the near future, when couples have to apply to have a child, and are allowed only one. (Patriotic teen males can agree to get a vasectomy.) Personal space for individuals is limited to an 8x12-foot painted square in a large warehouse dorm, and the only area in New Haven with grass and trees is walled off -- the mayor gets to mow it but others can only look at it through a window after waiting long hours in line. Thirty-seven-year-old Sam Poynter, who writes reports and is getting divorced, is in a line, four abreast, to get to the petition windows where he will ask the authorities for the unheard-of favor of a slightly larger living space. Crushed around him are people petitioning for more protein, to change their residence or job, to get Havana cigars, to have a child. An elderly woman is petitioning to have her dear grandson not to be taught to read, so he can learn something more useful. Moving a block every 15-20 minutes for several hours, Sam grows to like some of the strangers around him (especially the young blonde in the blue dress against whom he is pressed from behind, who seems to respond to his verbal and physical overtures) and dislikes others. A woman faints and is passed over heads; several people suffer "line sickness" and go screaming mad. An unhappy gent starts up a chant to get Sam thrown out of line. Like Hersey's earlier science fiction novel, _The Child Buyer_, this 1974 story wraps considerable humor within a chilling and depressing overcoat."
David Loftus, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of My Petition For More Space|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 10%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 30%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 20%
Tone of book
- cynical or dry-wit
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- science fiction story
Repressive society story
- strict rationing of freedoms/goods
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a substantial amount
- current (early 21st century)
Takes place on Earth?
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
scientific jargon? (SF only)
- none/very little science jargon needed
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references only
- descript of kissing
- society controls main character's sexing
How much dialogue?
- significantly more descript than dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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