Per Wahlöö – Murder on the 31st Floor (1964)


Silver Age
Category: Published Under More Than One Title
Date Finished: July 25, 2015

Wow, this was not what I was expecting it to be. Almost more science fiction than mystery, this deals with some unnamed society where this is just one publishing corporation responsible for all printed media, dumbing everything down for the masses. Drunkenness, even in the home, is no longer allowed. Soccer, the only sport remaining, is played without an audience in a TV studio. And on the 31st Floor? The few remaining independent thinkers and critics of society. There is a reason that mysteries are superior to science fiction, and this one falls prey to sacrificing realism to make an allegorical point.

It may be cheating to count this as published under more than one title, but it had an original Swedish title, Mord på 31:a våningen, before being published in English in 1966. I had thought to credit this for a book set anywhere except the U.S. or England, but since the society was never named, it could have been England. Hopefully the U.S. would never look to soccer as its entertainment.

Vintage Silver Bingo 2015-07-25


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