looking through my ratings, i see i've never given a book written by john d. macdonald less than three stars. i am always entertained by his writing: he's primarily known for cape fear, and his bounty hunter travis mcgee's colour series, both of which are rightfully admired, and i would argue, classics of american pulp fiction, because they perfectly encapsulate the glamour that came with being an american in his era, tempering it with concerns with what should be done with all the bounty.
this is a pulp science fiction gem. my copy has an astronaut lighting a cigarette with his helmet still on. a deep space program is being plagued by strange cases of possession. they begin to wonder if random accidents are really so random. what if the only plague to humanity is another part of humanity? a boy becomes a man in an controlled underground city, and begins to search for answers as to what his existence means, what it means to dream. and there is a little romance, and a little grotesquerie. again, a common complaint of mine: the pacing is off: it's too long in set up and ending wrapped up too abruptly. and well, the ending is sort of cheesy. :)
this is really more of a 3.5. but like i said, never less than a three.