Kallocain by Karin Boye – Dystopian Books Review

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Review, Synopsis, and Summary of the social science fiction novel Kallocain.

The novel Kallocain published by the Swedish novelist Karin Boye received a significant popularity. This book shows the future of drab terror. Kallocain became translated into many languages. Gustaf Lannestock and David McDuff translated this novel into English between 2002 and 2019. In 1981, they adopted this novel for a television miniseries by Hans Abramson. They nominated this popular publication to receive the prestigious Retro-Hugo award for the best science fiction novel of 1941.

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Author:  Karin Boye

Genre:  Political, social science fiction

Page:  193

Good reads rating:  3.80 of 5

My Rating:  7.4 of 10

Published:  2002

Publisher:  University of Wisconsin Press

Language:  English

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Review and Summary of the Kallocain by Karin Boye.

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

The novel, “Kallocain” based on the contemporary uses of truth drugs that ensured the subordination of every citizen to the state. Another writer wrote about the same theme. The writer was Aldous Huxley, and his novel received the title “Brave New World”. They both portrayed the situation of the society of that time. In “Kallocain” a drug is used to detect the thoughts of rebellion.

The plot of the novel displays a scientist named Leo Kall. He and his wife, Linda Kall, lived in a city intended for Chemical Industry. Leo is a scientist loyal to the government and produced and developed the drug named Kallocain. Whoever takes the drug reveals everything in its mind. He cannot resist revealing what he is thinking right now. Not only that, they tell everything, even information in the subconscious mind. The theme of the novel focused on the self in a totalitarian state. It also shows the meaning of life and the power of love.

There is a wide description of the laboratory in which Leo worked, and apart from this episode, the novel takes place in the home of Leo and Linda. Thus, it describes the family life of them and the love they both had for each other. According to the novel, the government used the drug to know the mental state of people. Also, if any chance of rebellion may exist. An important part of the novel is the relationships and connections between the various characters, as well as the marriage of the main protagonists of the novel, Leo and Linda. Not only this, if a society is living with excessive surveillance, how much jealousy and suspicion can arise among the people.

Final say on the Science Fiction Novel, Kallocain

This novel reflected the author’s thought of the society and he described the situation if people live under constant surveillance. The anxiety, the grief, the jealousy and most of all, the power of love portrayed played a key role in this book. I rate this novel: 7.4 out of 10. Would I re-read this novel? Yes. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

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Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.