Frank Herbert wrote:It'll be a beautiful life, he thought. Beautiful . . . beautiful . . . beautiful.
Frank Herbert's 1967 novel The Santaroga Barrier is probably best interpreted as a utopia novel, though there are strong psychological and drug use themes that run through it too. As a utopia, I cannot imagine anyone concluding that it is anything other than another ambiguous utopia. Santaroga tells the story of Gilbert Daesin, a UC Berkley psychologist during a visit to a Northern California community nestled in the fictional Santaroga Valley. Daesin was hired by a conglomerate of businesses to go into the valley and find out why no chain stores survive there; every time one is opened, it died in a very short time for a near total lack of customers. There was something about the Santarogans that made them able to avoid marketing messages, and the corporations wanted to find out what it was and kill it.. But Daesin also had another reason for visiting the valley. His grad-school love, Jenny Sorge, lived there, and he longed to reconcile and rekindle their lost romance. After getting there and reconnecting with Jenny, Daesin was told that if they are to be together, he must move to Santaroga permanently. ..Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..