In keeping with its namesake, “Gulliver's Travels,” my book takes the reader to a foreign shore and there provides him with an exotic tale coupled with political commentary. As opposed to Swift's satirical bent, however, the book's essay material is meant to be constructive.
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The plot focuses on David Stelzer, the book's middle-aged protagonist, who had been leading a staid life as a real estate broker until encountering nineteen-year-old Neuman, a radicalized, intensely religious, and slightly mad Hebrew school teacher. Thanks to Neuman's stratagems, the two unlikely companions rendezvous with a spaceship that takes them to Luxenben, a utopian planet. Upon their arrival, Stelzer is interned in a zoological garden devoted to intelligent species acquired from all over the galaxy. Once he accustoms himself to his fellow inmates' varied physiologies, the adaptable man finds his circumstances surprisingly agreeable. He is comfortably quartered, well fed, befriended by the staff, allowed access to the garden's many cultural amenities, and assigned no duty other than acting hospitably to the zoo's native visitors. Stelzer's only concern is that Neuman has unaccountably dropped out of sight. When Neuman's disappearance is eventually explained and the two humans reunited, Stelzer is confronted with a deeper mystery that is not resolved until the very end of the book.
While searching for Neuman, Stelzer has the opportunity to observe the planet's harmonious culture and gain an understanding of the underlying philosophy that makes it work. Despite their being as emotionally immature as we human beings, the Luxanders have managed to achieve a workable, sustainable civilization thanks to their adherence to a scientifically valid system of beliefs. Upon these beliefs they have built a coherent set of political, economic, and social institutions each of which is elaborated upon.
The review of this Book prepared by Dan Hurwitz