David Means offers an alternative, destabilised version of recent American history, through the disturbing vision of a 22-year-old Vietnam veteran.

The bitter end of the 1960s. In JFK’s third term in office, the Vietnam War rages on. A new federal agency, the Psych Corps, maintains the nation’s mental health by wiping soldiers’ memories through drugs and therapy, while those beyond help roam at will, re-enacting atrocities on civilians. This is the vision of Eugene Allen, a traumatised 22-year-old war veteran, who writes the book-within-a-book at the dark heart of Hystopia.

The Man Booker Prize 2016
Published by
Faber & Faber
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David Means

David Means

About the Author

Many years before he wrote Hystopia, his sole novel to date, David Means confessed he had written and put aside ‘two monster manuscripts. One is seven hundred something pages.’
More about David Means