That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis (12 and Up–all the way up!)
This book blows my mind. Written in 1943, it only grows more applicable–and more alarming!–with each passing year.
Some of it will slide past you if you’re only 12 years old; but you won’t be 12 forever. There’s always more to this book, every time you read it. I’m 73 now and still learning from it–currently re-reading it, and still picking up tidbits I didn’t get the last time.
This is a story of Scientific Progress as performed by the Devil, featuring a sophisticated young married couple who have a lot of growing up to do but are very, very far from knowing it. Their desire to conform, to be with it, to hang out with the really cool people, almost kills them.
Science, higher education, government, bureaucracy, the whole academic world–Lewis just plain fricassees them all. He takes no prisoners.
His vision scares the daylights out of me. How did he see so clearly, so far into the future? There’s much in here to remind one of George Orwell’s 1984; only of course That Hideous Strength is a fantasy featuring a resurrected Merlin.
There is a bit of twaddle at the end; but maybe after another ten years I’ll find some merit in it. But 99% of the book is pure rocket fuel.