Excellent Condition. Paperback. Vintage sci-fi. 1968.


  • Thea Springfield, a nurse, is interned in the Kingston center for supposedly killing her husband. She undergoes Sensitape treatment -- a technology that she herself had developed with her husband, Dr. Edward Cadence, and her lover Tony Stech.

    Sensitape technology records various emotions -- the emotions coursing through a jazz musician while he plays, religious experience right before the moment of death, love between caring husband and wife, etc. and is ostensibly developed to treat UDW (Uncompensated Death Wish -- the unexplainable desire to die). Sensitape also has lucrative commercial (and somewhat nefarious) applications...

    Through a series of flashbacks over seven treatment days, Thea recounts in a spontaneous non-linear fashion the sequence of events leading up the to death of her husband. Compton is quite ingenious in his use of flashbacks -- often Thea inserts her own present opinions into the accounts of past events -- in short, voiceover. It takes around forty or so pages to tease out the main plot threads/characters because of the non-linear nature of the work - however, the persistent reader will be richly rewarded. And of course, the adept use of the narrative structure adds depth to the characters...