Charles Wentworth is a 42 year-old man distinguished from the throng of humanity only by his opinionated imaginary friend, whose discovery spells significant trouble.
Charles Wentworth is a middle-aged man in the utopian “New Society”. Average in nearly every respect, the reappearance of his childhood imaginary friend in his early forties concerns his wife and colleagues enough to earn him an extended stay in a mental institution, where he is diagnosed with and treated for schizophrenia. But neither Charles’ imaginary friend, his illness, nor indeed the New Society itself are necessarily what they seem, and Charles winds up being incarcerated in an institution for the criminally insane when it becomes apparent his schizophrenia is of a particularly dangerous variety – to a society that has been raised to think of religion as the root of all evil. Throughout the course of the book, we follow Charles’ treatment and the attempts to cure and re-assimilate him into every day life, interspersed with excerpts from his psychiatric reports, and touching on the darker side of a society ruled solely by science and logic.