I read the synopsis of this book a number of years and have since been unable to remember the title or author. Searching of likely options have been unsuccessful.

I remember the following details:

  • It is about a community that is, I think, sealed within a single block of flats.
  • At first, this place has everything that people could want, up to and including a school.
  • At some point resources begin to become scarce and this leads to residents fighting and the society crumbling.
  • I think there was something about a lot of fighting occurring between the residents of the various floors, as in they had formed pseudo-tribes.
  • I think it might have been part of the golden age of scifi, but possibly not.

Is anybody able to identify the story?

  • 1
    "a number of years" - do you remember how long? Where/when was this book set; was it futuristic, post-apocalyptic, ...? Was it written in English, or translated? Any extra detail you can remember could help narrow down the possibilities.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 15, 2017 at 11:36
  • It was definitely in English originally. It might have been sort of futuristic, but not far-off space travel type futuristic. As for everything else, like I said I only read a synopsis. So the details are horribly vague in my mind. Aug 16, 2017 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


That sounds very much like High-rise by J G Ballard

The story depicts a luxury high-rise building as its affluent residents gradually descend into violent chaos. [...] Life in the high-rise begins to degenerate quickly, as minor power failures and petty grievances among neighbours and rival floors escalate into an orgy of violence. Soon skirmishes are being fought throughout the building, as floors try to claim elevators and hold them for their own. Groups gather to defend their rights to the swimming pools and party-goers attack "enemy floors" to raid and vandalize them. The lower, middle, and upper floors of the building gradually stratify into distinct groups.

It does not take long for the occupants of the entire building to abandon all social restraints, abandoning life outside the building and devoting their time to the escalation of violence inside; people abandon their jobs and families and stay indoors permanently, losing all sense of time. As the amenities of the high-rise break down and bodies begin to pile up, no one considers leaving or alerting the authorities, instead exploring the new urges and desires allowed by the building's disintegration.

  • 1
    I added some longer quotes from the same source, just to clarify how much this sounds like the story described by the OP. Hope you don't mind!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 15, 2017 at 11:51
  • 1
    I really think this is it. Even the cover shown in the Wikipedia article looks familiar Aug 16, 2017 at 9:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.