Review: The Prisoner by Thomas M. Disch (at PopMatters)

My most recent review, of The Prisoner by Thomas M. Disch is live at PopMatters.
A snippet:

Ultimately, Number Six and his attempts to prove that he is not a number are a thinly veiled metaphor for our own attempts to prove the same. I am not a number, I am (to use the phrase repeated throughout the show and in the novel) a free man.
Yet, I am a cell phone. I have to regularly list my social security number on applications. I drag around notes scribbled on the backs of old receipts to remind myself of my bank account number for deposits. God help me if I need to call the companies that provide my cable, gas, or electric service without my identifying number. I am, in fact, a large number of numbers, each one longer than the next, each one more oppressive for my lack of remembering, each one present, and here’s the punchline, to make my life easier.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Prisoner by Thomas M. Disch (at PopMatters)

  1. I haven’t watched an episode of The Prisoner since it was first aired back in the 60s (?). I loved the surrealism and mystery of the story at the time I was watching it and I think it probably still holds up well. As you have pointed out in your review, the story concept was rather prophetic and certainly latched on to society’s trend of anonymity within the masses that became increasingly important during the twentieth century. The Prisoner and 1984 and others like it are warnings as to where we are going as depicted in the book of REVELATIONS.
    I am intrigued by the book version of The Prisoner, especially now that I see it was writtien by Thomas Disch, the author of one of my all-time favorite short stories, “Descending”– a story the like-wise presents a tale of anonymity in a different manner.

Leave a Reply