All I can remember about the plot is the rise of a man in a society where people were ranked from 100 to 1. He starts off low, becomes a gangster, makes some money, goes legit, loses an arm and eventually gets to the top. I read it in the 80s, but it could have been written earlier. Thanks!


1 Answer 1


This sounds like "The Man Who Used the Universe" by Alan Dean Foster, published 1983. There are two rating scales, one for legals and one for illegals.

The protagonist starts out a small time criminal, later kills his boss and takes over his gang, then sells everything (and sells out most of his compatriots), and drops from some high rank like 23rd illegal to 70th legal. (Some numbers like that, anyway.)

He builds his wealth back up, gets involved in the entertainment industry, and builds up to the final twist of the novel.

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.