I took an undergraduate literature course around 2005. My required anthology (now lost) had a science fiction story I would love to find again. The anthology only had excerpts and a brief discussion, and I never read the full story. Unfortunately, I don't know whether this was a novel, short story, or something else. The author was European and I believe it was published around World War 2.
The premise of the story is that a scientist in the future invents a truth serum. From the excepts I didn't learn much more about the plot, but the story was contrasted with 1984 and Brave New World as a different way of exploring problems in humanity and government. The key distinction was that the main character supported the "evil" government. Besides the truth serum, I don't recall other fantastical technologies being mentioned.
Another thing the story was lauded for was talking about domestic life. For example, I distinctly recall the main character (who was an adult scientist) had some kind of state-required nanny in his home. He suspected they were a spy, but didn't seem to mind.
One memory that has stuck with me is the association of the setting with a prison. As a young person in 2005, I associated it mentally with the kinds of military prisons I was seeing in the news (places like Guantanamo Bay) . I don't think it was literally taking place in a prison, but their city was somehow prison-like.