I read a book in the 90s about mind control, but can't remember the title or the author.

People start to commit extremely violent crime for no apparent reason. They claim that they had no control over their body when the crime was committed. Somebody who seems to be Russian-speaking is controlling them.

After being convicted of pretending to be controlled, the main hero ends up on an island where he discovers that the people in charge of the island are responsible for the chaos.

Russian scientists have invented a body controlling device. They used the device to escape the Soviet world. Now that renegade group is abusing the device and wrecking the entire world.

If I remember correctly the hero defeated the bad guys. However despite his initial promise, in the end he could not give up the high that the device gave him.

Any idea what is title of that book and who wrote it?

  • nominated for reopening to re-close as duplicate against scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/212538/…, which is for the same story but has a formally accepted answer.
    – Otis
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 23:58
  • @Otis Whether or not something has a "formally accepted answer" doesn't matter, it's about whether it has an accepted answer at all, formal or otherwise, and what is the best target content wise.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 8:41
  • @TheLethalCarrot I disagree; all things being equal, I would favor the answer with a formally-accepted answer as one of the dimensions of quality. Perhaps more to the point, the current duplicate target of this question has itself been closed in favor of the proposed new target.
    – Otis
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 15:24
  • @Otis Relevant meta.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 15:28
  • see high-detail Q&A for this story at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/227214/…
    – Otis
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


Sounds a lot like 'A Plague of Pythons' by Frederik Pohl, serialised in Galaxy in the early '60s and subsequently published by Ballantine.

  • Thanks so much. That has been driving me nuts for so long. The political aspect seems dated, but I still remember the end. It was so chilling. With some modifications to take into account societal changes and engineering advancement, that could be the basis for a very good paranoid thriller.
    – Valentin
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 1:19
  • 1
    @Valentin If you are certain it is the right one, can you accept the answer?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 13:51

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