Even the most mundane morning routines are mechanized in Mr. Tale’s world. He doesn’t need to lift a finger. Machines do everything for him, from start to finish. Never graphic, nor gory, nor vulgar in any way, Shinichi Hoshi manages to unnerve his readers with the simplest of language and barest of plots. Written between 1960 and 1984, these parables grow increasingly more spot-on with age. A Well-Kept Life is a blast of warning signals for today, a whistle-blower’s global call to attention.