The Suicide Academy Author:Daniel Stern The Academy itself is the ultimate product of paradox unaware of its own contradictions; a citadel of remorseless logic; a palace of enlightenment. Pare assembly line, part university, part hospitel, part brothel, it is The Terminal. To it (and others like it throughout the civilized world) would-be suicides repair for a day of self-examinatio... more »n and meditation after which they must decide whether to return to the world or put and end to their lives.
Things run smoothly at the Suicide Academy. The curriculum is constantly being improved as new statistical data are processed. The facilities are extensive. A wide and imaginative variety of deaths is offered. Still, the place is not without problems. To begin with, its highly competent, totally professional staff are spying on one another. Love affairs, hate orgies, intrigues and racism are rife.
Early on the morning after New Year's Day, Wolf Walker learns that his virulently anti-Semitic Negro assistant has leveled charges of treason against him and is trying to get him removed as Academy Director. As a Jew, the accusation runs, Walker cannot help but be secretly on the side of life; unconsciously, he influences the Academy's enrollees to opt for life. He is this a traitor to The Academy and everything it stands for. If Walker's assistant is correct (and Walker concedes that he may be), his career is ruined, his entire existence a fraud.
Walker next learns that Barbara, another staff member, is expecting his child. Despondent and guilt-ridden, she is openly contemplating killing herself. Walker tries to counsel her, but what can the Director of a Suicide Academy say to a potential client? To compound his troubles, Walker's ex-wife turns up unexpectedly with the man for whose love she abandoned him. Ostensibly they are there to film a documentary on a typical Academy. Their real reason for coming is anyone's guess. Their arrival triggers a tightly wound plot into motion. Slowly Wolf Walker's realization that his own life is in jeopardy snowballs into a conclusion of overwhelming impact.« less