In the nation of Libria, there is always peace among men. The rules of the Librian system are simple. If you are happy, you will be arrested. If you cry, the law will hunt you down. If you read a contraband book or so much as look at a smuggled painting, you've committed a crime. To keep the peace, citizens must take their daily doses Prozium, a powerful designer drug that stops feelings dead and keeps everyone on an even keel. Refuse to take the drug and special police will find you. Up until now, top-ranking government official John Preston has believed in this system, has upheld the system as a highly-trained "Cleric" who seeks out and destroys those who don't take their pills. But then he skips his own dose of Prozium--and discovers an incredible new world of sensation that gives him the passion to fight for freedom.