Dystopian fiction is in fashion. John Lanchester has just published The Wall, a post-Brexit dystopia, it seems. Now Ben Okri offers The Freedom Artist, a meditation on the threat to freedom represented by the emergence of what is already called “a post-truth society.” So, whatever else this is, it’s a novel for our times. One shouldn’t exaggerate, of course, or pretend that our times are uniquely puzzling, upsetting or alarming. There’s nothing new about the disquieting idea that the foundations of our existence are crumbling, or about horrific visions of an imagined future. We have all read Kafka, and recognize the world as offered in the first sentence of The Trial: “Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K because without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning.” Likewise Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four are novels which, though immediately relevant to the time of writing and publication, 1932 and 1949 respectively, have never, I think, been out of print.