(Found) Dystopian future book I read in the 80s. Probably from the 60s or 70s.

Pauly Brady

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I read a book in my grandmothers Sci-fi collection sometime in the 80s. It was probably twenty or so years old already and I believe a paperback.

I remember the main character being in the oppressed working class. His female love interest was as well and her hands were arthritic from working in a linoleum tile factory. I think there were common eating areas as well.
I remember they ran out of the protected city to try and live off the land but were terribly unprepared and nearly died Once or twice and almost starved doing so.

they returned and all I remember is that they somehow got into the city center and fought or found their way to a group of scientist who were taking orders on how to run the society from a reanimated severed head in a fluid filled jar with tubes and the likes into it.
The head had an eerie disconnected voice that reminded me as if it was channeling some sort of evil god.
Anywho this has been bugging me for a decade and I’m at a loss. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers
 

Toby Frost

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The severed head part sounds quite like That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis, but the setup is entirely different in that book. I remember a book called The Guardians by John Christopher that involved poor people forced to live in a city, who escaped into the countryside, but the details are a bit vague.
 
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Pauly Brady

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The Head is TOTALLY that hideous strength. Thank you so much. I’m going to go reread that series right away.
I’ll look into The Guardians also. Thank you so much.
 

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