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Virtually True by [Penenberg, Adam L.]
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Virtually True Kindle Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Length: 334 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Penenberg uses his encyclopedic knowledge of the weirdest frontiers of technology and marries it to his gifts for compulsive storytelling and high-energy prose to bring us one of the best novels of recent years. It will make you think long and hard about the mess we've made of our planet. Read it now, before the movie version comes to a theater near you." --Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist

From the Inside Flap

"In Virtually True Adam Penenberg brings his considerable experience as a tech reporter to create a near future world that is both utterly disturbing and entirely believable. This is a fantastic novel, completely absorbing and full of memorable characters and fascinating ideas."--David Liss, author of The Twelfth Enchantment and A Conspiracy of Paper

"Its hero may ply his craft many decades in the future, with a bomb-proof self-cleaning suit taking the place of a grubby trench coat, but his readiness to risk life, love and sanity to uncover the truth traces a clear path back to Woodward and Bernstein. Equal parts journalistic masterpiece and sci-fi masterclass, Virtually True refuses to let go until long after its earth-shattering finale."--Paul Carr, author of The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of Life Without Reservations

"In Virtually True, the imagination fires, the dialogue crackles. Adam Penenberg's deeply imaginative novel is a wild ride of techno-subterfuge rooted in the eternally human quest for identity, and justice."--Paige Williams, narrative writing instructor at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard

Product Details

  • File Size: 642 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Wayzgoose Press (November 30, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008IVNIRK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,185,112 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like The Matrix, you'll love this. Adam Penenberg is a real life journalist writing about a fictional journalist- True Ailey, who is caught up in a strange world where you can't tell what's real and what isn't. Reality isn't pretty- poverty, disaster, murder, broken dreams. The virtual world is dangerous too, there are people that don't want True there and they don't care who they take down to get rid of him. In between, there's a lost love, the battle against addictions, and most of all- the unwavering search for the truth, no matter what the cost.

A roller-coaster ride that will keep you turning pages. The writing skillfully keeps you a little off-balance and that's exactly what brings you into True's off-balance world.

A great read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating saga, filled with violence, intrigue, mind-rips, betrayal, longing, warfare, financial shenanigans, political games, corporate greed, software fantasies, jazz references, and so much more. Not for those who want a simple story, for this is a story in a story in a story, ad infinitum. This is a brilliant work by an author totally cued in to past, present, and future.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Some writers rush you along to their tale's destination, and others create a lush tapestry of language that transcends mere storytelling. Virtually True is a novel by one such author. While my typical reading isn't in this genre, I think I would probably be more interested in broadening my horizons if I could be assured that most dystopian novels were similarly well-crafted. Rich, evocative descriptions coupled with multi-dimensional characters make the story at once atmospheric and well-paced. I had no expectations going in, but Virtually True was surprisingly satisfying. One thing I will say is that I never saw where the story was going, which is worth a lot to someone who tells stories for a living - I naturally second-guess what's going to happen next, and if an author can surprise me, he's earned my respect. Penenberg was able to pull that off, and that, combined with the always-interesting writing style, puts the book at four stars. Worth a look for fans of the genre.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was not sure I would like this novel when I first started it. But I kept reading and got interested in the plot. Sometimes hard to distinguish whether the characters were VR or RL. Took a while to identify the villains. All in all, an enjoyable read.
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I tried as hard as I could to get into this book but it took too long to get to the plot.... I am still not there and have put the book down and started another one. I dont expect the author to give away the whole story in the first few pages but give me something to maintain my interest.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first heard about Adam Penenberg as a journalist who shined the light of truth into dark areas (remember Stephen Glass). I was impressed with his tenacity and the very straightforward way he wrote. I first corresponded him after reading (and disagreeing) with something he wrote on Slate.com. Even in rebutting my argument, he was to-the-point, factual and eloquent. I stood corrected. And I first met Adam as a professor, training young minds to be skeptical and guerrilla-like multimedia journos as they ventured into the world of storytelling.

When I heard he had written not one, but two, books, I had to give them a shot. I'll write about his legal thriller under separate cover, but to address Virtually True, it's a very un-Penenberg-like flight of fancy. What with the Hunger Games and Wool out there, and the description of a "dystopic society," my first thought was "copycat." Wrong again. Every time I find myself disagreeing with or doubting Adam, I end up on the wrong side of the argument.

Virtually True is a very good, very different read. It took awhile for me to warm to the characters and cotton to the plot but once I did, I liked the book immensely. And as a journalist, I always like a book where we're featured as a protagonist, however weird the world in which we're cast. If I have one criticism of this book, it's that the windup was a bit too long before you could settle in for a good read. I needed more initial waypoints to get my bearings.

I note that others complain of cliches and bad jokes from characters in this book. I thought they actually added an element of humanity to an otherwise foreign and distant future world, taking the edge off of the grittiness and offering me a warmer, different view of cyberpunk than I had previously had.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A dystopian sci-fi thriller. Slow and cryptic at the beginning but it starts warming up by midpoint and gets more interesting as we start to figure out what's going on, while still having a surprise ending, although the last bit is too expository in my opinion.

Every sentence has creative wording, many of which are poetic but some which are just over the top, such as "...a land weeping monsoon tears..." and "...his eyes, bloodshot, red lines spoking crazily from the center like two Japanese imperial battle flags superimposed over one another...." I understand the desire to avoid cliches, but some sentences don't even make sense because of this.

Nevertheless, Penenberg is a talented writer with a distinctive style. This book might appeal to readers who enjoy dystopian sci-fi. People who are looking mainly for a thriller may not be as satisfied with this.
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