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- Dick, Philip K. — The Penultimate Truth (191 pages)
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I had a craving for Dick. It had been a while since I'd read any. I looked at the available choices and chose The Penultimate Truth, as it seemed timely. After all, with the two World Wars constantly in the public consciousness this year, a novel about World War Three seemed ideal.
When WWWIII broke out, humanity went underground to escape the nuclear holocaust. Fifteen years they've lived deep in shelters following daily broadcasts of the horrific war raging on the surface. Only they don't realise that the war ended years ago. The few on the surface have perpetrated a hoax to keep the masses underground, using them as factories to supply their needs while they divvy up the huge open spaces amongst themselves. Things aren't going so well underground, though, so every once in a while someone ventures onto the surface to seek help, never to be heard from again, presumably killed off by radiation sickness or worse.
Thus Dick sets the stage for The Penultimate Truth, then throws a few characteristic spanners into the works to get the story moving along. It's yet another thought-provoking, disturbing, and highly enjoyable tale from Philip Dick.