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Virtually True

2.74 of 5 stars 2.74  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  14 reviews
True Ailey is a journalist in a strange land, exiled by his network to a damp Southeast Asian republic gouged out a war-ravaged peninsula weeping monsoon tears. When his friend is murdered, True sets out to find the killers, and in the process untangles a vast conspiracy that threatens to upend the global balance of power. Set in the near future, Virtually True takes reade ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published July 2012 by Wayzgoose Press
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Community Reviews

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Penenberg tries very hard to hip this up, with ingenious play of language, exotic environs, high-tech gadgets, and almost, dare say, virtually, succeeds. Unquestionably, the trip to the author's endpiece is entertaining, inventive, unpredictable, and makes one wish to stay in that idyll for just a while longer, but alas, eventually, it is time to wrap things up, and there finds ...

Penenberg's writing reminds me of the science fiction writer Samuel R. Delany in the way he makes up words and phra

Kim (Wistfulskimmies Book Reviews)
This is the story of True Ailie. He is recovering from a Virtual Reality addiction and in danger of losing his job as an ace reporter. Then a friend of his along with an eleven year old shanty orphan are killed with a futuristic bomb that tracks DNA to assure success. Now he must put together the pieces and find out why they were killed and how it ties in with an earthquake in Japan. Hampered by a corrupt police chief, it's not going to be as simple as it looks.

This was an interesting idea. Set
The book's plot reminded me of Total Recall, which is why I read it to the end. I hoped that it would all suddenly make sense when everything was explained and resolved. However, the author's writing style was very hard to follow with lengthy (mostly unnecessary) descriptions and sentences bordering on "run-on." The twists and turns of the plot kept me reading, but never really came together coherently. I love tech drama and fantasy thrillers, but this book was just too technical and too extreme ...more
True Ailey is a journalist in a not too future world of high tech and world fragmentation. There are a lot of new countries around and their corruption level is high. As True tries to solve the murder of his friend, and stay alive while doing so, he gets deeper into vast corporate conspiracies.

There's a lot of technology thrown about and a good puzzle. I wouldn't want to live in True's world but I enjoyed visiting the dystopian future.
Dec 13, 2012 Carla marked it as just-couldnt-finish-it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
This is not in any way a bad book; it just failed to capture my attention. I decided after reading just over half of it that it just wasn't my cup of tea. (No stars given, because I think it's not quite fair to rate books I didn't finish ... )
A fun cyber-thriller with a groan-inducing name. The characters are sometimes less-than-believable and the attempts to describe a compelling virtual reality world fall a bit short but at the end of the day it's a very entertaining thriller.
Ankur Banerjee
I don't know why I liked this book, but I did. I think it has to do with the descriptions of the seedy places where many scenes take place and the pidgin English - quite authentic.
A fun cyber thriller with a wild plot depicts a not unbelievable dystopian future. I can foresee today's tawdry journalism continuing to devolve into this virtual mess.
Greg Otto
Pacing is slow, story failed to grab me, characters have bizarre names, writing is groan-worthy. Pass on this.
This book is too sci-fi for my taste. I couldn't get into it and quit after chapter 3.
A wild ride with a journalist in virtual reality. Interesting concept, well told.
Jean-marie Heard
Maybe it's just my genre but I couldn't finish it.
Fun read.
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Jul 20, 2015
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Adam L. Penenberg is a journalism professor at New York University who has written for Fast Company, Forbes, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, Slate, Playboy, and the Economist. A former senior editor at Forbes and a reporter for, Penenberg garnered national attention in 1998 for unmasking serial fabricator Stephen Glass of the New Republic. Penenberg’s story was a watersh ...more
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