Virtually True - Adam L. Penenberg

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 [a:Samuel R. Delany|49111|Samuel R. Delany|] in the way he makes up words and phrases that I take to mean one thing but turn out to be something else entirely. To my dismay, the story I thought headed in one direction had in fact taken a different turn a chapter or so back. And some discipline to stay the course and re-read sections is needed. (This, the reason I never finished [b:Dhalgren|85867|Dhalgren|Samuel R. Delany||873021].) But it does make for a unique and memorable reading experience.

This is a book that tries to be many things, a wry commentary on Japan Inc. and the brown republics, a cyberpunk movie played on VHS tape, a mad look at the oh-to-gritty world of cutthroat journalism. For sure, there is craziness all around, and nothing ever is as it seems.

I enjoyed the effort, notwithstanding some rough spots on the ride.