The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick

"if men are too blind to govern themselves, how can they be trusted to govern others?"

The Penultimate Truth is a dystopian sci-fi novel written by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1964. The story sets place after World War III between two great factions, West-Dem and Pac-Peop. While the war was raging on with nuclear and biological weapons, ordinary people took shelter underground inside bunkers. For more than a decade, they have been living in a crowded and lightless world believing that the surface is manifested with deadly bacteria and radiation exposure. This changes when the president of one of the bunkers, Nicholas St. James, dug out of their bunker to find an artificial kidney for his chief mechanic. Outside, he found out that the war is already over years ago.

I think I finally find my favorite book by Philip K. Dick. And this is it. A part of the book deals with the murder of some government employee (maybe that's why I like it so much) and even though it's not the center of the story, it just blends perfectly with the story and the futuristic settings. Finally, a detective story with a murder TV set robot!

In this book, in my opinion, the author manages to serve both a disturbing vision of a world held hostage by lies and also the classic "hero's journey" adventure that is quite fun and thrilling. The way the author delivers the story, choosing what to tell and from which character's point of view, was just brilliant and adds so much to the atmosphere of the story. The author knows well how and when to utilize the reader's imagination, taking inspiration from real-world events and figures here and there and fitting them in the story with the additions of his own original (I think) and thought-provoking ideas.

The Penultimate Truth
Philip K. Dick
First Published
September 1964