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Prelude to Dystopia by John Lyman

Prelude to Dystopia

by John Lyman

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A young reporter with OCD and germ phobias is approached by a man who claims to be an Army general needing Ben's help with averting a world-wide catastrophe. The general makes Ben sign a non-disclosure agreement and then disappears, calling or revisiting every day or two to dangle a few more clues. Being the curious sort, Ben finds himself caught between playing along and giving in to his paranoid nature.

The main character is wonderful. The portrayal of OCD is, to this lay person, very realistic, and it closely mimics the actions of the OCD sufferers I've known. Ben is also a very likable sort. He's done considerable self-analysis and has a good sense of humor about his issues, for all that they cause him endless grief. The general begins by laying out the potential for Earth to react to humanity as if it was a lethal virus, so as someone who shares these concerns, I was interested to continue reading to see what his solution might be. About a third of the way in I became concerned this was going to swerve into hero-on-the-run territory, but happily this was brief. Instead, the story has some very interesting twists and turns, as the general's plans are finally revealed and Ben and his girlfriend have to decide whether to work with him or make their own way. To say much more would be to ruin enjoyment of the book for other readers.

A bit of suspension of disbelief is required here, and I have a few follow-up questions, but this is certainly a page-turner as it speculates on possible approaches to apocalyptic scenarios. Enjoyable and fun. ( )
  auntmarge64 | Apr 3, 2017 |
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