Although technically a science-fiction book, Time Out of Joint (1959) reads more like a strange hybrid of science fiction and the mainstream realist novels Dick was also writing at the time. The major part of the story takes place in a small town, rendered with much more detailed texture of description and characterization than in any of Dick's sf novels to that date. Dick throws out many tantalizing clues throughout the first part of the book that this version of the fifties is not quite the one we know. But it is an excellent imitation, aided by the fact that all the residents of the town have been hypnotized to believe they are living in the sleepy Eisenhower-era of the 1950s. The main character, Ragle Gumm, starts to break out of his hypnosis and realizes there is a conspiracy to keep him in ignorance. In one of Dick's most famous scenes, a soft-drink stand disappears and in its place is found a slip of paper that says "soft-drink stand." The book is a powerful comment on the fragile nature of reality as well as a reminder that sometimes the paranoid is simply perceiving the situation accurately.