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The Divine Invasion (VALIS Trilogy #2)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,613 Ratings  ·  266 Reviews
This is Dick's story of the Second Coming, a story of utmost confusion told with wicked humour. Emannuel, son of the god Yah from the star system CY30-CY30B, competes for Earth with the female avatar, Zina.
Paperback, 270 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Voyager (first published 1981)
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Will Byrnes
There is the usual time-tripping here. Pay attention. It is like a LOST episode, and indeed probably inspired some of the concepts used in that estimable show. You need to keep track not only of where you are in space, but in time. The Divine Invasion (no, not a John Waters film) posits a scenario in which god, Yahweh, was essentially booted off planet Earth after the unfortunate events at Masada. Now resident in an alien hill and renamed Yah, (so much classier than Yo!) the big guy is looking t ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Divine Invasion is a sci-fi alternate reality version of the second coming of Christ, told as only Philip K. Dick could.

More serious than VALIS and one his more serious works overall, PKD demonstrates his deep erudition of the Bible. Fundamentalists may be put off, and the reader looking for pure science fiction may be overwhelmed with his frequent references and quotes from the Bible, but this is an important work and one that must be read by a true student of PKD.

Dick also weaves a firm
The Divine Invasion: A dense gnostic allegory about salvation
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Before his death, Philip K. Dick wrote several books about suffering, redemption, and the divine in the contexts of Christian Gnosticism, Jewish Kabbalism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, anamnesis, and the dualistic nature of the ultimate divine being. After writing two books that explored his personal religious experiences in 1974, Radio Free Albemuth (written in 1976 but not published until 1985)
JSA Lowe
May 17, 2012 JSA Lowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DAMN Philip K. Dick you have got some PROBLEMS, a great many of them with women. And you're so fucking brilliant and so messed up and weird. Did you realize there is ZERO feminist criticism of you? That's about to change, my new dead crazy fucked-up friend.
Aug 03, 2008 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the internal battle for reality, the good vs. the evil, the light vs. the dark, children vs. goats -
its a throwdown for all of humanity. its intergalactic and its terrifying, its your soul and its winner take all. Sunday, sunday, sunday - BE THERE!!!
Apr 07, 2008 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now my favorite book in the so-called "Valis Trilogy," The Divine Invasion takes the heady gnostic concepts of Valis and truly presents them in an unabashedly "sci-fi" context - the infant Christ has been reborn on mars to a woman with M.S. after a divine conception, and must be smuggled back onto earth, which is completely under Satan's control via artificial intelligence and totalitarian government. And that's merely the setup for a book that ends up in a completely different place than you'd ...more
Em Grove
Feb 08, 2011 Em Grove rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Philip K. Dick books. It explores the theme of parallel universes that sneaks into most of his work, and gives a nail-biting account of Yahweh's, and creation at large's, struggle to survive in a world with harmful religious leaders and stifling bureaucracy. All of the characters really come to life for me, from the strong and grounded Rybys Rommey to the Scared-of-the-World Herbert Asher, who would prefer to live in his fantasies than reality, to the eerie and truly scary Bel ...more
Tom Bensley
Nov 11, 2013 Tom Bensley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel sorry for Philip K Dick. I mean, before he died. It's probably a good thing he didn't live to see Hollywood steal all of his ideas and completely debase and dumb them down to make crappy forgettable movies, not mentioning his name anywhere for their inspiration.

But really, the guy didn't get the credit he deserved. He ate dog food and he only had time to write 200 pagers rather than the Infinite Jest-sized mega-beast I know he wanted to write. And then just as he was getting some money an
Travis Johns
Jul 06, 2007 Travis Johns rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People on busses.
... Dick can do better. While Valis was an incredible novel that fully explored Dick's enlightenment/mental collapse via a lifelong addiction to uppers and his views of the divine, electronic music and pink lasers, this book seems to be more os a scifi thriller that really fails to go anywhere, despite the fact that it's set on both intergalactic exploration outposts, as well as parts of NY and LA. The climax was weak, the whole concept of the divine as an illegal "alien" being aided by the phys ...more
"Questo mondo, questo pianeta, tutto quanto, e tutta la sua popolazione: tutto qui dorme".

Secondo episodio della visionaria Trilogia di Valis. Dopo un primo episodio praticamente privo di elementi fantascientici, i cui tratti surreali sono giustificati da un narratore/protagonista inattendibile, Dick ritorna alla fantascienza più classica, quasi un ritorno alle (sue) origini, che strizza l'occhio al suo giovanile mito delle utopistiche e felici colonie oltremondo.
Nuova variazione sul tema, Dick
Nov 18, 2009 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Dick, Philip K. THE DIVINE INVASION. (1981). ***. Dick experienced (suffered?) a psychic event on 2/3/74 that completely changed his thinking and his approach to life. In today’s terms, he would have become a rabid born-again Christian. His epiphany resulted in a significant change in his writing. Although he still wrote in the science fiction genre, his books become more and more about religion and his characters more and more like cardboard cutouts for religious figures. His last three books c ...more
Oct 15, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-geek
Philip K. Dick did exactly the right thing with his encounter with the divine (or psychotic break, depending on who you ask). He /kept writing/. Divine Invasion is the second of the VALIS tetralogy, which includes VALIS, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, The Divine Invasion, and Radio Free Albemuth. (RFA was published posthumously, but it still addresses the same themes. The Divine Invasion is probably the most coherent of the "VALIS series". VALIS was groundbreaking, and it shattered any pr ...more
Travis Todd
It's baffling to me that this is considered to be part of a trilogy with Valis and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. Sure, they all contain religious themes, and underlying each of them you can see the struggle of Dick to interpret his mystical experiences. But beyond that they have very little, if anything, to do with each other.
I consider The Divine Invasion to be much less satisfying than Valis. None of the characters come alive on the page. Emmanuel and Zina are profundity-spouting cip
Aug 27, 2009 zim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Evil One in a cage at the zoo- what, with his own temperature and gravity and atmosphere, and imported food? An exotic life form?'
'He's angry as hell about it.'"

"You beguile me. You lead me from the path with sparks of light, dancing, singing, and the sound of bells; always the sound of bells."

"Do not make war on it but bring flowers."
Sentimental Surrealist
I'm not sure if the Divine Invasion is a good book or not, but I like it just the same. I like it because I have a taste for the bizarre and the out-there, and conceptually, this novel is as out-there as they come. This is the one where Philip K. Dick swan dives off the deep end, building on the metaphysical, theological, and philosophical mind-warp VALIS. I guess you can say it explains the events, what with the Empire and the pink dot and all, but it's the sort of explanation that might leave ...more
Feb 24, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is an amalgamation of various religions and philosophies, along with a bit of science fiction and fantasy. God finds that he needs to be smuggled back to earth, in the womb of a virgin woman, Rybys. God's mission in returning to Earth is to battle against Belial, a sort of Satan in the guise of a caged animal at the zoo. Rybys is very sick, and is granted permission to return to Earth for medical treatments. However, Earth is ruled by tyrannical religious leaders who try their best to ...more
Jimmy Ele
Oct 06, 2015 Jimmy Ele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is great for the dialogue between the characters. PKD takes a little bit from the various religions of the world and creates a science fiction story based very loosely on the second coming of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him). The novel is brilliant in it's depiction of two alternating realities (or worlds) at the same time. One world being more real than the next, and in the end creating a sort of amalgamation of both. The book is very epic in its prose and dialogue as mentioned before ...more
May 29, 2012 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"That was a strange book" said anyone who ever read Philip K. Dick. But anyway, the familiar PKD theme of being unable to distinguish fiction from reality continues here, except that in this one he weaves Judeo-Christian history through it and re-writes it with a twist. The thing that always blows my mind is how many great sci fi movies came out of PKD's stories-(Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report)he came up with so many incredible plot lines. There's a point in this one where the chara ...more
Oct 21, 2010 Hobbes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful work of imagination, religion and imagery this work spent most of its time wading through territory a tad esoteric for my tastes. There is no question that the ideas involved were powerful ones that will occupy my thought for some time after reading, and its basis in religious tradition was not tired and circumspect as I find most attempts to be. In fact it felt almost like Song of Solomon as it was meant be: a tale of love between man and his Savior.

The middle section, and specifical
This was a lot better than VALIS, mainly because it had a lot more story. The beginning is adapted from a Philip Dick short story I remember and liked, having to do with a man and a woman living in separate domes on an alien planet learning to relate to and care for each other. That theme of humans trying to work out how to relate to each other carries throughout this book and rings very true for me, which is one reason I enjoy Philip K. Dick. There is also a lot of Christian religious reference ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Book 2 of Philip K Dick's VALIS Trilogy (Gnostic Trilogy [God Trilogy]), 'The Divine Invasion' is a funky PKDesque exploration of good and evil, God and Belial, gnostic truth, etc. In this short novel, Emmanuel (God) is smuggled back to Earth via the womb of a Jewish woman with MS. She is accompanied by Herb Asher, a DJ protagonist of sorts (Jesus as a DJ's son) who marries Rybys (read Mary) to assist getting her and her unborn God-baby smuggled safely to Earth, and Elias (Elijah) the one who pr ...more
Aug 28, 2013 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Divine Invasion is Philip K. Dick’s penultimate novel. It is also the second novel in a trilogy based on his 2-3-74 experiences and the concept of VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System). Having come back into Dick’s orbit once again, seeing the Radio Free Albemuth film and reading Sutin’s Divine Invasions (1989), I was ready for some more Dickian tomfoolery.

Dick’s body of work is inconsistent, but on the whole very good to brilliant. He really churned them out at times and on occasio
I don't know what PDK's relationship with organized religion was when he was a young child, and then a young adult, but overt religious themes seems to be more prominent in the books that he wrote towards the end of his life. "The Divine Invasion" written in 1981, is a full version of an earlier short story called "Chains of Air, Chains of Aether" which I hadn't enjoyed. I didn't look forward to reading this novel, but figured I'd be a good sport and give it a try. It just did nothing for me. I' ...more
Jon Frankel
Jan 26, 2015 Jon Frankel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book of the Valis trilogy, The Divine Invasion, is a science fiction work and takes place mostly in the mind of a half-dead man, experiencing life unaware of his actual situation, as in Ubik. The Divine Invasion is much more religious Christian than Valis. VALIS exists in this world, but now we have an explicitly Christian allegory: Rybys, a virgin, is impregnated by Yah, the God of a planet in the star system CY30)-CY30B. What follows is a theological
Sep 07, 2009 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The "sequel" to VALIS. VALIS, one of my favorite books, seemed at times so obscure and meandering (obviously I enjoy these things when done right) that I was a bit surprised by Divine Invasion, which is much more direct and straightforward. To the point where VALIS begins to look like a conceptual setup for this more action oriented book. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, especially Zina and Emmanuel, and it made it quite difficult to put down. This is one of the very few books I con ...more
Oct 07, 2012 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I hadn't read any of Philip K. Dick and I had noticed that many great scifi films were based on his books (Blade Runner (1982) Based on "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"; Total Recall (1990) Based on "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", Minority Report, Paycheck and A Scanner Darkly " to name but a few.

It was an entertaining read but the story felt like a dream - where the same characters were in a somewhat related story suddenly. I think it was the wrong bo
Sep 18, 2007 A rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only hardcore fans of PKD
I really wanted to like this book, since I enjoyed the ideas and style of Valis. The first half or so is pretty good, but by the second half, all the talking heads get tedious and I started missing the basic humanity that the equally high-concept Valis contains. With this book he seems more interested in conveying his bizarre gnostic mythology, which is all well and good, but ideas alone do not make good fiction. The previous book is as much a mess, but it's a lot more engaging on the human leve ...more
Judy Croome
As I’m not a science fiction fan, I can’t remember why I bought this book. I struggled through technical terms and a vision of a future world that I fear may be all to real – isolated humans living in steel-cold domes on distant planets – and, when I realised that for four nights in a row I’d managed to avoid any reading rather than carry on reading this story, I eventually gave in about a quarter of the way through the novel. In between the high tech words, there were enough flashes of wit and ...more
Cole Schoolland
Nov 22, 2014 Cole Schoolland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Divine Invasion by Dick is a startling experience to say the least. Had no idea what to expect and it definitely kept me on my toes.

Sorry. Can't resist. In all seriousness however, I really didn't know what to expect. What little I new about the novel beforehand is that it was heavily influenced by some kind of possession experience that PKD claimed to have (google "VALIS"). Starting on that foot, I fully expected this to just be one trippy read. And it was. But, as is his forte, it left me con
Conor Crockford
Oct 02, 2014 Conor Crockford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phillip K. Dick was already a strange sci-fi writer, let alone writer of any kind - his books should be taken not as stories with strong plots and structures but more as abstract dreams, their characters more numbed, painful creatures then real beings, as if the landscapes Dick imagined had limited their own humanity. But the point at which he had a religious hallucination/psychotic break with reality/logical end point of his drug abuse and genuine brilliance made his VALIS trilogy extremely der ...more
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Sci-Fi Group Book...: The Divine Invasion 2 10 Mar 09, 2015 11:39AM  
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
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Other Books in the Series

VALIS Trilogy (3 books)
  • VALIS (VALIS Trilogy, #1)
  • The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

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“What a tragic realm this is, he reflected. Those down here are prisoners, and the ultimate tragedy is that they don't know it; they think they are free because they have never been free, and do not understand what it means.” 14 likes
“Sometimes I think this planet is under a spell," Elias said. "We are asleep or in a trance, and something causes us to see what it wants us to see and remember and think what it wants us to remember and think. Which means we're whatever it wants us to be. Which in turn means that we have no genuine existence. We're at the mercy of some kind of whim.” 9 likes
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