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Four Novels of the 1960s

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  1,659 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
This Library of America volume brings together four of Dick's most original, mesmerizing, and surprising novels: "The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?," and "Ubik."
Hardcover, 830 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Library of America
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Jan 18, 2017 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing
“I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am."
Philip K. Dick, Ubik


Perhaps my favorite collection of Philip K. Dick Novels:

1. The Man in the High Castle - Read December 2015 (5-stars)
2. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Read May 2016 (4-stars)
3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Read December 2013 (5-stars)
4 Ubik - Read December 2013 (5-stars)
Sep 10, 2015 brian rated it really liked it
pdk's flaws as a novelist have been stated and restated... mostly because they're true. that said, any one of his books explodes with more ideas and 'holy shit!' moments than most people have in their dim, miserable lives. i'm a jackass for giving ubik 3 stars, but i can't get over summa those awkward-as-ass plot machinations, the clumsy prose, and cardboard characters -- it's also b/c none of the books in this collection (well, mebbe high castle) should stand on their own. as with simenon - who ...more
Jun 14, 2016 Joseph rated it it was amazing
I'm not really sure how to go about reviewing four novels without splitting this review into several tedious sections but here it goes.

The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? are arguably the most popular of his novels in this collection and, admittedly, the ones I was most excited to read. I also found them to be the least enjoyable of the collection.

I felt that The Man in the High Castle ended abruptly leaving most of the characters without strong resolution, sad b
Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann
The four books that are included in this collection are some of the best I have ever read. These four stories together pretty much covers every genre in literature. This book is published by the Library of America and would be a great book to have on your bookshelf. The paper and binding is perfect for the multiple combined novels in the book. It feels like one solid novel when you are reading it. If anything, get it for the stories, they are amazing and life changing!
Aug 04, 2015 RK-ique rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fic
Four novels in this volume. I should have written a review of each as I finished it . Regrets. I shall get to them all.

Just a note for now: "The Man in the High Castle" is a fun, sophisticated story which presents an excellent meditation on our relation to history and time. Brilliant.
Apr 14, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm really excited about this anthology. I've long wanted to read all four novels and now I have them. It was a really expensive book, but it's a good one, nicely bound and with a cloth ribbon bookmark. Doesn't take much to get me excited, as you can see!

Philip K. Dick can be overwhelming. He was a man with a brain on fire, and his stories are so packed with ideas you need to consciously pause and reflect between chapters, or in this case, novellas. I just finished the first novella of this volu
Aug 27, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
Sloppy brilliance rattles down from these pages. Despite the loose springs and unattached gear or two, the stories tick on. Dick desperately tries to keep up with his own handiwork as his imagination outpaces the writing.

All the stories revolve around the thought that reality is not real. Whether it’s the alternate reality of an alternately real world like in The Man in the High Castle, the drug-induced dollhouses of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch or the half-life in Ubik , we are consta
Lola Wallace
The Man in the High Castle
Something I both love and hate about PKD is the banality of so much of his writing. While most other alternative histories about WWII tend to focus on military maneuvers or politicians, The Man in the High Castle is mostly about the everyday lives of various everyday people. This is kind of a genius move, because it allows Dick to create a nightmarishly vivid alternate reality--vivid in its banality. He shows how the Axis hegemony changes American culture and individua
Jun 17, 2010 Henrik rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jared Della Rocca
Aug 19, 2010 Jared Della Rocca rated it liked it
The Man In The High Castle: The author varies his style of writing throughout the book, sometimes mirroring the character, sometimes transposing the style of speaking to their thinking. For instance, Japanese characters often leave off verbs to imitate stereotypical Japanese attempts at English. But then he'll use that same style for a German speaker. Overall, the setting for the book is what grabbed me, but Philip Dick (who also wrote Ubik, which should've clued me in) is just not an author I g ...more
Sean Endymion
I've read a lot of Dick's short stories, but this has been my first foray into his novels. Dick was super fascinating in that he totally understood the human condition, and had ideas that could blow anyone away, but he just didn't know how to craft an ending. His writing is at times brilliant and at times stunningly flat and clueless, but it's his inability to nail an ending that's always upset me most, especially because I love him and his stories so much. Dick is the perfect example of an auth ...more
Feb 24, 2013 Christy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
For me PKD is to science fiction something like what Graham Greene is to political fiction, or Evelyn Waugh to satire. They are not master stylists, taking the novel form in new directions, nor are they masters of the social canvas or creators of an array of multi-faceted, psychologically complex characters, and they are not even consistently great storytellers. They descend to the workmanlike and sometimes even the clumsy, in prose, characterization, and plotting. But they are still the best at ...more
Jim Townsend
Aug 09, 2014 Jim Townsend rated it really liked it
Hoo, boy. Judging by these four novels, which in this Library of America edition are supplemented by a year-by-year chronology of the author's life; a note on the inspirations for these novels; and very informative historical notes; Philip Kindred Dick was a supremely inventive but troubled writer. As I read through these novels between Wednesday, July 30, 2014 (when I bought this Library of America ( omnibus) and 12:30 am American EDT today; I thought, I'd never want to live in the ...more

Summary: The Man in the High Castle is pretty good; The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is better, with all its trippy existential aspects; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is ever better and managed to blow me away; and Ubik is yet even better than the preceding three novels and I almost defecated in my pants.

Don't expect poetic prose, vivid descriptions, or true characterization from PKD. All that doesn't really matter, though, if you consider how he squeezes and stretches and t
Ruth Ann
Jan 02, 2015 Ruth Ann rated it really liked it
Reality bends, breaks, and explodes in Philip K. Dick's four novels in ways that definitely scream "this is the 60's". The first novel in this group won the Hugo Award for best novel of 1963. The last two novels were on a must read list for science fiction fans. At first I wasn't too impressed. I found Dick's writing uneven and at times tedious, yet...just around the corner is that hidden dimension that kept tugging at me to keep going. I'm glad that I did. The novel that I liked the most out of ...more
Dec 24, 2007 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any science fiction reader
Philip K. Dick, who died in 1982, was one of the most prescient science fiction writers who ever lived; as a number of people have commented, we are all living in the world he foresaw. Anyone unacquainted with this important American writer should begin with this Library of America volume, edited by Jonathan Lethem, that contains four of Dick's best-known works. This edition also includes notes and a chronology of Dick's tormented and eventful life.
Jun 25, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Dick's work is amazingly absorbing. Although its quite evident that he spent much of the sixties on amphetamines the world's he constructs are secondary to the deeper complexities about perception, reality, and humanity that he examines. Highly recommended but only for those with a high tolerance for the strange and "pulp".
Jul 23, 2016 no_more_color rated it really liked it
Each story is a fascinating examination of reality and the nature thereof.
Barrett Brassfield
Mar 09, 2013 Barrett Brassfield rated it really liked it
I picked up this anthology mostly because I have a mild Library of America fetish and I was interested in revisiting Philip K. Dick's most famous novel, The Man in the High Castle. Reading The Man in the High Castle again was almost like reading it for the first time since I remember so few plot details and as such I have to say I am mildly disappointed with the result and would give the novel on its own three stars. Don't get me wrong, like many of his fictional creations, The Man in the High C ...more
Apr 05, 2016 7thTrooper rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Stuart
Sep 02, 2013 Steve Stuart rated it it was ok
Bladerunner is one of my favorite movies of all time, but somehow I have never managed to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, or very much Philip K Dick at all other than a few (quite good) short stories. So I figured this handsomely bound volume of four novels in one would be a great way to get up to speed on an important author. I should have just stuck with Androids, which I quite enjoyed. The other three weren't really my thing, unfortunately.

The Man in the High Castle is an alternate
Oct 21, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing

Note: this is a review mostly of Ubik. I have reviewed the other novels in this volume separately.

Ubik is a novel that will keep me thinking for a long time. It's very odd for much of the first half, so much so that you really hope that the investment in such oddity is worth it. Believe me, it is, as the second half of the novel slowly answers all of the questions from the first half. And, in a totally Dickian move, Ubik flushes all of the sense you make of things down the toilet in the final t
Apr 29, 2008 Owen rated it really liked it
How I would rate the individual novels-

The Man in the High Castle: ***
Using the I Ching to determine the course of events and essentially have this novel write itself was a clever experiment, but it felt kind of gimmick-y to me. Luckily it still works quite well as an alternate history exploration of daily life in a post-war America where the Nazis control the east coast and Imperial Japan controls the west, neither side having much understanding or trust for the other or the citizens under thei
Oct 16, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans, paranoids
Dick wasn't so much a great writer as he was an inventive one. The prose is serviceable at best and at times pretty clunky. Still, these four novels have enough weird ideas to fill twice that many books. The Man in the High Castle imagines what would have happened if FDR had been assassinated by Guiseppe Zangara in 1933, and consequently the US lost World War II. There's an American antiques dealer in San Francisco who caters to the wealthy Japanese in power there who are obsessed with authentic ...more
Jun 17, 2012 i_hate_books rated it liked it
Completed. It was tempting to put it down during the first two stories, but I read it through because Philip is an important author to one of my friends.

All four of the stories play on the theme of the world not being what the reader expects. Which usually is a theme I enjoy a great deal. However, I didn't feel that every one of these stories handled that design well.

"The Man in the high Castle"
The twist at the ending of this one was not well explained. It felt like a ru
Dec 27, 2013 Sam rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bay Area sci-fi geeks
Prior to these novels, PKD succeeded in publishing sci-fi but failed to get his non-genre literary fiction published. By 1961, when he wrote Man in the High Castle, he'd hit on his winning formula: sci-fi with intensely personal autobiographical elements. But the sci-fi isn't of the excitement-about-the-future-&-machines sort, rather sci-fi tropes -- alternate universes, time travel, alien worlds, etc. -- are used to express PKD's experiences of mental illness, drug abuse, hallucinations, an ...more
Oct 06, 2015 K.N. rated it really liked it
I had put off reading Philip K. Dick for far longer than I should have. Honestly, I simply didn't know enough people that have read him and recommended him, but, man, just based on the amount of films I've seen based on his work, I should have known better.

Here are my ratings as follows:

The Man in the High Castle - No rating (did not finish)
I couldn't get into this one... I'm a bit of a history buff, and the Pacific theater of WWII is one of my favorite topics to read (morbid, I know). I came in
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
What a weird and sorted story of me finally finishing this book. It was a gift and surely appreciated. I had never read Dick before and this gave me an entry which, again, I appreciate.

It started in 2009 when I read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" As the film "Bladerunner" was based off of it, I wanted to get a sense of how far they deviated. There are similarities, but the stories are different. I got through it fast so I thought I'd tackle "The Man in the High Tower."

I loved the premi
Mar 11, 2008 Tony rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
This is an excellent way to get started with Philip K. Dick. The American Library edition is lovely, hardbound, and the novels themselves are a good selection of the best work of this classic sci-fi writer.

As I said separately about Ubik: Ubik is the best of the novels I've read by Philip K. Dick, the classic sci-fi writer whose works have inspired a series of movies, such as Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report. About Dick, Ursula K. LeGuin writes, "The fact that what Dick is entertai
Apr 09, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, anthology
This is a collection of books by Philip K. Dick.

So far the common theme seems to be that perception is no indication of reality. I've been told that Dick became rather obsessed with the idea that the Universe as we perceive it is somehow fraudulent, or perhaps that nobody's perception of reality is less valid than anyone else's. I don't know if this is true, but it would be consistent with some of his writing. Consider this potential conundrum: if you see a person acting strangely and talking t
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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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