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Four Novels of the 1960s

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,351 ratings  ·  165 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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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, 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 sai ...more
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 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!
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
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
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
Jared Della Rocca
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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
Mike Ebbert
I read Androids Dream when I was much younger, and did not re-read it this go around.

Honestly I came away from the three books I did read with these feelings about Dick:
-Great idea man.
-Stilted dialog and unrealistic conversations.
-Has difficulty portraying interpersonal interactions. These characters sound and act like they're in a book.
-Hates women. Oh my does he hate women.
-Dick is convinced that the only way for a male/female relationship to end is badly. And I mean over the top vindictive a
Ruth Ann
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
Susan Melgren
(Note: This review is for Ubik only.)

"Ubik" just goes to show that with extremely low expectations, anything can be enjoyed. "Ubik" was a book club pick (which is to say, not a book I would ever pick up on my own). When I learned that we were going to be reading a science fiction novel about telepaths who travel to the moon, I was less than thrilled. And so I entered into the book with no expectations of enjoyment - thereby making it easy to exceed them!

"Ubik" deals with an ever-shifting realit
Wayland Smith
This collection shows Dick as a master of sci fi. His famed Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, better known as Blade Runner, is included, as well as Man in the High Castle, Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich, and Ubik. They all deal with his versions of the future.

He got a lot of things right, like the power of corporations, and "instant mail" or email as we call it. He shows a lot of creativity and range.

Man in The High Castle is an alternate reality where the Axis won World War II. It's very d
Dec 24, 2007 Pamela rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Jim Townsend
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
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".
Of the 4 stories in this collection, I read only "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". I've been told by most people I work with that PKD is someone I ought to read (and have been hearing this from various people for years), so I finally bit the bullet and gave him a try. Sci-fi is very far from my favorite genre, and dystopian post-apocalyptic sci-fi is really not something I like at all. So it took me a long time to warm up to this story. Surprisingly, though, the more I read the more I liked ...more
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
Adam Gutschenritter
The Man in the High Castle- I have now finished my first Philip k. Dick book after having seen a bunch of movies based on his work and I was told this was the one to start with. I have not read a large amount of alternate history but I found myself sucked into and drawn to both the characters in the story. The ending had me questioning if I had understood the book and I had to reread the ending a few times just to make sure, but I am hooked and looking forward to the rest.

The Three Stigmata of P
Dec 27, 2013 Sam rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Anstelle einer Review nur ein Beispiel für Dicks schrägen Humor:

“But-let me tell you my cat joke. It's very short and simple. A hostess is giving a dinner party and she's got a lovely five-pound T-bone steak sitting on the sideboard in the kitchen waiting to be cooked while she chats with the guests in the living room - has a few drinks and whatnot. But then she excuses herself to go into the kitchen to cook the steak - and it's gone. And there's the family cat, in the corner, sedately washing i
This collection contains the most creative, thought provoking stories that I have read, with layers upon layers of plot presented in an utterly unique and brilliant fashion, just shy of being schizophrenic.

Dick's first novel here, The Man in the High Castle, is an alternate history set 15 years after the Axis powers have won WWII and in which Japan and Germany occupy parts of the U.S., with a small free zone in between. This was my favorite of the four novels, fits the least into the science fi
Barrett Brassfield
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
Okay, so now I finally understand what people mean when they rave about the unfortunately named Phillip K. Dick. I don't know if it was the drugs, but the man had imagination to burn. That being said, while I frequently marveled at the worlds (and hallucinogenic worlds within worlds) that he created, the prose was clunky at best, especially in fiction fundamentals, like dialog and transitions and character. For example, that whole episode on Mars in Palmer Eldritch where we're intended to forget ...more
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
Anthony Faber
Contains 4 books and a chronology of Philip K. Dick's life. 3 of them were a reread for me:Dick, in gereral, isn't a great writer (plot and characters are often forced and cliched), but he does have some far out ideas.
The Man in the High Castle: A classic alternate history novel. What if Roosevelt had been assassinated and the U.S. hadn't entered WW II? It's the least hallucinatory of the novels here. Since I live in San Francisco, I had a much better idea of the places he was talking about (he
A frequent problem with science fiction is how much it confronts the reader early on in the work with terms, constructs and events which are incomprehensible. Good science fiction gives the reader an opportunity to identify with the characters' experiences and environment. The meaning of unearthly or otherworldly constructs is made sufficiently comprehensible so the reader can relate to the characters and enjoy the story. Dick did not always succeed in providing these qualities but when he did h ...more
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
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
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  • Novels & Stories 1963-73: Cat's Cradle/God Bless You, Mr Rosewater/Slaughterhouse-Five/Breakfast of Champions/Stories
  • Novels and Stories: The Call of the Wild/White Fang/The Sea-Wolf/Klondike and Other Stories
  • The Sheltering Sky, Let it Come Down, The Spider's House
  • Novels, 1944-1953
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick
  • Jack Kerouac: Road Novels 1957-1960
  • Collected Essays and Poems
  • Press Enter
  • Mississippi Writings
  • Chandler: Stories and Early Novels
  • Collected Plays 1944-1961
  • Novels and Other Writings : The Dream Life of Balso Snell / Miss Lonelyhearts / A Cool Million / The Day of the Locust / Letters (Library of America)
  • Main Street / Babbitt
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, A Death in the Family, and Shorter Fiction
  • Novels, 1930-1935
  • Collected Novels
  • In the Land of Time: And Other Fantasy Tales
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
More about Philip K. Dick...
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A Scanner Darkly The Man in the High Castle Ubik Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

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