Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Valis Trilogy” as Want to Read:
The Valis Trilogy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Valis Trilogy (VALIS Trilogy #1-3)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  589 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
This e-book only edition brings together the three novels of Philip K. Dick's VALIS trilogy. "VALIS" What is VALIS? This question is at the heart of Philip K. Dick's groundbreaking novel, the first book in his defining trilogy. When a beam of pink light begins giving a schizophrenic man named Horselover Fat (who just might also be known as Philip K. Dick) visions of an alt ...more
ebook, 816 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1984)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Valis Trilogy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Valis Trilogy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,464)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jack Tripper
Jan 05, 2016 Jack Tripper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The three Library of America editions of Philip K. Dick's work contain nearly all of his best material, with only a few notable exclusions. Valis and Later Novels, however, just might contain his very best. Besides A Maze of Death, published in 1970, the others here are his three final novels before he died in 1982. Sometimes referred to as the "Valis Trilogy," these three loosely connected novels represent a huge leap forward in terms of Dick's prose, as he was able to dedicate more time to the ...more
Jul 01, 2012 brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i've really come to love PDK, but this collection? a bunch of human-shaped exposition machines blasting out humorless profundities like so many breezy farts whooshing out of a loose anus.

but the transmigration of timothy archer is something else entirely: it dispenses with the sci-fi elements and windy assthoughts, and turns out to be a pretty affecting piece on belief and loss.
Aug 28, 2013 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know. I know. I gave most of the individual novels ( Valis Trilogy + A Maze of Death) 4 stars, but gave all four 5 stars. The math doesn't add up, but shit man, that is the whole dilemma of life. Just accept it, bro.
Tom Bensley
My reviews of each book in the collection:

A Maze of Death


The Divine Invasion

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

Damn. This is a good collection of books. For me, Philip K Dick is one of those authors who leaves me dissatisfied every time I finish one of his stories. Same thing happens with Flannery O'Connor, Roberto Bolaño, Tao Lin, H.P. Lovecraft and Thomas Pynchon. It's like, each of their works is getting at something intriguing, but it never really gets there. Which forces me to read m
Sci-fi meets theology--

This is the last volume of PKD collection by the Library of America, and after reading all three LOR volumes and thirteen novels included in them, I can say he's one hell of an interesting author, though not all his works are mind-blowing.

In PKD's final phase as presented in this third LOR volume, he turned to everything religious and theological, starting with VALIS, followed by The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. Of the so-called "VALIS trilogy,
Martin Hernandez
Volumen final de la colección de novelas de Philip K. DICK publicada por The Library of America. Este tomo contiene cuatro novelas, incluyendo la "Trilogía VALIS":

"A Maze of Death"
"The Divine Invasion"
"The Transmigration of Timothy Archer"

Los libros de The Library of America se distinguen por su cuidadísima edición, que no escatima en detalles y se concentra en preservar y rescatar la obra de los escritores estadounidenses más destacados. Vale mucho la pena conseguir tantos tomos como
Ian Mathers
May 21, 2010 Ian Mathers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Actually, I've never read this particular volume; this rating is more for the SFBC-exclusive edition of The Valis Trilogy my dad got in the 70s that he never read and I first tried to get through when I was around 12. It would have to wait until later in my teen years for me to actually understand Dick's writing enough to finish it off, but those three novels (the ones in this edition minus the perfectly fine but unrelated A Maze of Death) make for a brilliant, beautiful, occasionally mad and tr ...more
Jon Frankel
Jan 05, 2015 Jon Frankel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It wasn’t until this year that I finally sat down to read the Valis trilogy: Valis, The Divine Invasion, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. It is easy to see why these books made him a popular author. But any idea that they are in some way radically different from what came before is wrong. They were not written to be a trilogy, though they narrate in different ways the same event, Philip K. Dicks encounter with a new reality, or descent into madness. He never made up his mind about it, a ...more
Robb Bridson
I can see why some think these later novels by Dick were ingenious. I can also see how someone might hate them.

The first story A Maze of Death was great, more sci-fi dark comedy than philosophy essay. I highly enjoyed it and think most sci-fi fans would.

VALIS was a bit different.
It's quasi-autobiographical and more philosophy and theology than story.
I liked it because I relate to it. No, my madness never went as far as Dick's, but I understand the sort of craziness that goes with spiritual seeki
Ryan Masters
Apr 02, 2015 Ryan Masters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume includes four of PKD's last novels.

The masterpiece in this volume is VALIS. A semi-autobiographical account of Dick's psychotic break/theophany in 1974 that led to a theological trip unlike anything else in literature. Impossible to really summarize in a review, but brilliant and sad/funny and engaging. Unprecedented.

Two other works in the volume, A Maze of Death and The Divine Invasion, are interesting but not nearly as groundbreaking and masterful as the title novel.

I'd already rea
Clinton Macquire
Oct 19, 2014 Clinton Macquire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dick's later period of religious themed sci-fi is probably unlike anything you've ever read. It seems like the ramblings of someone trying to come to terms with an unexplainable situation, someone desperately searching for answers in a way that only Dick's imaginative brain can, forming complex stories and weaving in theological ideas. I was impressed that The Transmigration of Timothy Archer's protagonist was female, as after reading all books in this three-volume collection, I noticed Dick has ...more
A me Dick piace, lo trovo geniale e attuale nonostante abbia scritto le sue opere molto tempo fa.
Devo però confessare che questa trilogia mi ha lasciato un forte senso di inquietudine e adesso, ogni volta che prendo in mano qualcosa di suo, ho un po' di paura.

Valis, il primo romanzo, è un viaggio fortemente psichedelico all'interno di complesse questioni mistiche e metafisiche.
Divina Invasione, il secondo, è una libera interpretazione della Seconda Venuta del Messia, che naturalmente è un alien
May 03, 2009 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Life is too short for tedious "is he insane, or is he speaking to God" novels. Maybe a shot of psychedelic drugs would have helped.
May 15, 2016 Giorgio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Per chi non sia un esperto e/o un appassionato di filosofia, metafisica, gnosticismo cristiano ed esegesi biblica, La trilogia di Valis risulterà un bel mattoncino indigesto.

Il primo Valis è sicuramente il più pesante dei tre: libro lento e con eccessive speculazioni filosofiche, ontologiche e metafisiche sulla ricerca della verità, di Dio e della realtà ad opera di Horselover Fat, protagonista ed alter ego di Dick.

Il secondo rientra più nei canoni classici della fantascienza "dickiana": Di
Questo testo raccoglie tre libri di Dick, con il comune denominatore della religione, della filiosofia, e a volte di Valis.

Il primo libro, Valis, è di gran lunga il peggiore.
Parte malissimo, lento e soporifero, tra divagazioni misticiste, filosofiche e religiose che fanno addormentare. Non dubito della conoscenza in questo campo di Dick, tutto sembra ben documentato e ben ponderato, ma è di una noia unica.
Nel finale, con l'arrivo del film, le cose migliorano un poco ma non è sufficiente questo a
Keith Jones
Sep 22, 2013 Keith Jones rated it liked it
I first tried to read VALIS years ago, and the experience went a lot like my first attempt to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Basically, I threw the book across the room. No, not literally, but I was surely tempted to do so. It was only a couple years after first giving up on Do Androids Dream that I finally read it, but it was many, many years after first putting it down that I finally read VALIS. And, the reading experience? Well, I had read a lot more PKD since then and was much bet ...more
Mad Russian the Traveller
Just finished the fourth novel in this collection, "The Transmigration of Timothy Archer," and I found this story similar to VALIS in some ways but the focus was more on the loss that entails when those around you that you love start 'offing' themselves. The whole thing was poignant with sadness, yet we still had the profound explorations of philosophy and religion and human nature that is the hallmark of these late novels. It has been somewhat difficult to slog through these novels in this coll ...more
Nov 27, 2009 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Simulacra, androids and digital impostors
Recommended to Alan by: The voices in my head, and Jonathan Lethem
I will not pretend to be an expert on Philip Kindred Dick, his life and work. Others have said more and better things than I'll manage here. But I will say that this scholarly edition of Dick's later novels (comprising A Maze of Death; VALIS; The Divine Invasion; and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer) will, if closely read, make you feel like an expert. Shorn of their lurid covers and surrounded by sober bibliographic and biographical information, these novels still stand both as great storie ...more
David James
Sep 02, 2013 David James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third and final Library of America collection of the great science fiction writer finds Philip K. Dick trying to reach beyond the genre writing he'd been confined to by publishers. "A Maze of Death" is the only novel that fits the standard Dickian mold, with reality turning in dark and disturbing ways and a twist ending worthy of an old EC Comic. VALIS is an account of Dick's mental breakdown and the spiritual vision he believed he gained from it. While there is a bit of sci-fi patched into ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2010 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: atheists, theists
The biggest assumption about an all knowing God is that such a deity is also an all telling God. Based on the events surrounding his drug-induced breakdown, [Author: Philip K. Dick] explores a God who doesn't tell all - not even enough. It's one blast from a pink beam and then gone.

As raw as the opening chapter of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was funny, VALIS is a painful, challenging read that offers the audience no relief until the very end.

Three other novels are included in this volume
frisco - فریسکو
Nov 01, 2013 frisco - فریسکو rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Non è una trilogia: questo è un intero mondo.
Si incastrano considerazioni metafisiche sullo spazio/tempo, gnosticismo, giudaismo e Messia. Philip K. Dick si dimostra sempre più postmoderno con protagonisti che forse sono lui stesso o forse sono altri personaggi che parlano di lui, e pagine in cui ti rendi conto che non riesci a staccarti da un libro che descrive un film mai esistito.

Ho già cercato di esprimere questo concetto nella recensione di "Scorrete lacrime, disse il poliziotto" e spero di
Kurt Zisa
A must read for any Phillip K. Dick fan but be warned that this is where the author started to dive off the cliff of sanity. Thought provoking collections that are not as fluid as his previous works. Nonetheless, a great inside look into the mind of man losing his sanity.
Lesley Battler
Feb 01, 2014 Lesley Battler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper
But nothing can cancel the reality of one night in the revivifying fire of PK Dick, when for once, if only once, you were blasted outside the monotony of your life, all the way through the jello institutions you don't understand except what the old men from Ghent, suffocated by their own density, want you to believe.
Feb 08, 2013 Zedsdead rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Warning: Sci-fi blasphemy ahead. I was so bored I gave up on this volume halfway through.

The first story, "A Maze of Death", started off mildly interesting, sort of a futuristic "Ten Little Indians" with a Dickian reality-might-not-be-what-you-think-it-is tilt but the bizarre religous themes felt tacked on, distracting, and pointless.

In the second story, "VALIS", drugged-up losers endlessly regurgitate loads of philosophical and religious bullshit and occasionally attempt suicide. I stuck with
Dec 07, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death Maze

Good book, its refreshing in a way because the whole time you think, something is wrong with this situation and in the end, there was something wrong. Sometimes Dick will just leave the strange to be strange.


Pure insanity, with an appendix. Was this science fiction? Maybe he left you with enough questions to wonder.

The rest.

Okay I sat down and read the rest. I am impressed by much of it, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is sad in a way that you know the characters are going
Paul Rack
Apparently Dick had a mystical experience in 1974 and his later novels are attempts to unpack that. Very interesting work. Full of spiritual themes, especially gnosticism.
Jun 06, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far a masterwork of a confessional. Paranoia and brilliance.
Jun 20, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
For the most part I liked three of the four novels, with the Transmigration of Timothy Archer the best. I think Transmigration shows exactly how great an author PKD really was. It isn't science fiction but a very deep and thought provoking book that should be read and appreciated by more people. I would have given this five stars but I thought Valis was just unreadable. I know that it is supposed to be one of his better respected works, but I felt it was just flat out boring. Maybe one day I wil ...more
Nicole Cushing
Just finished VALIS. There are three other PKD novels in this hardcover volume. I'll probably take a break to finish reading some other books I'm half-way through before moving on to the others.

There's no way to sum up VALIS in a sentence or two. If you read it, you just have to try to get a toe-hold in PKD's narrative and let him take you away. It's obvious from VALIS that he was brilliant and well-read, putting together Cosmologies from the east and the west in unpredictable ways. A lovely, pa
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 48 49 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 3453217276 2 22 Aug 22, 2012 03:22AM  
  • Il ciclo delle Fondazioni
  • Il corpo e il sangue di Eymerich
  • Novels, 1955-1962: Lolita / Pnin / Pale Fire / The Lolita Screenplay
  • Screwjack: A Short Story
  • Novels & Stories 1950-62: Player Piano/The Sirens of Titan/Mother Night/Stories
  • Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories / Letting Go
  • Dial M for Monkey
  • Novels, 1936-1940
  • Doctor Who: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark
  • Novels, 1944-1953
  • Historical Romances
  • Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories
  • Collected Plays 1944-1961
  • Novels and Stories, 1920-1922
  • The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings, 1936-1941
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, A Death in the Family, and Shorter Fiction
  • Le meraviglie del possibile: Antologia della Fantascienza
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...

Other Books in the Series

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

Share This Book

“Perhaps this is the bottom line to mental illness: incomprehensible events occur; your life becomes a bin for hoax-like fluctuations of what used to be reality. And not only that—as if that weren't enough—but you, like Fat, ponder forever over these fluctuations in an effort to order them into a coherency, when in fact the only sense they make is the sense you impose on them, out of the necessity to restore everything into shapes and processes you can recognize. The first thing to depart in mental illness is the familiar. And what takes its place is bad news because not only can you not understand it, you also cannot communicate it to other people. The madman experiences something, but what it is or where it comes from he does not know.” 4 likes
“The distinction between sanity and insanity is narrower than the razor's edge, sharper than a hound's tooth, more agile than a mule deer. It is more elusive than the merest phantom. Perhaps it does not even exist; perhaps it is a phantom.” 3 likes
More quotes…