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Mary And The Giant
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Mary And The Giant

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  319 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Mary Anne Reynolds is a young and vulnerable woman, determined to make her own way in the world. But Pacific Park, California, in the 1950s is not really the place for Mary. Her relationship with a black singer offends against the small town's views on sexual mores and exposes its bigoted views on race. This is a powerful portrayal of the claustrophobia of small-town Calif ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published 2005 by Orion Books (first published 1954)
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Mike Philbin
Mary Ann Reynolds is just emerging from her chrysalis of childhood to face the reality of 1950s' California. Her home is Pacific Park, a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. Her new acquaintances, Joseph Schilling who owns the new record store, Paul Nitz who plays piano at the Lazy Wren Club, black blues singer Carleton Tweany, her loser fiancé Dave Gordon and a host of other kooky weirdoes and freaks are about to help Mary Anne Reynolds discover who she really is.

Had any other writer, treating
...more
Vit Babenco
Mary and the Giant is an immersion into an era of beatniks and jazz. It is a story of a girl and those who surround her… It is a story of those who stand on the threshold of a new epoch.
“I'd have a chance to talk to people… instead of sitting in an office typing letters. A record store's a nice place; something's always going on. Something's always happening.”
The novel is moody and nostalgic and it is permeated with the quite specific spirit of that far away time. It is mostly for those who stil
...more
Fitz
Mary è una giovane ragazza intrappolata in un mondo, in un'esistenza che non sente sua, che in effetti non lo è e che fino a quel momento aveva tentato in tutti i modi di rigettarla. Per sopravvivere e per non farsi inghiottire dal suo demone Mary si aggrappa ad uomini più grandi di lei e apparentemente forti e quando anche questi la deludono si rifugia in se stessa chiudendo chiunque altro fuori. Quello che lei cerca è solamente amore. Lotta con le unghia e con i denti per riuscire a conquistar ...more
Elar
It is not often I listen/read regular fiction and now it happened twice in the row. Book illustrates very well situation in America in the middle of twentieth century and shows which challenges independent woman faced if she would ignore social norms.
Brian
Mary Anne has issues... she's stubborn, irrational, lonely, vulnerable, strong-headed, silly... but the 'giant' in this book I believe is her fear.

I still love the characters that PKD created. They are real people. They have real issues. They are mostly all fucked up. I can relate to all of them. I am some of them... the fucked up ones.

Today I finished the book. Today I saw a Thai truck pass me with big letters on the back window... PKD... strange world we live in... PKD knew it, recognized it a
...more
Denise
Small town California in the 50s through the story of young Mary. A 20yr old that's ready to declare independence and yet with no clear idea on how to go about it. She's vulnerable and yet has the strength to get herself through and out of some uncomfortable and even dangerous situations. The 50s vignettes made for an interesting read.
Tom Andes
I had no idea Dick wrote literary fiction until I found this (and a few other titles) at the library. This is a really compelling book, and it confirms my feeling that Dick writes Northern California better than just about any other writer, in any genre.
Denis
A story about a quirky messed up, rather paranoid, all over the pathological map girl. It's no "Crap Artist" masterpiece but a pretty neat book just the same.

Yet another of Dick's lost 50's "non-genre" gems.
Bruno Silva
Uma obra que se apresenta como uma ruptura do que era o género que este autor nos apresentou na sua carreira, mas que na sua essência traz uma ênfase dramática sobre o crescimento da personagem principal, Mary, com 20 anos, que nos transmite uma angst tão intensa e poderosa quanto os filmes dramáticos da década de 50, brilhantemente retratada neste livro.
Mary tem um pai que foi um pouco longe de mais com ela, é poderosa, decidida e não decidida e vive dramaticamente cada dia sem saber o que quer
...more
Mel
I must admit I found this book to be quite odd. But not in a normal nice Philip K Dick odd way. There were some really great elements to this story, a young woman (20) who was working and hanging out in a jazz bar, wanting to get together with the black jazz singer. Unhappy in her life and the conventions around her. But things would happen and I'd be like, that sounds like fun, and the characters would be frightened or something would happen that I thought seemed rather creepy and they were hap ...more
Earl Biringer
I would only recommend this one for hardcore PKD fans. Yet anotehr of his early mainstream novels thatt were not poblished until after his death, this one lacks both the depth of something like Gather Yourselves Together and the unity of The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike and Humpty Dumpty In Oakland. The back cover summary refers to the character of Mary Reynolds as "one of the most convincing and sympathetic characters Dick ever created." Well, compared to most of Dick's characters a r ...more
Felix Zilich
1953 год. Стареющий музыкальный продюсер Джо Шиллинг решает уйти на покой. Он поселяется в тихом городке Пасифик-Парк в пригороде Сан-Франциско и открывает здесь небольший музыкальный магазинчик, торгующий исключительно пластинками с классической музыкой. Довольно быстро личному спокойствию Шиллинга приходит конец, когда он умудряется влюбится в 20-летнюю уроженку этого городка Мэри Энн Рейнольдс. Эта молодая провинциалка отчаянно жаждет свободы и самовыражения, задыхаясь от удушливого консерват ...more
Jack Stovold
My Philip K. Dick Project #10

Entry #10: Mary and the Giant (written late 1954-early ‘55, published April 1987)

Mary and the Giant is an odd book. This is Dick’s third “mainstream” novel, although like most of them went unpublished during his lifetime. Like Voices From the Street, it follows the disintegration of a life over a short period, in this case, the title character, Mary Anne Reynolds.
Mary is an interesting character, a twenty year-old only child of a dysfunctional marriage. She’s chil
...more
Bonnie Morse
It's hard to form a clear judgment of Mary and the Giant in the context of either the 1980s, when it was published, or today. It's a book of and about the 50s that couldn't have been published in its own time. There are a complex combination of things going on here: intentional racism by the antagonists, unintentional racism sneaking in because of the time, an appalling indifference to Mary's sexual abuse at the hands of her father (even as an adult), all wrapped up in the recurring theme of res ...more
Owain Lewis
This has all the stuff I like about Dick; memorable characters with great dialogue and, even though this is not a scifi novel, a protagonist having trouble with reality. What I admire most though is just how prescient it was. 'Someday, in a hundred years, her world might exist. It did not exist now. He thought that he saw the new outlines of it. She was not completely alone, and she had not invented it in a single-handed effort. Her world was partially shared, imperfectly communicated. The perso ...more
Robert
I read somewhere that Philip K. Dick, for all his science fiction success, had difficulty getting his work outside the genre published, so a lot of his work set in contemporary times was released after his death. If such a scenario is the case with Mary and the Giant, it would go a long way toward explaining this novel's shortcomings. The story of a young woman trying to find her way in 1953 small-town America, with its visionary undercurrents of feminism and racial prejudice, could perhaps have ...more
Martin
On the back cover it says "Mary Anne Reynolds is one of the most convincing and sympathetic characters Dick ever created." That sentence fills me with dread, because Mary Anne is one of the worst characters I've ever come across in a book. She has all the symptoms of a psychopath. She's selfish, manipulative and really rude to everyone she doesn't need at the moment. And she uses people to get what she wants, all the time. So if this person is the most convincing and sympathetic then I don't thi ...more
Peter
Like The Broken Bubble this book takes us into the many contradictions of the 50s, especially in regard to the subservience and inhumanity to women as second class people. Mary Anne Reynolds here, is very much cut from the same cloth as Patricia Gray, and especially, Rachel Emmanuelle from The Broken Bubble. If like me you're a PKD fanatic you'll want to give this a go, but be warned this book desperately needed a rewrite and the dialogue at times is difficult and confusing.

But you can see Dick
...more
James Prosser
Small town drama, no SF what so ever. Reasonable if dated character development.
harvey jayemci
it wasn't much. it wasn't like, terrible at any point to where i wanted to stop reading, but i kind of just floated threw it. all the characters and controversy that might have been around is book when it came up is pretty much common now. but a nice first novel to start my dick knowledge on. plus the sex scene made me soft.
j_ay
Written just as well if not better than many of the books published in the 50s, now a testament to a sad situation that, even in the height of his popularity PKD could not interest publishing houses in anything that didn't have Things From Space within...
Mark Fullmer
Phil Dick's best mainstream novel about the 1950s. It hits all the right chords about the burgeoning undercurrents of that time (not that I know anything about those burgeoning undercurrents, but it sounds good to me). Also, great anomie!
mbpardy
I've read this book a few times. I think I like it because of the description of Mary at home and at work in the early chapters of the book. The characters are sparsely drawn but seem very real.
Robin
First-rate Dick novel that disproves, once and for all, that he had no interest in, or could not write, women characters. This is one of my favourites that I really need to re-visit.
Kim Dallmeier
Strange Story - in a good way - of a disconnected girl trying to find herself while battling her fears and insecurities.
Valerie
Biggest disappointment was that it had a Sci/fi sticker on the outside, so I was expecting a different story...
Rob
I can see why PKD's mainstream stuff wasn't published during his lifetime...
John
Another example of Dick's non sci-fi work, that just didn't quite reach me.
Susan  Odetta
A very early PKD and not science fiction.
Ducky
Ducky marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2015
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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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