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Mary And The Giant

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  405 Ratings  ·  46 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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(showing 1-30)
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Estelle
Dec 14, 2015 Estelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pkd-project
4.5 stars

I didn't expect to like it so much.
To be honest, nothing much happens and it's a rather simple story, but the depth and complexity of the characters, in particular Mary, really made the book engaging and hard to put down.
A quiet, yet truly captivating read.

"- Is she always like this?"
"- Most of the time. Mary lives in a universe of leaky pots."
Hertzan Chimera
Feb 19, 2008 Hertzan Chimera rated it really liked it
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
Davide Nole
Mar 03, 2017 Davide Nole rated it it was ok
After "Voices from the Street", PKD tries again to make his public enjoy the life of an artist, seen from a impersonal and sometimes too rational point of view.
I'm a huge fan of VftS, and even though that is not the PKD I came to like and enjoy very much, I think he did an amazing job. That said, he tried again with this book, but I think he ended up having something that didn't quite work out. Not for me at least.

Mary is a horrendous character, I hated her, and every single word she muttered or
...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
Robyn Blaber
Apr 13, 2016 Robyn Blaber rated it really liked it
Now here we are again back to a book that is not science fiction. It's one of Dick's dramas that features more or less normal people... circa 1950. Dick's heroes are generally ahead of the times, in their attitudes toward race and this book is no exception. Our heroin has a relationship with an older black musician.

Perhaps I was drawn into the story when she swapped her musician for a man twice her age. I've dated much older women... and now that I'm older, much younger women and hearing people'
...more
Brian
Jan 07, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
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
Vit Babenco
Jan 25, 2015 Vit Babenco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Denise
Jun 12, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elar
Jun 28, 2015 Elar rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, not-scifi
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.
Tom Andes
Jun 22, 2010 Tom Andes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 04, 2012 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover
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.
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
Edward S. Portman
Pescare dalla bibliografia di Philip K. Dick un romanzo che non sia di fantascienza non è propriamente facile. Questo però non significa che sia impossibile. L’autore americano aveva provato più volte in vita a sfondare in quella che secondo lui all’epoca era la narrativa di serie A, ovvero quella non relegata al marchio di fantascienza, quella che non era costretto a vendere a improbabili riviste fanzine di nicchia che pubblicavano i suoi lavori a puntate. Era un periodo piuttosto duro per gli ...more
Mike
Feb 23, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
The word that comes to mind when I want to talk about Philip K. Dick's mainstream fiction is "evocative." There is something about the way he captured the 1950's American west that captivates me. Certain authors have a knack for writing about a certain place and time, and for Dick that place and time is 1950's and 60's California. To a reader in the early 21st century, that's as exotic a place as any of the planets or alternate realities he wrote about in his science fiction. This is the time wh ...more
Mel
May 23, 2013 Mel rated it liked it
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
Jack Stovold
Jun 12, 2012 Jack Stovold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tony
Oct 24, 2016 Tony rated it it was ok
MARY AND THE GIANT. (1950s; this pub. 1987). Philip K. Dick. **.
This is another example of Dick’s attempt to come out with a mainstream novel. It was never picked up by any publisher at the time he wrote it, and was only since his death that it surfaced again. If it had been any book by any other author than Dick, it would have been consigned to The Pit Of Doom, but it was by Dick and he does have many, many fans. It’s about Mary, a 20-year old girl who lives in a small town on the Bay Peninsula
...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
Earl Biringer
Mar 24, 2013 Earl Biringer rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, novel, juvie
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
Andrew
Feb 09, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing
The depth of characters in Mary and the Giant is incredible, and with Philip K. Dick staying completely away from sci fi elements his ingenuity is concentrated completely on character study and interaction. The narrative is minimal in scope, a small town drama with characters so believable that I have memories of the book that are as vivid as film. As usual the author has made some hilarious observations which give the impression that he had such fun commenting on the sometimes absurd, sad and o ...more
Leslynn
Mar 20, 2016 Leslynn rated it it was amazing
The depth of characters in Mary and the Giant is incredible, and with Philip K. Dick staying completely away from sci fi elements his ingenuity is concentrated completely on character study and interaction. The narrative is minimal in scope, a small town drama with characters so believable that I have memories of the book that are as vivid as film. As usual the author has made some hilarious observations which give the impression that he had such fun commenting on the sometimes absurd, sad and o ...more
Robert
Oct 07, 2007 Robert rated it it was ok
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
Owain Lewis
Mar 17, 2012 Owain Lewis rated it really liked it
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
Mia
Mar 20, 2016 Mia rated it it was amazing
The depth of characters in Mary and the Giant is incredible, and with Philip K. Dick staying completely away from sci fi elements his ingenuity is concentrated completely on character study and interaction. The narrative is minimal in scope, a small town drama with characters so believable that I have memories of the book that are as vivid as film. As usual the author has made some hilarious observations which give the impression that he had such fun commenting on the sometimes absurd, sad and o ...more
Bruno Silva
Mar 26, 2015 Bruno Silva rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, drama
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
Juane
Nov 24, 2016 Juane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.0

Interesante propuesta que hace el maestro Philip K. Dick, sigo sin poder imaginarlo como todo un conocedor de música clásica, lo demostró en Fluyan mis lágrimas dijo el policía, y ahora con ésta obra.
Un texto fuera del género que lo destacó, una historia interesante, nuevamente se distingue con la naturalidad de los personajes, aunque tal vez no todos, pero... el principal lo manejó muy bien.
Quizás no sea muy atrapador todo el libro, pero sí hubo momentos donde te encariñas con Mary Anne, par
...more
Peter
Aug 12, 2013 Peter rated it liked it
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
Martin
Oct 11, 2011 Martin rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
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
Ashley Walker
May 31, 2016 Ashley Walker rated it really liked it
One of Dick's main stream novels which was not published untill after his death. It is about a young woman who was abused as a child and is unable to form a normal relationship. She is surrounded by other screwed up people in a racist american backwater and despite the story teetering on madness it always feels real and authentic. Phillip K Dick - the master of literature.
Lonely Shikari
Dec 01, 2016 Lonely Shikari rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Первое произведение Дика меня разочаровавшее. Жутко мутный роман с непрекращающей бесить главной героиней. Смысла я так и не уловил, хотя наверняка он в книге есть. Концовка показалась совершенно нелогичной. По мне, так лучше бы Мэри Энн трамвай переехал, а счастья я бы не сказал, что она заслужила.
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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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