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We Can Remember It for You Wholesale

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  3,475 ratings  ·  219 reviews
He awoke-and wanted Mars. The valleys, he thought. What would it be like to trudge among them? Great and greater yet: the dream grew as he became fully conscious, the dream and the yearning. He could almost feel the enveloping presence of the other world, which only Government agents and high officials had seen. A clerk like himself? Not likely.

Novellete-length, this story
ebook, 29 pages
Published June 14th 2007 by TeknoBooks (first published 1966)
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Ubik by Philip K. DickDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickA Scanner Darkly by Philip K. DickThe Man in the High Castle by Philip K. DickThe Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
Best of Philip K. Dick
25th out of 53 books — 302 voters
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Books to Movies in 2012
52nd out of 52 books — 105 voters

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Community Reviews

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3.5 stars

The problem with rating any collection of short stories is that often each short story will differ in quality. Not every story will be breathtaking or reach into the reader's soul and appeal to them on a personal as well as a literary level. There are exceptions (Chekhov i particular comes to mind) however this volume (originally We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) follows the general trend of having several brilliant stories close to the beginning and middle and fading towards the en
"Ironically, he had gotten exactly what he had asked Rekal; Incorporated for. Adventure, peril, Interplan police at work, a secret and dangerous trip to Mars in which his life was at stake - everything he had wanted was a false memory.
The advantages of it being a memory - and nothing more - could now be appreciated."

This one was great! Very short, but masterfully written and constructed. I particularly enjoyed the humor and irony of the ending.
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF-Fans; Fans of Totall Recall
This short story (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) of Dick's was the basis for TOTALL RECALL.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who remembers running around as a kid, yelling "Get your ass to Mars!" in a fake Austrian accent.

Five stars, not only because Dick is an amazing writer, but because it brings back SO MANY good nostalgic memories for me.
Sep 03, 2013 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of science fiction
I read this in preparation of watching the film remake, and the reality is that only two or three scenes of either movie could be taken from this story's pages. However, the fact that these thirty-or-so pages could inspire not one, but two sprawling science-fiction movies says a lot for Philip K. Dick's imagination, even if the movies did miss the mark at points. But, that goes without say, as Dick has also had Blade Runner, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly adapted from his works. Back to th ...more
My husband found out the other day that I'd missed quite a lot of classic movies of the '80s and early '90s thanks to an overly-sheltered childhood. Included was the movie "Total Recall" which was based on this story. So we rectified my pop culture deficit by reinstituting an intallment of our long-lost Sci-Fi Night and watching the 1990 and the 2012 version of "Total Recall". The two movies and the original story differ vastly. I have to say that I like the ending of the story better. It's a li ...more
I love any of Dick's mind blowing stories and this is one of his best. It's short so even more of a treat because he sets it up, breaks it down and then sets it up all over again in less than 25 pages.

I think everyone is familiar with the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie version of this tale. Who didn't love thatt? My kids even love this movie. The newer version...not so much. The first movie works because of the shtick, but the story works because of Dick's genius way of creating a literary ouroboro
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The motherload of PKD stories and novels has been released over the past year, as observed on SFF Audio's new releases podcasts.

I decided to take a quick listen to Total Recall, which is actually the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," which was then adapted into the movie Total Recall. The story itself hasn't changed, so I'm not sure why they renamed it for this release, except for name recognition.

Phil Gigante does a great job as narrator, making the interesting decision of po
The basis of both Total Recall movies (1990 and 2012), the story is short and interesting, a fast read, with a nice twist at the end.

P.S. Had no idea that so many movies have Philip K. Dick's stories as inspiration.
I love this story - in just a few pages it is a prime example of Philip K. Dick's inexhaustible inventiveness and wittiness. Here especially I was delighted by the story twist(s). Although paranoia as an omnipresent theme of his stories sometimes enervates, in this story that didn't bother me an iota :)
I always feel weird reviewing a PKD story because I'm worried I completely missed the point but IDC. What I loved about this book is how it attacked the human memory. I firmly believe most people trust their memory too damn much. That was the point made when he was being sold on the Recall procedure. Memories are inaccurate and finer details are always lost but manufactured memories are what sticks. That's what people WANT to remember. Of course, PKD then takes this idea and then make one hell o ...more
See, this is the problem when you see a movie based on a book before you read the book that the movie is based on. Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of my favorite movies, and it makes itself known in my daily life. When my niece was a newborn, her resemblance to Kuato was more than a little disturbing (she's much more beautiful now--thank heaven), and at my work we have a very loud ventilation system which sometimes kicks off. When that happens I always think of that scene in T ...more
What's the short and skinny of it?
In this (very) short story about memory, Douglas Quail dreams of visiting Mars. He also knows he'll never get there on his own intellect or money, so he opts for the second-best thing and visits Rekal, Incorporated, a business that is able to plant false memories into a person's brain. With Rekal's help, Douglas hopes to put his spirit at ease by "remembering" a glorious past mission to Mars that never took place. But when Rekal's technicians go to plant memorie
May 31, 2011 Jason rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sci fi fans, Philip K. Dick fans
I have wanted to read some of Philip K. Dick’s work for a long time. I am a big fan of Blade Runner, and also Total Recall and Minority Report. I’ve read about the man, and I understand Hollywood puts its own twists on things, but I wanted to read the real material.

I wanted to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but We Can Remember It for You Wholesale kind of jumped out at me first and I decided to give it a whirl.

Douglas Quail lives the boring life of a clerk. He dreams about goi
Having seen both versions of the movie based on this story, I finally got around to reading it. I was a bit surprised by a couple things. Well, three things, but one of them was less important. First, I was surprised at how short a short story it was, it's only about 10 pages. The second surprise was how little of the plot of either version of the movie, especially the similarities between the two, was actually in the story. In the story there's a guy who's bored with his mundane life... good so ...more
This is dystopian short story at its finest! And what's creepy is... I think... I'm recalling already having known what happens... have I visited Rekall?? Seriously I'm creeped out in a thrilled way. I may have read this in grade school.

In the preface to my edition, Philip K. Dick writes about the paranoia humans feel because of the age-old fear of predators, and that these stories of the future are really of the past. The question of whether it's worth it to "fulfill" your desires by essentiall
Como costumeiro leitor de ficção-científica, e de PKD, esta reunião de contos é fantástica. Inesperados finais, detalhes que fazem diferença na interpretação de cada história.
A obra começa com o conto que inspirou o filme Total Recall - em português ficou com o (in)coerente nome O Vingador do Futuro. O conto é "Podemos recordar para você, por um preço razoável". Muito melhor que o (idiota) filme, mostra Quail em busca de si e encontrando, graças à ciência - que outra maneira há de se mudar realm
I watched the 1990's movie because my son and I were in our 1990 's RV with nothing but VHS tapes lol. So it prompted me to read the original story, I wanted to know more about the mutants and planets. Only to realize the movie isn't really like the novelette, 22 pgs. I enjoyed Philip's version, as I wanted to read some of his stories anyways. I also thought his ending was pretty cool. It leaves room for the imagination, as we know now 2 movies are built off it. I was surprised at his writing, a ...more
Total Recall ile büyümüş bir nesil için başucu öyküsü olmalı bu. Tabii ki filmle birebir değil, film başka romanlardan da alıntılı. Ama bu ufak öykünün gerçeklik sorgulatma katsayısı hayli yeterli. K. Dick ne de olsa.
I can't believe it~ The story that inspired Total Recal.
I had no idea. It was a great story and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, probably in part to remembering the movie and the differences.

This was a part of a "reading list" I am working through and this was a pleasant surprise to find.

I'm not so sure about the new movie coming out, but at least now I know it was loosely based on this story.
Norm Davis
Mar 22, 2014 Norm Davis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: It's a classic! Everyone, of course.
Recommended to Norm by: Various sources

We can remember if for you wholesale. Phillip K. Dick.

This is the story that launched the movie Total Recall.... twice.

Douglas Quail a lowly government clerk dreams of going to Mars. Unable to afford it he goes to ReKal to have the memory implanted... and just like the movie that's when the troubles begin. Here is also where the first movie takes liberty and never stops taking liberty but oddly stays rather consistent with Mr. Dick's story. I haven't seen the second movie.

In this short story the
When I saw this as an e-book in the library I was excited, because it was listed as Total Recall and when I was in late grade school I loved the Total Recall adaptation by Piers Anthony (I read the book before I had even heard of the movie, so I never suffered from the expectations some seem to have had). It quickly became apparent, however, that this was instead We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. And while Philip K. Dick's original version does lack some of the action, and much of the length ...more
Richard Buro
Jan 20, 2014 Richard Buro rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Richard by: The movies made me want to read the book.
I am known for saying, “The book is ALWAYS better than the movie.” In the case of the e-book Total Recall by Philip K. Dick, my quote needs to be revised to read, “ The book is ALWAYS better than the first movie, and so far the same holds true for the second.” Admittedly, I have always liked the original movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Quaid/Hauser, and I have recently viewed the 2012 reboot with Colin Farrell which I felt more closely tied (in some degrees) to the source material, namely “ ...more

Total Recall, like many of Philip K. Dick’s works, is sci-fi heavy and thought provoking. It takes place sometime in the future (view spoiler) The movie, which is both inspired and named after this book, Total Recall, is surprisingly more intricate and complex than the book.

I chose this book because of its author, Philip K. Dick, who had written other books that I had enjoyed, n
Hiram Lester
With the recent remake of the Total Recall movie, I've seen several Philip K. Dick eBook special deals. I'd never actually read any of his works despite the fact that several of them have been made into blockbuster films that I've enjoyed (i.e. Blade Runner , The Minority Report , Paycheck , etc.). I was in a class in college that read The Man in the High Castle, but I dropped the class before we got to it, so I have a trade paperback edition sitting unread on my shelf (among many I intend ...more
1. "An illusion, no matter how convincing, remained nothing more than an illusion. At least objectively. But subjectively - quite the opposite entirely"
This made me think of abstract philosophical problems such as a brain in a vat (are the expereinces of a brain in a vat real or simulated?), or the Ship of Theseus (if you take apart a ship and rebuild it, is the same ship?), as oppose to emotional responses to experience. You can explain a magic trick to someone afterwards, but their first react
I read this story because I vowed that I would every piece of literature that inspired a movie that I plan on seeing this year. My friend wants me to see the new Total Recall movie with him, so I gave this short story a whirl.

I liked it mostly because of the odd ending. It made me laugh out of a mixture of the absurdity and irony of it. That's always a plus in my book.

Other than the ending, I found the concept intriguing and terrifying. Another plus. However, I felt that a lot could have been ad
Ken Brimhall
A Reality Course

“Total Recall” or “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” a short story by Philip K. Dick, challenges you to separate the story-true from the story-false. Douglas Quail wants to go to Mars; his wife thinks he’s obsessed; since he’s a clerk with no plausible way to go, he settles for a simulated trip, which can be embedded in his memory—or so the story begins. It develops into something quite different. The fantastic and the story-real merge. Why does the author go to these length
A big capital O. An even bigger capital M. And, and an even bigger capital G.


This book is easily the best ever short story I have ever read.

The book contains hardly 30 pages. But, it pulls off being one of the best ever edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Reading this book just notched up my expectations for ‘Total Recall’ quite a few bars up. I mean, a movie that uses this as the source material can’t be possibly bad.

I found two scenes that tower over the other scenes (awesome in their own right).
Un recueil de nouvelles de K. Dick, pour la plupart très fortes et intéressantes. Cet auteur est un classique, ce n'est pas un hasard, et ses nouvelles ont en plus l'avantage d'être suffisamment courtes pour éviter l'aspect contemplatif et onirique (mais parfois un peu longuet) de ses œuvres plus longues.
Jul 27, 2012 Melissa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melissa by: Stephen Wiseheart
Shelves: adult
This is the short story on which Total Recall is based. I had seen the movie first, which I really like. I have to say, though, that the movie and the story are really different. The basic premise of a man who wants a memory of a trip to Mars, that he thinks he never took but really did, is the same. However, there is a fantastic plot twist at the end of the story that didn't make it into the movie and I think the story is so much better for it. I can only hope that the story's ending makes it i ...more
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Insert the Tense: We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: quotes and reviews 1 5 Aug 12, 2013 03:15AM  
Books2Movies Club: Total Recall 15 79 Nov 12, 2012 11:16PM  
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  • Farewell to the Master
  • Press Enter
  • Mono no Aware
  • The Waiting Stars
  • Kiss Me Twice
  • Pigeons from Hell
  • By His Bootstraps
  • The Planet Savers
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • They're Made Out of Meat
  • Kaleidoskop
  • MIND MGMT, Vol. 2: The Futurist
  • Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick
  • The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling
  • Sailing to Byzantium
  • Eight O'Clock in the Morning
  • An Election
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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“So you want to have gone to Mars. Very good.” 4 likes
“With him inside the elevator descended.” 2 likes
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