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We Can Remember It for You Wholesale

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,604 ratings  ·  184 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
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ebook, 29 pages
Published June 14th 2007 by TeknoBooks (first published 1966)
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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickUbik 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
27th out of 47 books — 256 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Books to Movies in 2012
52nd out of 52 books — 104 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jonathan

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
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Carmen
Apr 16, 2014 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.
Eric
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
Amy
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
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
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Zeljka
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 :)
Amy
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
Kate
Should I read it?
Maybe. The story feels dated and is quite flawed, in my opinion, but it might provide some interesting context for those who have watched, or are planning to watch, the film(s) Total Recall, which are very loosely based on this story, from what I understand.

What's the short and skinny of it?
In this (very) short story about memory, main character 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-bes
...more
Jason
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.

Summary
Douglas Quail lives the boring life of a clerk. He dreams about goi
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Matt
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
Bethany
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
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Meghan
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
Trisha
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
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Alicia
Apr 02, 2012 Alicia marked it as to-read
This story is the basis for the movie(s) Total Recall.
Mike
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
Ryan

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.



WHY:
I chose this book because of its author, Philip K. Dick, who had written other books that I had enjoyed, n
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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 to r ...more
Chris
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
...more
Megan
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
...more
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
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Adarsh
A big capital O. An even bigger capital M. And, and an even bigger capital G.

O.M.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).
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Melissa
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
Katie Spina
I picked this up because of the Total Recall remake. Based on the way people are talking about the movies, it seemed like the remake was more true to the story. Wow is that not even remotely accurate. This is an excellent short story, and as long as you do not think about either of the movies in any way, you will appreciate the massive irony of the story as a whole and the ending.

Philip K. Dick had a massive sense of irony, and this is an excellent demonstration of how that plays out in Doug's l
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Carla
Oh my goodness, I need to get myself some more material by Philip K. Dick!

I read We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (that's basically this story right here) for an SF course, and I looove it. For a short story under 20 pages, it's absolutely infused with wit, action, and plot twists. Also, it gives you a lot to think about to the point of mild paranoia, so that's always good.
Casara Clark
I love the ending. No movie explores or incorporates at all how the short story ends. I don't know if it would work in movie form but I do know that it would be really interesting to try!! It brings up so many interesting psychological questions.

Honestly, I want to see that movie that incorporates this ending. It might be hard but I think it would be better than both movies if fine right.

Awesome read.
A.B.
I read this the other day when it finally hit me that I’d never gotten around to it. Total Recall was one of those movies I watched with my dad when I was little and, even knowing it was a story by PKD, never really considered that maybe I should pick it up. Sure I thought about it from time to time, but it was one of those things that I was always “going to get around to.”


So I finally read it and while I’d seen both adaptations of the film and read several synopses of the short, I was intrigued
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Jessica Meyers
I enjoyed the concept of this book, but as I always feel with any Phillip K. Dick story, it just fell a little flat. To me, Dick's characters are boring, conceited, and well... not very bright. I don't care for his characters, and sometimes I just want to punch them in the face.

There are little parts to this story that annoy me because it's minor details that make it seem unbelievable. Such as, why would the Interplan agency take Quail back to McClane at Rekal? Wouldn't they take him to their o
...more
Metageek
Short story. Usual PKD style, all to do with questioning reality
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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: 2012/07 - Total Recall 15 78 Nov 12, 2012 11:16PM  
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. He briefly attended the University of California, but dropped out before completing any classes. 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 Memo ...more
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“So you want to have gone to Mars. Very good.” 3 likes
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