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Time Out of Joint

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  6,745 Ratings  ·  335 Reviews
Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick’s classic depiction of the disorienting disparity between the world as we think it is and the world as it actually is. The year is 1998, although Ragle Gumm doesn’t know that. He thinks it’s 1959. He also thinks that he served in World War II, that he lives in a quiet little community, and that he really is the world’s long-standing cham ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published May 14th 2002 by Vintage (first published 1959)
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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
8th out of 54 books — 332 voters
Dune by Frank HerbertEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Best Science Fiction
197th out of 2,166 books — 3,382 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Jul 22, 2016 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
While the rest of the world toils at their jobs, Ragle Gumm stays at home, his sole source of income a daily newspaper contest called "Where will the little green man appear next?" When odd things start happening, Ragle thinks he may be having a nervous breakdown. Is he or is it something much more sinister?

Of course it is something more sinister. This is a Philip K. Dick novel.

A Dickhead at work has been after me for years to read this. After mindbending reads like The Great Forgetting, Dark Ma
Dec 29, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it
Philip K. Dick's Time Out of Joint may very well have influenced the producers of the film The Truman Show.

Orson Scott Card may also have gotten some ideas for Ender's Game. PKD tells this one close to the vest for the first half of the book, slowly developing the action and leaving some M. Night Shyamalan type clues along the way for the reader to pick up.

This was published in 1959, one of his earlier novels and an observant reader of PKD will notice a more subtle approach than some of his la
Mar 28, 2016 Apatt rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, pre-80s-sf
“Finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mind
people think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time
All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy
Think I'll lose my mind if I don't find something to pacify

Can you help me occupy my brain?”
Cheers, Ozzy! That is Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, of course. Fits the bill for me!

I have a copy of Time Out of Joint languishing in my house for over ten years. I have no idea where it came from, I am pretty sure I never bough
Sep 30, 2016 Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No puedo empezar sin hacer mención a la criminal sinopsis de la contraportada de esta novela, que creo que ha seguido sucediendo incluso en ediciones de otras editoriales (véase Minotauro). Yo cometí el error de leerla y me fastidió toda la lectura, porque no hacía otra cosa que esperar, porque ya sabía que tenía que suceder, lo destripado en dicha sinopsis. Una cosa es picar la curiosidad del lector contando algo que suceda en los primeros capítulos, porque algo hay que contar, eso es indiscuti ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why didn't I start reading Philip K. Dick ages ago?!?!

What a strange book.

I wonder if this is where the creators of 'The Truman Show' got their inspiration. A really kooky story about an ordinary guy who thinks he's living in the 1950s and just doing ordinary stuff in an ordinary little town. But is he? Well, it's Philip K. Dick. Of course he isn't. It's all some really weird crap and nothing really makes any god damn sense -- at least not until the ending, but even that is just crazy stuff.

Jun 12, 2015 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A book that could have inspired both Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (anticipation of anticipation of rockets) and the Truman Show (community set up around one man). While I give it points for anticipating a couple generations early the narcissism of the 21st century, the absurdity of American Exceptionalism, the shallow falseness of community on FB, etc., it was in the end just too damn slow. Most of the narrative was underwater. There was no rush. There were no prose daisies to pick as I picked th ...more
Jaime Nelson
Apr 19, 2010 Jaime Nelson rated it it was amazing
Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick



It’s 1959. Ragle Gum lives with his sister and her family. He’s having an affair with the woman next door. He’s the champion of the newspaper contest, “Where Will the Little Green Man be Next?” Oh yeah, and he’s going sane.

It starts with what he thinks are hallucinations—a disappearing soft drink stand, leaving nothing in its place but a piece of paper labeled SOFT DRINK STAND. But then he hears pilots talking about h
Jose lana
Nov 18, 2015 Jose lana rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a early novel by Dick,written in 1959 ,where already appears a deceptive reality based in condicionament of minds,the reality as the model our brain makes of the world, and the power of goverments to control this;also the thin gap between sanity and madness in the paranoic case.As many people knows there is certain link between this novel and the Trumans Show movie,also in my opinión with the tale that appears in the book Alternating Currents by Pohl tittled A túnel under the world yet w ...more
Printable Tire
Mar 14, 2009 Printable Tire rated it it was amazing
I'd have to rank this as one of my favorite Philip K Dick books so far- it felt like a really good episode of the Twilight Zone. Aside from centering on his most obvious theme, the illusion of a universal idea of reality, it was I think the first book to introduce the generic Philip K Dick protagonist, who is quite obviously a mirror of Philip K Dick himself- an arrogant, stubborn, down-on-his-luck proletariat with a persecution complex, someone with a bruised ego who nonetheless in a sort of Ay ...more
Eddie Watkins
Oct 14, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-fiction
There's a soft spot in my brain for this early novel by P K Dick, probably his first full treatment of ersatz reality paranoia and the mental instability capable of seeing it for what it is. It reminds me of the movie The Truman Show (which I enjoyed) but is 6 to 8 times more involving and interesting.

One great thing about the book is the lovingly detailed 1950's middle class neighborhood setting (less all the counterculture drugginess of his later books). I don't mind drugs or drugginess, but t
This is one of PKD's earlier and lesser works. The protagonist discovers his mundane existence is a actually an elaborate hoax that covers up a much darker reality. Frankly, the author has explored this idea with much better results in later books, so that the book almost reads like a cheap knock-off of PKD himself, which was probably unavoidable since he wrote so many books just to pay the bills. I'd stick to his more famous works.
Jun 13, 2015 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most paranoid PKD story novel written to that point. It's a, 'the world is not what I think it is,' type of story. 'It's all fake; made up just for me... but why?' Very few can write paranoia like this. Had PKD been a script writer during the fifties, he would have come up with really compelling Film Noire. This story may have inspired the the Truman Show and Edtv.

Interesting was that, stylistically, it read more like a mainstream novel than scifi... Or was it the other way round?
Sep 12, 2012 T4ncr3d1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, statunitensi
"La parola non rappresenta la realtà. La parola è la realtà."

Tempo fuor di sesto, dall'evidente citazione shakespeariana, è uno dei più classici romanzi dickiani, sebbene appartenente a un decennio considerato ancora "giovanile". Tra i tanti temi dickiani, uno dei più importanti è sicuramente il conflitto tra realtà e illusione, che lo scrittore rielabora in maniera sempre diversa e sempre più fantasiosa.
A far da sfondo è, altro topos dickiano, una tranquilla cittadina di provincia sul finire de
Mad Dog
Aug 04, 2010 Mad Dog rated it really liked it
Shelves: pkd
This is the "The Truman Show" before the "The Truman Show". Dick should get partial creative credit for the "The Truman Show", but he doesn't.

The lasting impression that I got from this book is the overall good nature of the conclusion of the book. People can be on different sides but NOT embittered at one another. Enemies can respect one another. As Rodney King so eloquently stated "Why can't we all get along?".

There are almost two separate stories here, sharing the same main character but muc
Jul 07, 2010 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks, sf
Although many people say this book inspired the film "The Truman Show", Expect far more than that in this book. Ragle Gum is not merely another Truman Burbank. He is contained in a world of illusion not for the purposes of keeping others entertained, he has something dreadfully important to do, something somehow wrapped up with the daily puzzle he solves in the newspaper.

This book is about turning around the perception of the protagonist (Ragle Gum) and that of the reader again and again. Is Rag
Apr 05, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it

When I was a reckless, drug-taking hippie, I must have been hanging out with the wrong people. How else can I explain that I never heard of Philip K Dick just when I needed him the most?

I have only recently begun to read his heady concoction of science fiction mixed with a sort of Zen spirituality. The message in this somewhat disjointed novel is that one can only life safely in the science fictional universe called "reality" if one is half asleep and gullible as hell.

Ragle Gumm is not quite in
Cenhner Scott
No quería empezar a leer a Philip Dick leyendo el libro de Blade Runner de puro jodido que soy nomás. Así que compré este, que estuvo sus buenos meses esperando ser leído.
Esto es ciencia ficción escrita en la década del 60 (1959, en realidad), así que contextualizar ayuda un poco: fresco el recuerdo de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, el miedo a los rusos y el comunismo...
Si viste The Truman Show (y me niego a creer que hay gente que aún no vio The Truman Show), las similitudes son casi demasiadas. Y
Bob Fingerman
May 29, 2008 Bob Fingerman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who are sci-fi curious but don't necessarily like sci-fi.
Philip K. Dick -- not nearly loved enough when he was alive (except maybe by the French) and now rightly revered for his genius -- wrote scads of books, but this title seldom makes it to his pantheon (which would include The Man in the High Castle; The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep; and Ubik, all chosen recently by Jonathan Lethem for Dick's entry in the prestigious The Library of America edition).

Maybe it's not trippy enough. Dick certainly laid on the "
Dec 17, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: philipkdick, american
I love reading Philip K. Dick, and kind of devoured him during my high school days. And Dick always made me read other things. If I hadn't of read Dick, I wouldn't have discovered who Nathanial West was, and that would have been a shame. After recently reading so many big thick works, with Infinite Jest right behind me, I thought I would dive into a quick Dick read. Although the Hamlet reference is not as overt as that book, don't let that stop you from reading this minor classic in Dick's ouver ...more
Oct 27, 2015 Kaan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ragle kurtulması gerektiğini biliyordu. Ama... bindiği taksi şehrin sınırlarını geçemiyordu... her nasılsa otobüs bileti kuyruğu hiç azalmıyordu... ve aslında o otobüs gerçekten var mıydı?

Umutsuz bir hareketle kasabadan ayrılmıştı ve yabancı bir eve sığınmıştı. Belki burada bir anda muazzam bir entrikanın öznesi haline gelmiş olduğu yanılsamasını alt edebilirdi...

Sonra televizyonu açtı. Bir eğitim filmi vardı. Kendisinin nasıl teşhis edileceği hakkındaydı..."

Philip K. Dick okunmaya değer bir ad
Nov 19, 2013 Aries rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza
Quando ero bambino (e più raramente anche dopo) mi capitava a volte di provare una strana, fastidiosa, sensazione.
A un certo punto, all'improvviso, mi sentivo "distaccato" da tutto.
Come se la mia vera vita non fosse quella, come se quella che stavo vivendo fosse una sorta di "recita" e la realtà fosse altrove.
Era una sensazione inquietante, mi spaventava sempre molto e per fortuna durava solo alcuni minuti.
Leggere questo libro di Philip K. Dick mi ha fatto tornare alla mente quei momenti.
E' il 1
Hertzan Chimera
Feb 25, 2008 Hertzan Chimera rated it it was amazing
Time Out of Joint comes from that golden era of Dick output that contained such ‘classics’ as Eye in the Sky, The Man Who Japed and, (my favourite) Solar Lottery. These early works, stripped of the drug abuse elements of the author’s final books and copyrighted from the late 1950s onwards, remind one of more innocent times after the second world war. Tinged with Cold War paranoia - there’s a real touch of the early shorts of Kurt Vonnegut in their structure and use of language and domestic situa ...more
May 01, 2016 A.K. rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Phil Dick writing about the fifties is just as good as Phil Dick writing about the sixties, seventies, eighties, etc. The novel starts up more or less in the mainstream (as opposed to SCI FUCKIN FI)
with an occasional whisper of an occasional frisson of some deep wrongness. Curiouser and curiouser, and now the floor drops out. I love how these total squares suss out the fishiness licketysplit then fixate on it like a wholesome yet crazily engrossing family game of mini-golf. With the same pitch
Jul 02, 2014 Lee rated it it was amazing
This is my new favourite PKD novel.

It is quintessential Dick in that it revolves around the life of a quite ordinary person unravelling before there eyes. It begins ordinarily enough in small American town in the 1950's (when it was written), but from the beginning leads inexorably to its ultimate conclusion, which is an entirely different reality.

If you happened to read it, not knowing this, it might even strike you for the first fifty or so pages as an oddly gripping account of a beer swilli
Angus McKeogh
Aug 13, 2015 Angus McKeogh rated it it was ok
Started out pretty good then spiraled into mediocrity and finally finished up less than good to ultimately warrant a two star (just okay) rating.
Pablo Flores
“Tiempo desarticulado” es una novela corta, de las que Dick escribía por contrato para que fueran publicadas de a dos en un único volumen. La historia está bien desarrollada y es entretenida; se lee con facilidad. Como tantas otras obras del autor, el argumento gira sobre la idea del engaño o la ilusión de la realidad (la distorsión temporal en este caso es un accesorio). Hay una confusión quizá deliberada entre la conspiración realista (y real) y la sensación paranoica de irrealidad que padecen ...more
Scott Holstad
May 29, 2013 Scott Holstad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly enjoyed Philip K. Dick's Time Out of Joint. I tell ya, he rarely disappoints. In this novel, he's his paranoid self, delving into alternate realities, but the beauty of this book is that it feels more "innocent," I guess -- much less like his later drug crazed paranoid freak show novels (which I still enjoy). This book was written in 1958, published in 1959, and I think it shows a fresher Dick at work, one who hasn't been addled by psychosis as in the '70s and later.

The story revolv
Jack Stovold
Jun 27, 2012 Jack Stovold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Philip K. Dick Project

Entry #14 - Time Out of Joint (written Jan. 1958, published 1959)

This is one of Dick’s best sci-fi novels yet! It moved rapidly, and I couldn’t put it down, ended up reading it in less than two days. Dick’s writing is getting better with each novel. One thing I’ve enjoyed during the course of this project is watching the convergence of Dick’s “literary” and “sci-fi” styles. The beginning of this book reads a lot like Dick’s mainstream novels, albeit in a more compressed
Charles Dee Mitchell
Mar 02, 2011 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it
Shelves: mid-century-sf
Throughout the 1950's, Philip K. Dick continued to write mainstream novels involving working class characters and realistic situations. His agents were never able to place any of these titles with publishers, at least not until several years after Dick's death when the Dickian industry began in earnest and publishers were scrounging for new material. Dick never looked down on his sf output, but he continued to have faith in these realist novels into the 1960's.

Time out of Joint, published in 195
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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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“In a civil war… every side is wrong. It’s hopeless to try to untangle it. Everyone is a victim.” 23 likes
“The odd thing in this world is that an eager-beaver type, with no original ideas, who mimes those in authority above him right to the last twist of necktie and scrape of chin, always gets noticed. Gets selected. Rises.” 19 likes
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