Time Out of Joint
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Time Out of Joint

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  4,595 ratings  ·  203 reviews
The most consistently brilliant SF writer in the world - John Brunner.

Ragle Gumm is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life, except that he makes his living by entering a newspaper contest every day - and winning, every day. But he gradually begins to suspect that his life - indeed his whole world - is an illusion, constructed around him for the express purpose of keeping...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published September 2003 by Gollancz (first published 1959)
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Eddie Watkins
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...more
"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...more

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...more
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...more
Bob Fingerman
May 29, 2008 Bob Fingerman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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 "...more
Mad Dog
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...more
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...more
Jaime Nelson
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...more
"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...more
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
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...more
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...more
Mike Philbin
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
This is not one of Dick's best works, but it nevertheless touches on a theme that he is famous for: namely, the possibility that "reality" is only a veneer which, when stripped away, will reveal something unexpected. Often, as in this book, characters pick up clues in interesting ways. Here, it's some old telephone books dug up from the "ruins" of an aborted, local housing development, where kids like to play; also some secret radio broadcasts that a boy picks up on a toy "crystal set" radio.

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
Jack Stovold
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...more
Scott Holstad
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...more
Are all classical SF books naive by definition? I've only read Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick until now, but all of them had that naivity of language that made the characters seem somehow plain. I suppose the authors emphasize on the idea and not on the means of delivering it. Anyway, besides what I just mentioned, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way in which the confusion and the elements of apparently supernatural made their way into the plot and I believe the story...more
Science fiction has the potential to unlock the power of the human imagination, but it is only valuable the hoity-toity literary types like me when the prose and the themes are comparable to the great realist fiction. I feel like Dick does not hit it here; much of the writing felt like scaffolding (first this happened, then this happened, then the big reveal at the end). I remember liking Do Androids Dream considerably more, but then again, that was written nine years after this, when Dick was p...more
Luis C
Mar 16, 2013 Luis C rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans of sci-fi
Recommended to Luis by: Jaime Agudo villanueva
La sensación que tengo del libro es que es un poco deslabazado. No sé cuanto tardó el autor en escribirlo, pero no me extrañaría que fuese en dos meses.

Es mi primer libro de Philip K Dick y veo por qué tiene fama: la trama de este libro se adentra en lo filosófico / metafísico y eso le da cierta profundidad, aunque en este caso en particular es un poco pastiche.

El comienzo de la trama es aburrida hasta decir basta, y luego la novela progresa gracias a la maestría del autor para ir soltando dato...more
This book is one of Phillip Dicks early major works. The book is set in the idyllic 1950s; nuclear family and nuclear paranoia. We center on one man in the book, Ragel Gumm, who basically solves a newpaper puzzle for a living.

Everything from small seemingly everyday coincidences and insignificant events to things like large objects dissipating and leaving a slip of paper with the name of the object come together to make Ragel think he's losing his mind, or is it reality? This book was the inspi...more
I can never say enough good things about this mind-bending novel that is both gripping and provocative (as is a lot of Philip K. Dick's work). Having read it at least half a dozen times over the past twenty years, I would have to say I'm glad it's never been made into a movie...it's so good you just wouldn't want anyone to mess with the images and thoughts the book brings out so well.

Topics such as perception vs. reality, known vs. unknown, fifties culture, contentious family relationships...all...more
Good in parts. The description of first slight but then growing unease in a perfect 50's world (written in the 50's mind you) is a great piece of writing. So often Dick is lauded for his ideas but he can write as well as Austen or Dickens. I have to think that this is an allegory for his times. A perfect time but with a dark underbelly that everyone agreed to not talk about. At various times the characters ask why they did not question the growing sense of unease.

To be sure this is probably Dick...more
"We can put everything we know together, he realised, but it doesn't tell us anything, except that something is wrong. And we knew that to start with. The clues we are getting don't give us a solution; they only show us how far-reaching the wrongness is."

A neat and welcome dose of paranoia, philosophy, psychology mixed with a nifty little back up story.

You may be reminded of The Truman Show if you read this, but I'm not sticking my toe in that pond (not here, at least. Maybe over at IMDB).

Ragle Gumm lives in a small town. He is a champion of newspaper puzzle competition. He always wins. For a while the life goes smoothly. One day hallucinations occupied his mind. He sees ghastly strange things. He also wonders why exactly it is he who always wins in the puzzle contest.

His sister’s family established a radio set. He listens several hours a day. His background military career, in which he believes he served in WW2, helps him. What he gathers in radio listening enriches his suspici...more
Disturbante da morire. E la recensione sta in queste tre parole. Terzo romanzo di Dick che leggo, e anche se è poco, lo adoro sempre di più. "Il tempo è fuor di sesto". La vita di Ragle Gumm può apparire come la migliore o la peggiore possibile. La finzione talvolta è giustificata, o almeno, può sembrarlo. Questo libro non è un distopico, è una semplice riflessione, una riflessione che provoca disturbi davvero forti secondo me. Quando il tempo è fuor di sesto è ovvio che si cerchi di riportarlo...more
Great novel by great author. Very good description of the idea of a disparity between subjective and objective reality. Reasonable structure of a book - it starts in a rather normal world, then it became more and more surreal, at the end it became normal once more. I liked this very much. Vivid characters, they are best at the moments of twisted reality - analyzing, fearing, not believing, confident. And, some interesting and clever ideas are present here.
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.

Eugen Mardare
There are moments in life when you feel like the whole world is put upon your shoulders and there is no one that can be put in your place. There are moments when you are so stressed that all you want is a way out, a day to breath in , and you just can't find it.

Imagine what would you do if there was a waging war out there, if death would come far from above and you couldn't do anything to prevent it. Imagine the Cold War, living through the Missile Crisis, only that the Crisis happened and some...more
Prowincjonalne, amerykańskie miasteczko z końcówki lat 50-tych. Zwykłe życie Ragle Gumma, który żyje z rozwiązywania łamigłówek logicznych na 1600 punktów. Życie bez pospiechu, z częstymi odwiedzinami sąsiadów, wyprawami do supermarketu po zakupu i lokalnymi romansami. Ale nagle w rzeczywistości zaczynają się pojawiać wyłomy, fakty drobne, ale nie pasujące do całości - książki telefoniczne z nieznanymi numerami telefonów, odcinki gazet z Marilyn Monroe, o której nikt w miasteczku nie słyszał, ta...more
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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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“In a civil war… every side is wrong. It’s hopeless to try to untangle it. Everyone is a victim.” 17 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.” 15 likes
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