Owen's Reviews > Four Novels of the 1960s

Four Novels of the 1960s by Philip K. Dick
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Apr 29, 08

Read in April, 2008

How I would rate the individual novels-

The Man in the High Castle: ***
Using the I Ching to determine the course of events and essentially have this novel write itself was a clever experiment, but it felt kind of gimmick-y to me. Luckily it still works quite well as an alternate history exploration of daily life in a post-war America where the Nazis control the east coast and Imperial Japan controls the west, neither side having much understanding or trust for the other or the citizens under their rule. The harried and unhappy characters slogging through their daily grinds while clinging desperately to long-shot hopes really reminded me of 1984. There is the same claustrophobic feel of the weight of big events gradually crushing the life out of little people, so it's pretty bleak, but the characters feel incredibly real.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch: *****
Ok, I finally get what everyone means when they rave about Philip K. Dick being so great. This convoluted alien invasion story has so many mind blowing ideas packed into it it's a wonder it isn't 2,000 pages long. Funny, creepy, brilliant and prophetic! In addition to giving Gary Numan a career worth of ideas for songs, this book set up the basic premise of The Sims and predicted the incredible popularity of a miniature simulated reality based on acquiring "nice stuff" 40 YEARS AGO! Scaaary!

Do Androids Deam of Electric Sheep?: ****
Much better the second time around, now that I'm not a teenager expecting a book of the movie. What I got out of it this time was that it's a study of the unfortunate human tendency to neglect or screw up everything that's actually important (relationships with other people, the environment), while devoting an absurd amount of time and energy to pointless distractions and social climbing.

Ubik: ****
What starts out as a relatively straight forward story of mercenary psychics on a corporate espionage mission gradually becomes stranger and more confusing until the characters (and the reader) are left wondering what is really going on. There are so many theories and possibilities presented that it keeps everyone guessing until the last few chapters.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Devowasright (new)

Devowasright i need to get back into reading more of his stuff. it is all rather mindblowing. i did find man in the high castle a little sluggish, but still well worth the trip.

i still need to figure out the updated title to the unteleported man.. it is still my favorite PKD book yet..


Owen ...and I need to find a copy of Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, if only because it's mentioned in the first line of the first song on the first Tubeway Army album. In case anyone wasn't completely clear about where Numan was drawing his inspiration from :)


message 3: by Devowasright (new)

Devowasright i think ray has a copy of it on the back wall.. he's got a good selection of PKD..

and yes, numan is a good recommendation for it. :)


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