Joseph's Reviews > Four Novels of the 1960s

Four Novels of the 1960s by Philip K. Dick
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Aug 17, 10

bookshelves: favorite-novels-and-stories
Read in August, 2010

I'm not really sure how to go about reviewing four novels without splitting this review into several tedious sections but here it goes.

The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? are arguably the most popular of his novels in this collection and, admittedly, the ones I was most excited to read. I also found them to be the least enjoyable of the collection.

I felt that The Man in the High Castle ended abruptly leaving most of the characters without strong resolution, sad because of how well written they were. Considering the concept of alternate historical fiction was new I won't punish it too hard. It was a good read but a bit jumpy.

I didn't expect a picture perfect adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. This is one of the only instances where I'm willing to say that the movie is more enjoyable than the novel. There were strange, seemingly willy-nilly, metaphors tossed into the story and I found myself struggling to believe some of the dialogue. I actually stopped at one point and said, "No man or machine would ever speak like this. It's a bit unreal." A good novel but it is lacking at times.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch was my second favorite of the novels. Although, at times, I found myself wanting to just get to reading about Barney Mayerson it was an enjoyable story. I loved how the details of the world unfolded slowly without any one character just conveniently reflecting on information that would be commonplace knowledge to them. I loved the metaphysical discussion about reality going on throughout the story.

Which leads me to my favorite of the novels in the collection, Ubik. It was thrilling and exciting. It leads you from place to place and keeps you guessing the entire time. Once it really picks up (about 20-40 pages in) it had me fully. It could have easily gone the way of most stories in which reality is in question. I appreciate that it didn't. Once I figured out what "Ubik" was, the whole story just clicked. It was a fantastic reading experience and I recommend it out of all the novels of his I have read.

When I finished with Ubik I had to sit for thirty minutes and just consider it. In fact, I considered the whole collection but Ubik had most of my mind and time. Philip K. Dick was an incredible writer.
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