David's Reviews > The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer by Philip K. Dick
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Feb 08, 11

Read from February 07 to 08, 2011

This is the last book that PKD ever wrote and the conclusion of the VALIS trilogy. It is a bit different than the first two books, but again deals with religion and philosophy. Bishop Timothy Archer is a man who believes whatever he reads, even if it contradicts what he finished reading two minutes ago. He is haunted by the suicides of his son and mistress, which are fleshed out in depressing detail throughout the book.

Transmigration is narrated by the female voice of Angel Archer, the wife of Jeff Archer. Jeff was Timothy’s son; he killed himself due to his romantic obsession with Kirsten Lundborg, Timothy’s mistress. Following Jeff’s suicide, Angel becomes extremely emotionally connected to Timothy and Kirsten. The three of them spend almost all of their free time together, discussing the development of Christianity, Jeff’s suicide, etc. All of them habitually use substances: Timothy uses speed, Kirsten barbiturates and Angel copious amounts of cannabis. Bill Lundborg, Kirsten’s brother, is a schizophrenic who is constantly in and out of jail and mental institutions. Angel considers him to be saner than the rest of the group. Toward the end of the novel, Angel comes to realize that she has lost her friends and questions the validity of her own life.

In comparison to VALIS and The Divine Invasion, this book is the easiest to read and comprehend. It’s characters are more down-to-earth, and the plot is easy to follow. Contrary to the other PKD books I have read, Transmigration is entirely written in the first-person perspective. It was a nice change to read from a female point of view. The VALIS trilogy is incredible. I consider it to be a must-read for any science-fiction devotee.

4/5 Stars. 255 pages. Published 1982.
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