Alan Marchant's Reviews > Ubik

Ubik by Philip K. Dick
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's review
Jul 11, 09

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bookshelves: fiction, sci-fi
Read in April, 2008

Reality in a Can

If you're new to Philip K. Dick, then I can't recommend UBIK as a place to get to know him. Start with one of his inventive SciFi operas (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? or The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch), his psychological conundrums (Confessions of a Crap Artist or A SCANNER DARKLY), his cold-war farces (The Zap Gun or The Simulacrum), or any of his fun short story collections.

If you're familiar with Dick, you'll find that UBIK displays all of his hallmarks. 1) A what-if concept that is too simple for any other author to invent: in this case a corp of anti-psi characters who are in high demand because their ultra-mundane presence blocks psychic interference. 2) Hapless male protagonists controlled by feminine mystique. 3) Thurber-style humor, such as talking coin-op household appliances. And 4) exploration of the borderline personality. In this case, the borderline personality takes over the book as each character fades to a figment of another's imagination and reality itself is revealed to be the product of a spray can.

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