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The Simulacra
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Group Reads > The Simulacra - initial thoughts (no spoilers)




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Mohammed (Maxamed) | 102 comments Mod
My initial thoughts is that it has a very good,strong start compared to many other books of his that tend start slow,not focused from the start. Nice to read stories with machines,many characters story from PKD. I havent read many pages but i hope its better done POV changes than Dr Bloodmoney that also had several POV characters.


Sérgio | 54 comments Amy wrote: "Interesting observation that 'der Alte' was the nickname of Konrad Adenauer. Lots of references to the Third Reich and what I guess is the allegiance of the U.S. and Germany in the "USEA" remind me..."

Another similarity between those two books was that they both have tons of important characters. I think he tried to top MITHC with Simulacra regarding the number of characters, but I don't think he was near as succesful with this.


Saretta (hex53617261) | 6 comments Paul wrote: "Amy wrote: "Interesting observation that 'der Alte' was the nickname of Konrad Adenauer. Lots of references to the Third Reich and what I guess is the allegiance of the U.S. and Germany in the "USE..."

Currently I'm at about half of the novel and the connection with the Third Reich are clearly visible.

Overall the novel seems like a patchwork of novelettes featuring different characters / stories loosely linked one to the other; maybe the links will became stronger towards the end.


Paul (Poldy16061904) | 19 comments Amy wrote: "Interesting observation that 'der Alte' was the nickname of Konrad Adenauer. Lots of references to the Third Reich and what I guess is the allegiance of the U.S. and Germany in the "USEA" remind me..."<

Amy, I think you are right to make a connection to Man in the High Castle. I remember reading that Dick did a lot of research into the Third Reich period for that novel, and it seems that some of it has been used for The Simulacra,too. I've noticed some amusing German names that he has been using for characters: Kalbfleisch means 'veal', for example.



Gabriel | 8 comments About to start Chapter 4, but agreeing with most of the folk. A little annoyed that there isn't exactly a structure that ties every chapter together (returning to the same set of characters at the same time in a chapter). oh well.


Byron  'Giggsy' Paul (giggsy) | 110 comments Mod
22% in - same as others, so many characters and initial storylines. I'm not quite sure where this is headed of how they will all tie together. don't like or dislike it yet - still too early, but normally for PKD reads I'm enthralled by this point


message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Stapleton | 5 comments Interesting observation that 'der Alte' was the nickname of Konrad Adenauer. Lots of references to the Third Reich and what I guess is the allegiance of the U.S. and Germany in the "USEA" remind me of "The Man in the High Castle." I haven't done any research on PKD's politics, but it'll be interesting in the follow on discussion to talk about the references to Germany and the Third Reich and how that plays into PKD's general dystopia.


Paul (Poldy16061904) | 19 comments I've just started reading - only finished Chapter One. As with a lot of PKD novels, this one jumps straight in with the action; there's no preamble at all. It seemed a little odd to spend the first page and a half on introducing one plot line, and then jumping to the next and staying on that one until the end.
A couple of small points I picked up on : 'der Alte' was the nickname of Konrad Adenauer, first Chancellor of the former West Germany - I wonder if this will have any significance later. Also noticed the reference to an orgone box. Wilhelm Reich had been dead for some years when Dick wrote this, but maybe the memories of his experiments and trials were of interest to PKD.


Saretta (hex53617261) | 6 comments It's my first time reading "The simulacra", today I discovered that it's an expansion of "Novelty Act" that I read some months ago (I checked this fact today because I had a deja-vu meeting Ian and the Abraham Lincon building in the novel).

There are a lot of characters for sure! The thing that puzzled me is the sudden change on POV that often happens.


message 3: by Sérgio (last edited Aug 28, 2012 06:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sérgio | 54 comments That’s true. There’s a ton of different characters and ideas in this book. In my opinion, there’s just too much for a novel of this size. I would guess this was one of the novels from his amphetamine period just by how overactive his plotting is in this.

That does make this an entertaining read but it’s just all over the place. It’s hard to connect with the character and the themes that way.

That said I think the dystopian aspect of Simulacra was very well conceived, it was a kind of simulated democracy that I think makes the political aspect of the book really relevant nowadays.

I think my favorite scene in the first half of the book was when Chic is arguing with his boss and the “perfect” simulacra family is interfering in the conversation. I love the way it ends:

“One of the two children simulacra said to the adult male, ‘Isn’t he a good man, Daddy?’ ‘Yes, Tommy,’ the adult answered, nodding. ‘He most certainly is’. It patted the boy on the shoulder. The whole family beamed.”


lol


message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Stapleton | 5 comments Comment 1: Wow, he sure does introduce a LOT of characters in just the first 35 or so pages. It's kind of hard to keep up!
Comment 2: I forgot how much I love PKD. What other scifi writer could get away with combining and really addressing themes like telekinesis, extraterrestrial life forms, the bane of advertising, the pros and cons of the free market economy, the small scale terror of condo associations, the absurdity of modern democracy, and it goes on and on. Good stuff.


Byron  'Giggsy' Paul (giggsy) | 110 comments Mod
this thread dedicated to thoughts/questions when reading the first 3rd or half of the novel. Avoid spoilers (mark them if you have to include them). there will be 1 more thread for final thoughts on the book that will be spoiler-free


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