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The Divine Invasion (VALIS Trilogy #2)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  6,230 Ratings  ·  319 Reviews
The Divine Invasion
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Mariner Books (first published 1981)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lyn
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Divine Invasion is a sci-fi alternate reality version of the second coming of Christ, told as only Philip K. Dick could.

More serious than VALIS and one his more serious works overall, PKD demonstrates his deep erudition of the Bible. Fundamentalists may be put off, and the reader looking for pure science fiction may be overwhelmed with his frequent references and quotes from the Bible, but this is an important work and one that must be read by a true student of PKD.

Dick also weaves a firm
...more
Brad
This happens to be my third read and like the one that immediately precedes it, it's well worth the extra effort.

Absolutely amazing is only a part of what it is. It's also a complicated exploration of comparative religions, a roaring tale of a battle between God and the Devil, and it's also about totally re-writing reality because it's all a hologram... or is it?

It has the Living Torah, it has the Kabbalah, it has Zoroastrianism and Maat and the Fairy Queen and Palas Athena. It has a brain dama
...more
Will Byrnes
There is the usual time-tripping here. Pay attention. It is like a LOST episode, and indeed probably inspired some of the concepts used in that estimable show. You need to keep track not only of where you are in space, but in time. The Divine Invasion (no, not a John Waters film) posits a scenario in which god, Yahweh, was essentially booted off planet Earth after the unfortunate events at Masada. Now resident in an alien hill and renamed Yah, (so much classier than Yo!) the big guy is looking t ...more
Stuart
The Divine Invasion: A dense gnostic allegory about salvation
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Before his death, Philip K. Dick wrote several books about suffering, redemption, and the divine in the contexts of Christian Gnosticism, Jewish Kabbalism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, anamnesis, and the dualistic nature of the ultimate divine being. After writing two books that explored his personal religious experiences in 1974, Radio Free Albemuth (written in 1976 but not published until 1985)
...more
Darwin8u
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
“I chose God over the material universe.”
― Philip K. Dick, The Divine Invasion

description

Book 2 of Philip K Dick's VALIS Trilogy (Gnostic Trilogy [God Trilogy]), 'The Divine Invasion' is a funky PKDesque exploration of good and evil, God and Belial, gnostic truth, etc. In this short novel, Emmanuel (God) is smuggled back to Earth via the womb of a Jewish woman with MS. She is accompanied by Herb Asher, a DJ protagonist of sorts (Jesus as a DJ's son) who marries Rybys (read Mary) to assist getting her and
...more
JSA Lowe
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DAMN Philip K. Dick you have got some PROBLEMS, a great many of them with women. And you're so fucking brilliant and so messed up and weird. Did you realize there is ZERO feminist criticism of you? That's about to change, my new dead crazy fucked-up friend.
Linda
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2017
I liked it, although I was confused a good part of the time and a stronger background in religious matters would have helped. But still, great classic PKD scenes and dialogue.

I'm enjoying the audio of the PKD novels I've listened to so far, and Dick Hill did a great job with this one.
Gray
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When has the government ever told anyone the truth?” (p.76)

The Divine Invasion was published in the same year as VALIS. It is the second book in the VALIS Trilogy, although there is only a brief mention of VALIS in the story. Like VALIS it addresses religion and philosophy, but it’s not as tightly structured or plotted as the first book. In fact, some parts of The Divine Invasion feel like they belong to a completely different story. According to Jonathan Lethem, one of the editors of Dick’s Ex
...more
Maria
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dacă ar trebui să descriu cartea astea într-un cuvânt, acela ar fi halucinantă.

Alungat de pe Pământ în urma unui război, Dumnezeu încearcă să se întoarcă sub forma unui embrion în pântecul unui femei însărcinate. Ca de obicei, nimic nu se desfășoară cum ar trebui, Pământul este controlat de Belial (Diavolul) prin intermediul unei inteligențe artificiale și, în urma unui accident, Manny (Emmanuel, Yah, Dumnezeu) își pierde memoria. Așadar, lupta finală ce are ca miză însăși existența Universului
...more
Andrew
May 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now my favorite book in the so-called "Valis Trilogy," The Divine Invasion takes the heady gnostic concepts of Valis and truly presents them in an unabashedly "sci-fi" context - the infant Christ has been reborn on mars to a woman with M.S. after a divine conception, and must be smuggled back onto earth, which is completely under Satan's control via artificial intelligence and totalitarian government. And that's merely the setup for a book that ends up in a completely different place than you'd ...more
Jonathan
Apr 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the internal battle for reality, the good vs. the evil, the light vs. the dark, children vs. goats -
its a throwdown for all of humanity. its intergalactic and its terrifying, its your soul and its winner take all. Sunday, sunday, sunday - BE THERE!!!
Tom Bensley
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel sorry for Philip K Dick. I mean, before he died. It's probably a good thing he didn't live to see Hollywood steal all of his ideas and completely debase and dumb them down to make crappy forgettable movies, not mentioning his name anywhere for their inspiration.

But really, the guy didn't get the credit he deserved. He ate dog food and he only had time to write 200 pagers rather than the Infinite Jest-sized mega-beast I know he wanted to write. And then just as he was getting some money an
...more
Tony
Nov 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Dick, Philip K. THE DIVINE INVASION. (1981). ***. Dick experienced (suffered?) a psychic event on 2/3/74 that completely changed his thinking and his approach to life. In today’s terms, he would have become a rabid born-again Christian. His epiphany resulted in a significant change in his writing. Although he still wrote in the science fiction genre, his books become more and more about religion and his characters more and more like cardboard cutouts for religious figures. His last three books c ...more
Em Grove
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Philip K. Dick books. It explores the theme of parallel universes that sneaks into most of his work, and gives a nail-biting account of Yahweh's, and creation at large's, struggle to survive in a world with harmful religious leaders and stifling bureaucracy. All of the characters really come to life for me, from the strong and grounded Rybys Rommey to the Scared-of-the-World Herbert Asher, who would prefer to live in his fantasies than reality, to the eerie and truly scary Bel ...more
John
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Not bad, but definitely not as good as VALIS. In that book, PKD seemed to care about the narrative just as much as he cared about pouring the kooky ideas out of his head. Not the case with this second book, unfortunately.
T4ncr3d1
"Questo mondo, questo pianeta, tutto quanto, e tutta la sua popolazione: tutto qui dorme".

Secondo episodio della visionaria Trilogia di Valis. Dopo un primo episodio praticamente privo di elementi fantascientici, i cui tratti surreali sono giustificati da un narratore/protagonista inattendibile, Dick ritorna alla fantascienza più classica, quasi un ritorno alle (sue) origini, che strizza l'occhio al suo giovanile mito delle utopistiche e felici colonie oltremondo.
Nuova variazione sul tema, Dick
...more
Jim
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-geek
Philip K. Dick did exactly the right thing with his encounter with the divine (or psychotic break, depending on who you ask). He /kept writing/. Divine Invasion is the second of the VALIS tetralogy, which includes VALIS, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, The Divine Invasion, and Radio Free Albemuth. (RFA was published posthumously, but it still addresses the same themes. The Divine Invasion is probably the most coherent of the "VALIS series". VALIS was groundbreaking, and it shattered any pr ...more
Travis Johns
Jul 06, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People on busses.
... Dick can do better. While Valis was an incredible novel that fully explored Dick's enlightenment/mental collapse via a lifelong addiction to uppers and his views of the divine, electronic music and pink lasers, this book seems to be more os a scifi thriller that really fails to go anywhere, despite the fact that it's set on both intergalactic exploration outposts, as well as parts of NY and LA. The climax was weak, the whole concept of the divine as an illegal "alien" being aided by the phys ...more
Mariana Orantes
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es una gran novela que mezcla cristianismo con la cábala, teorías psicoanalíticas con mitos fundacionales, perspectivas del cuerpo y una extraña combinación de tiempo y espacio. En la novela mínimo se superponen, como capas, cuatro realidades: La "realidad" en la cual Emmanuel sobrevive y está en la escuela donde conoce a Zina; luego, en la mente de Herb Asher que recuerda la vida vacía e inútil en las cápsulas del planeta CY30-CY30B donde pasa los días escuchando cintas de Linda Fox hasta que Y ...more
Travis Todd
It's baffling to me that this is considered to be part of a trilogy with Valis and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. Sure, they all contain religious themes, and underlying each of them you can see the struggle of Dick to interpret his mystical experiences. But beyond that they have very little, if anything, to do with each other.
I consider The Divine Invasion to be much less satisfying than Valis. None of the characters come alive on the page. Emmanuel and Zina are profundity-spouting cip
...more
David
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is an amalgamation of various religions and philosophies, along with a bit of science fiction and fantasy. God finds that he needs to be smuggled back to earth, in the womb of a virgin woman, Rybys. God's mission in returning to Earth is to battle against Belial, a sort of Satan in the guise of a caged animal at the zoo. Rybys is very sick, and is granted permission to return to Earth for medical treatments. However, Earth is ruled by tyrannical religious leaders who try their best to ...more
Jimmy Ele
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is great for the dialogue between the characters. PKD takes a little bit from the various religions of the world and creates a science fiction story based very loosely on the second coming of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him). The novel is brilliant in it's depiction of two alternating realities (or worlds) at the same time. One world being more real than the next, and in the end creating a sort of amalgamation of both. The book is very epic in its prose and dialogue as mentioned before ...more
Dan DalMonte
This novel was a difficult read. It contains a lot of profound meditation on theological issues like divine omnipotence and the reality of evil. It is so abstract though and there is not much of a plot, just a lot of wordy and artificial dialogue. It is based on a mystical experience that Dick had and it seems like he didn't spend much time integrating these experiences into a novel. Part of the problem could be that this novel is a part of a trilogy, which I did not know before I started readin ...more
zim
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Evil One in a cage at the zoo- what, with his own temperature and gravity and atmosphere, and imported food? An exotic life form?'
'He's angry as hell about it.'"

"You beguile me. You lead me from the path with sparks of light, dancing, singing, and the sound of bells; always the sound of bells."

"Do not make war on it but bring flowers."
Sentimental Surrealist
I'm not sure if the Divine Invasion is a good book or not, but I like it just the same. I like it because I have a taste for the bizarre and the out-there, and conceptually, this novel is as out-there as they come. This is the one where Philip K. Dick swan dives off the deep end, building on the metaphysical, theological, and philosophical mind-warp VALIS. I guess you can say it explains the events, what with the Empire and the pink dot and all, but it's the sort of explanation that might leave ...more
Theo Logos
If you were amazed by Valis, you likely will find The Divine Invasion disappointing in some degree. This second book of the thematic Valis trilogy lacks the emotional power of the semi autobiographical first entry, and is a narrative nightmare, even by Dick's standards. Still, it engages fiercely with the author's lifelong questioning of reality and identity, and mixes these themes freely with the obsession of his final decade - the line between spiritual gnosis and madness. If you have the pati ...more
Jeremy
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Divine Invasion is Philip K. Dick’s penultimate novel. It is also the second novel in a trilogy based on his 2-3-74 experiences and the concept of VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System). Having come back into Dick’s orbit once again, seeing the Radio Free Albemuth film and reading Sutin’s Divine Invasions (1989), I was ready for some more Dickian tomfoolery.


Dick’s body of work is inconsistent, but on the whole very good to brilliant. He really churned them out at times and on occasio
...more
Christian Lipski
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(audiobook) If you know the Bible somewhat, you'll get a lot out of it. It's kind of a reboot of the Nativity story, with some gnosticism and Dick's own personal theology added. It's a good twist on the story, set in more relatable times so the reader can understand the stresses and risks at play.

A lot less of the philosophy than other novels, with more focus on plot. Definitely a good read alongside the other VALIS novels: VALIS, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, and Radio Free Albemuth.
Jon
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars If 2 stars says "It was okay," I suppose it's better than that, but not by much. Dick clearly took an interest in some interesting, non-traditional concepts, the most prominent of which being Kabbalah. He wanted to integrate those concepts into a novel. So instead of letting a story develop from those concepts organically, he wrote a fairly simple and meaningless story and dumped a lot of kabballistic concepts into the text of barely changed christian origin myth. His characters are th ...more
Leigh-ann
I don't know what PDK's relationship with organized religion was when he was a young child, and then a young adult, but overt religious themes seems to be more prominent in the books that he wrote towards the end of his life. "The Divine Invasion" written in 1981, is a full version of an earlier short story called "Chains of Air, Chains of Aether" which I hadn't enjoyed. I didn't look forward to reading this novel, but figured I'd be a good sport and give it a try. It just did nothing for me. I' ...more
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
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Other Books in the Series

VALIS Trilogy (3 books)
  • VALIS (VALIS Trilogy, #1)
  • The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (VALIS Trilogy, #3)

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“What a tragic realm this is, he reflected. Those down here are prisoners, and the ultimate tragedy is that they don't know it; they think they are free because they have never been free, and do not understand what it means.” 21 likes
“Sometimes I think this planet is under a spell," Elias said. "We are asleep or in a trance, and something causes us to see what it wants us to see and remember and think what it wants us to remember and think. Which means we're whatever it wants us to be. Which in turn means that we have no genuine existence. We're at the mercy of some kind of whim.” 9 likes
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