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Total Recall

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  5,327 ratings  ·  311 reviews
The inspiration for the Columbia Pictures film Total Recall, directed by Len Wiseman and starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel. This ebook only edition of Philip K. Dick’s classic short story tells the story of Douglas Quail, an unfulfilled bureaucrat who dreams of visiting Mars, but can't afford the trip. Luckily, there is Rekal Incorporated, a company ...more
ebook, Film Tie-in, 29 pages
Published July 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published April 1966)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars. The other night I dug up copies of two classic Philip K. Dick short stories that were later the basis for a couple of blockbuster movies, this one and Minority Report. "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" is better known as the movie Total Recall and, like Minority Report, the movie and the original story have only a nodding acquaintance with each other.

Douglas Quail is a boring man with a low-grade, boring job and a contemptuous wife who criticizes him daily. He has a dream: to go
Bill  Kerwin

First published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1966), “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” is one of Philip K. Dick’s richest and most complex short stories,
philosophically more nuanced than the two films adapted from it (both entitled Total Recall, 1990 and 2012).

The protagonist Douglas Quail first appears as a “Walter Mitty” type, an average man hectored by a bad-tempered wife and dissatisfied with his boring unexciting job. Longing to travel to Mars, and wishing he were a s
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2018-shelf
Classic novelette by PKD that was the basis for the first adaptation of Total Recall. :)

Aside from some of the later nuttiness of the movie, I was very surprised how faithful the film was to the original story. :) So many great aspects carried over. :)

Gotta love classic PKD! This is just plain fun.
"Ironically, he had gotten exactly what he had asked Rekal; Incorporated for. Adventure, peril, Interplan police at work, a secret and dangerous trip to Mars in which his life was at stake - everything he had wanted was a false memory.
The advantages of it being a memory - and nothing more - could now be appreciated."

This one was great! Very short, but masterfully written and constructed. I particularly enjoyed the humor and irony of the ending.
María Paz Greene F
QUÉ LIBRO GENIAL, aunque en realidad es un cuentecito, de solo unas 40 páginas. Me recuerda lo INTELIGENTE y DIVERTIDA y PROFUNDA que puede ser la ciencia ficción.

Creo que definitivamente no la leo tanto como debiera, considerando cuánto me gusta... pero es que, a veces (muchas) pasa que hay que aprenderse una cultura completa, a lo J.R. Tolkien, solo para leerse un librecillo, y no siempre tengo la paciencia. Historias cortas como la de ahora, por otro lado... son otra cosa. Cuando están bien e
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
The original story formed the basis for "Total Recall." The movie follows the outline. I think I will like Mr. Dick and I anticipate further reading.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Quail lleva una vida desencantada. Su mayor sueño es viajar a Marte, pero no puede permitírselo. Así que se le ocurre visitar la empresa Rekal, donde se encargan de insertar recuerdos falsos, en este caso de unas vacaciones en Marte. No obstante, algo inesperado ocurrirá durante el proceso.

Se trata de un relato bastante bueno, con una idea sumamente interesante.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-freebie
Wow. SO much better than the movie! Hollywood ought to be ashamed of itself! 5, holy cats that was amazing, stars. It’s a short freebie online and completely worth it!
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My husband found out the other day that I'd missed quite a lot of classic movies of the '80s and early '90s thanks to an overly-sheltered childhood. Included was the movie "Total Recall" which was based on this story. So we rectified my pop culture deficit by reinstituting an intallment of our long-lost Sci-Fi Night and watching the 1990 and the 2012 version of "Total Recall". The two movies and the original story differ vastly. I have to say that I like the ending of the story better. It's a li ...more
César Bustíos
Comencé leyendo a Dick con su novela ucrónica El hombre en el castillo por haberse merecido el premio Hugo, sin embargo, no la disfruté mucho, no tanto como esta pequeña historia de la cual se basaron las dos películas "Total Recall" en 1990 y 2012. La de 1990 fue tal vez la primera película de ciencia ficción que vi en mi vida. Me han dado muchas ganas de verla de nuevo.

Todavía tengo muchos libros pendientes de PKD así que vamos a ver como van los demás.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The motherload of PKD stories and novels has been released over the past year, as observed on SFF Audio's new releases podcasts.

I decided to take a quick listen to Total Recall, which is actually the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," which was then adapted into the movie Total Recall. The story itself hasn't changed, so I'm not sure why they renamed it for this release, except for name recognition.

Phil Gigante does a great job as narrator, making the interesting decision of po
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1412-challenge
I love any of Dick's mind blowing stories and this is one of his best. It's short so even more of a treat because he sets it up, breaks it down and then sets it up all over again in less than 25 pages.

I think everyone is familiar with the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie version of this tale. Who didn't love thatt? My kids even love this movie. The newer version...not so much. The first movie works because of the shtick, but the story works because of Dick's genius way of creating a literary ouroboro
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos
Ah, cómo me encantan los libros de este hombre.
Karen’s Library
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, classics
My very first Philip K. Dick story! Off to find more.
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In this (very) short story about memory, Douglas Quail dreams of visiting Mars. He also knows he'll never get there on his own intellect or money, so he opts for the second-best thing and visits Rekal, Incorporated, a business that is able to plant false memories into a person's brain. With Rekal's help, Douglas hopes to put his spirit at ease by "remembering" a glorious past mission to Mars that never took place. But when Rekal's technicians go to plant memories in Douglas' brain, everyone is i ...more
I love this story - in just a few pages it is a prime example of Philip K. Dick's inexhaustible inventiveness and wittiness. Here especially I was delighted by the story twist(s). Although paranoia as an omnipresent theme of his stories sometimes enervates, in this story that didn't bother me an iota :)
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The basis of both Total Recall movies (1990 and 2012), the story is short and interesting, a fast read, with a nice twist at the end.

P.S. Had no idea that so many movies have Philip K. Dick's stories as inspiration.
Luis Reséndiz
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canasta-básica
qué maestría la de soltar esta historia en el momento en que k. dick decide soltarla. a diferencia de la película, que se empeña en darle un final.

(nada contra la(s) película(s) basada(s) en este cuento, fabulosas ambas.)
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci fi fans, Philip K. Dick fans
I have wanted to read some of Philip K. Dick’s work for a long time. I am a big fan of Blade Runner, and also Total Recall and Minority Report. I’ve read about the man, and I understand Hollywood puts its own twists on things, but I wanted to read the real material.

I wanted to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but We Can Remember It for You Wholesale kind of jumped out at me first and I decided to give it a whirl.

Douglas Quail lives the boring life of a clerk. He dreams about goi
See, this is the problem when you see a movie based on a book before you read the book that the movie is based on. Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of my favorite movies, and it makes itself known in my daily life. When my niece was a newborn, her resemblance to Kuato was more than a little disturbing (she's much more beautiful now--thank heaven), and at my work we have a very loud ventilation system which sometimes kicks off. When that happens I always think of that scene in T ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having seen both versions of the movie based on this story, I finally got around to reading it. I was a bit surprised by a couple things. Well, three things, but one of them was less important. First, I was surprised at how short a short story it was, it's only about 10 pages. The second surprise was how little of the plot of either version of the movie, especially the similarities between the two, was actually in the story. In the story there's a guy who's bored with his mundane life... good so ...more
This is dystopian short story at its finest! And what's creepy is... I think... I'm recalling already having known what happens... have I visited Rekall?? Seriously I'm creeped out in a thrilled way. I may have read this in grade school.

In the preface to my edition, Philip K. Dick writes about the paranoia humans feel because of the age-old fear of predators, and that these stories of the future are really of the past. The question of whether it's worth it to "fulfill" your desires by essentiall
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always feel weird reviewing a PKD story because I'm worried I completely missed the point but IDC. What I loved about this book is how it attacked the human memory. I firmly believe most people trust their memory too damn much. That was the point made when he was being sold on the Recall procedure. Memories are inaccurate and finer details are always lost but manufactured memories are what sticks. That's what people WANT to remember. Of course, PKD then takes this idea and then make one hell o ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe it~ The story that inspired Total Recal.
I had no idea. It was a great story and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, probably in part to remembering the movie and the differences.

This was a part of a "reading list" I am working through and this was a pleasant surprise to find.

I'm not so sure about the new movie coming out, but at least now I know it was loosely based on this story.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ayushi by: Abhi
I had no idea that Philip K. Dick's stories were the inspiration behind so many of my favorite sci-fi movies. This one is an enjoyable short read.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ძალიან მაგარია, ეს ოხერი.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me encantó. No tengo palabras.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
مثل اکثر کتابهای علمی-تخیلی مبهم و پیچیده بود. آخرش هم مبهم تموم شد. از اون کتابایی که باید چندبار خوند.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. "An illusion, no matter how convincing, remained nothing more than an illusion. At least objectively. But subjectively - quite the opposite entirely"
This made me think of abstract philosophical problems such as a brain in a vat (are the expereinces of a brain in a vat real or simulated?), or the Ship of Theseus (if you take apart a ship and rebuild it, is the same ship?), as oppose to emotional responses to experience. You can explain a magic trick to someone afterwards, but their first react
Richard Buro
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Richard by: The movies made me want to read the book.
I am known for saying, “The book is ALWAYS better than the movie.” In the case of the e-book Total Recall by Philip K. Dick, my quote needs to be revised to read, “ The book is ALWAYS better than the first movie, and so far the same holds true for the second.” Admittedly, I have always liked the original movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Quaid/Hauser, and I have recently viewed the 2012 reboot with Colin Farrell which I felt more closely tied (in some degrees) to the source material, namely “ ...more
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Insert the Tense: We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: quotes and reviews 1 6 Aug 12, 2013 03:15AM  
Books2Movies Club: Total Recall 15 81 Nov 12, 2012 11:16PM  
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall
  • Farewell to the Master
  • A Martian Odyssey
  • The Houses of Iszm
  • The Waiting Stars
  • The Tunnel Under the World
  • For Want of a Nail
  • Kaleidoskop
  • The Planet Savers
  • Press Enter
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • Exogene (The Subterrene War, #2)
  • Troika
  • Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas
  • Oms en série
  • Sailing to Byzantium
  • They're Made Out of Meat
  • Das Marmorbild
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
“So you want to have gone to Mars. Very good.” 5 likes
“With him inside the elevator descended.” 2 likes
More quotes…