Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Deus Irae” as Want to Read:
Deus Irae
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Deus Irae

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  2,506 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
In the years following World War III, a new and powerful faith has arisen from a scorched and poisoned Earth, a faith that embraces the architect of world wide devastation. The Servants of Wrath have deified Carlton Lufteufel and re-christened him the Deus Irae. In the small community of Charlottesville, Utah, Tibor McMasters, born without arms or legs, has, through an arr ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published September 28th 1977 by Dell Publishing Co. (NY) (first published 1976)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Deus Irae, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Deus Irae

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most authors would never dream of casting a limbless man, no arms and no legs, as a central character in his work – Philip K. Dick has done this at least twice.

Joining Hoppy Harrington from Dr. Bloodmoney as a protagonist is Tibor McMasters, the unlikely hero of Deus Irae, a collaborative effort between Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazney. An odd mix of A Canticle for Leibowitz, A Scanner Darkly and Dr. Bloodmoney, Deus Irae is a more serious work than many of PKD’s wild fiction. What does it mea
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Deus Irae" je postapokaliptična vizija dva vrsna SF pisca - Zelaznija i Dika. Obojicu sam upoznao preko malo drugačijih romana - Zelaznija preko njegovog Ambera, a Dika čitajući "Čoveka u visokom dvorcu", "Minority Report" i slična dela. Jedini Dikov roman koji se podosta razlikovao od ostalih koje sam pročitao - "Tamno skeniranje" mi je pokazao kako Dik može da bude veoma uvrnut... Međutim, ovakvo nešto nisam mogao ni da zamislim...

Na prvih nekoliko strana romana sam doživeo WTF trenutak. Zami
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by Roger Zelazny and Philip K. Dick. Dick began the book but realized he did not know enough about Christianity to finish it. He asked Ted White to collaborate on it with him, but after reviewing the manuscript White never got started. Zelazny discovered the manuscript in White's home in early 1968, read it, then contacted Dick and agreed to work on it with him. Work proceeded sporadically over several years as each author forgot about it in turn (and Zelazny's cat took the opportunity t ...more
Nikola Pavlovic
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jako zanimljiva knjiga koja govori o postapokalipticnom svetu u kome pored hriscanske crkve koja je na margini postoji i crkva Boga Gneava. Posto je gnev sve sto su ljudi i osetili na svojoj kozi vecina prezivelih se odlucuje da pristupi religiji koja slavi Karla Luftojfela kao boga gneva. Knjiga govori o hodocascu, zovotu na postapokalipticnoj zemlji, verbalnom sukobu dveju religija. Malo filozofije i religije u SF maniru, uzivacete.
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the 36 sci-fi novels, nine mainstream novels, one children's book and over 120 short stories that cult author Philip K. Dick produced before his premature death at age 53, in 1982, only two creations were done in collaboration with another author. The first was 1966's "The Ganymede Takeover," which Dick cowrote with budding writer Ray Nelson. An alien invasion novel that deals with the snakelike, telepathic inhabitants of the Jovian moon as well as the Terran rebels who resist them, the novel ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, philosophy, 1970s
One of the more mystical or theological books of Phillip K. Dick that I've read. Don't know if thats Zelazny's influence or not, but I enjoyed it. Strays mostly away from PDK concepts like questioning identity, parallel universes, etc. Theres some drugs and hallucinatory episodes though. Theologically, it is a conflict between the God of Light of Christianity, and the Demiurge/God of Evil/Deus Irae/Carlton Lufteufel of Gnosticism/Cathatism/The Servants of Wrath. I mean, after a nuclear holocaust ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover
The style was more like that of a fantasy novel rather than scifi: A long journey or a pilgrimage. One can't help but try and distinguish what parts are PKD and which are Zelazney's but, overall, it flowed seamlessly enough, and though some of the narrative got a bit disjointed at times, and it's not the best to start with, it was still definitely a good read.
Ivan Lutz
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Po mnogočemu podsjeća na Millerovog Leibowitza, osim što je stil malo suroviji, teži, mučniji. Kolaboracija ova dva autora jedna je od najčudnijih u svijetu SF-a. Takva dva oprečna duha, karaktera, pa i po samim temama koje su obrađivali, dali su jedno pravo malo blago - Deus Irae.
Kako će izgledati kršćanstvo nakon apokalipse, kako će se u tom svemu snaći roboti i računala, te koje će sve religije naći svoj put prema svjetlu... Sve su to pitanja na koja pokušava dati odgovor ova knjiga. No, ipa
May 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
It falls into the large category of "probably good if I understood all of it". It's dense with philosophy, with characters prone to internal discussion and digression, and each one seems versed in details of Catharism and other variations of Christian theology. As such its larger themes are buried in the details of all these characters instead of the great sweep of the book.

If I'm understanding the whole of it--probably not--it is that a mortal sees the Divine through the lens of his/her/its own
Gregg Wingo
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Deus Irae" is in many ways a revisitation of Dick's earlier novel "Dr. Bloodmoney" with the addition of the societal control themes of religion favored by Roger Zelazny. It is not the best work of either gentlemen but it is a good read. Philip K. Dick illustrates his use of post-apocalyptic settings as social criticism to good effect here along with his ever questing questions of "What is real?" and "What is human?" while Zelazny ponders the role of myth and religion in society building. The co ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deus Irae is the second PKD book i read featuring a main character with no arms and no legs. This is probably the least strange aspect of this novel. This book combines Dr. Bloodmoney with the religious stuff of the valis trilogy, but sharpened into a more cohesive novel. A very christian novel i might say.

A bit like a canticle for leibowitz but with some hallucinogenic experiences, talking bugs, talking worms, talking factories but with more religion. I never fault i needed some religious backg
I due più grandi misteri dell'Universo sono il Big Bang, al quale, per quanto gli scienziati possano sbatterci la testa, è impossibile dare una risposta esaustiva ed un altro ben più misterioso e inestricabile. Ovvero: cosa vi era nella scatola cranica di Dick? Questa volta gli scienziati della parola (critici, lettarati e chi più ne ha, più ne metta) sono quelli che brancolano un po' nel buio.

Appartenente alla tarda produzione di Dick, quella più metafisica/religiosa, quando l'autore aveva comi
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
"Deus Irae"is decidedly unlike your usual post-apocalyptic science fiction fare. This work explores a perennial issue in face of utter destruction and misery: the philosophical problem of theodicy, or the compatibility between the existence of an evil which reigns so supremely as to allow the world to be devastated and the existence of a goodly, omnipotent God. It depicts a society where the old Christian religion, their numbers rapidly declining, was superseded by an apocalyptic cult, the Serva ...more
Aug 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a huge disappointment. I love Roger Zelazny and enjoy Dick's less drug-infused works, and I just read the similar-in-theme A Canticle for Leibowitz, so I was pretty excited for this book. Unfortunately, Deus Irae comes up short on every front. It's almost entirely Philip K. Dick (I noticed one joke that was textbook Zelazny, but that's it), and it is far from his best.

Deus Irae is extremely short at just under 200 pages, and it feels rushed. Character development is trite to nonex
Daniel Polansky
I remember really loving Zelazny when I was a kid, the Amber books are a ton of fun, and what was the one about the demon killing gods, or something? That was cool too. Dick, frankly, I keep reading feeling like I should like, and then finding myself annoyed when I actually stop to look at him. So we'll say this one split the difference – there are some clever throw aways here, in this story about a post-apocalyptic religious cult which is based upon the worship of violence (or something like th ...more
Steve Cooper
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Critics of Dick often cite paper-thin characters and weak plot to justify their criticism, but if you focus on these things you miss the attraction of his books. For me, the real payoff is that they open possibilities we never suspected: possibilities that are purposefully designed to engage and often undermine our core beliefs. Yes, seemingly obscure bits of exegesis sound strange coming from his characters mouths, and they may not always help move the plot along, but it's a train of thought th ...more
I must admit I found this quite disappointing. Apart from the world building there really wasn't much here that seemed like Philip K Dick. The prose definitely wasn't his style and it wasn't a style I enjoyed. Instead of being thrown into the strange post apocalyptic world and figuring it out as you go this novel spent the first 60 or so pages explaining at great length why everything happened and how everything was built up in conversations between the characters. A great example of ignoring th ...more
Sara Elice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Listening to for a podcast. I was bored in the beginning but some scenes catch my attention. Mostly domestic scenes talking about religion really.


For hard core Philip K. Dick fans only, with a special interest in comparing religions. It almost feels like serialized adventures in the desert with strange creatures. I have to admit a main character with no arms or legs is unique. The narrator really brings some annoying characters to life.

Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011, library
A 4-star book with one star extra for sympathy. Seriously, 3.37!?

This is pretty much Dr. Bloodmoney + the theology of the VALIS trilogy. AND THERE IS NOTHING NOT-AMAZING ABOUT THAT. It's still funny and quirky, too.

I'm sure this is thanks to Zelazny, but this is one of the better written PKD books too (well, I'm sure any PKD book would feel that way after reading Clans of the Alphane Moon, but hey), and I actually would recommend this book to someone who just started reading PKD.
Actually this is a strange book. While it starts off trying to find its foothold, being somewhat awkward and language being a bit labored, soon enough it finds its feet indeed and flows effortlessly and nicely. Really bleak and with equal amounts of self-delusion and despair, futility and vain hope, turns out to be a pretty good book. Recommended (3.5 stars)
I enjoyed Deus Irae quite a bit, but not quite as much as I enjoy Phillip K. Dick or Roger Zelazny individually. The overall story arc felt like something Dick would come up with, while the flow of the text seemed more like Zelazny's. Even if I do like each of these authors on their own more than teamed up, this novel is still absolutely worth the read.
Byron  'Giggsy' Paul
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Byron 'Giggsy' by: nutjobs
a little strange, and doesn't completely come fully together as a novel, yet, each chapter, each page held my interest fully and I enjoyed the prose.

Not a good representation of Dick or Zelazny, I'd recommend reading their major works first, but no reason to avoid this title either.
Feb 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pk-dick
gave me nightmares for 2 nights
cardulelia carduelis
Deus Irae is the post-fallout Wizard of Oz.
A quest for the true image of God, encountering all manner of creature and landscape along the way. But Tibor is no Dorothy and his mission is all his own.

Less a novel and more a series of episodes around the themes of theology, Deus Irae is extremely colorful and the writing is oftentimes stunning: many passages I reread just for the pleasure:

Here! The black-spotted cow drawing the bicycle cart. In the center of the cart. And at the doorway of the sac
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wade Duvall
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, new-wave
I was very excited to read this book, as it's a collaboration between two of my favorite scifi authors, but also a little apprehensive, due to the hit or miss nature of a lot of collaborations. Overall, this feels more like Dick's vision (it's based on a Dick short story after all, and the script was apparently mostly written by Dick) but you can feel Zelazny's influence; there are a few classic Zelazny jokes, and he has filled in some mythology, and added his classic in depth descriptions of sc ...more
Stephen Poltz
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book to read for a theology in SF/F reading challenge, and boy did I pick a doozey. At 180 pages, this has to be one of the most complicated little books I’ve read in a long time. I really enjoyed it, but it is heavy on the theology and has a crazy plot. My understanding is that Dick started the book, but put it down and offered it to another writer because he didn’t know enough about Christianity to finish it. Zelazny saw it at the other writer’s house and offered to finish it for ...more
Per quanto nei temi che comportano un aspetto teologico PKD abbia spesso dato il meglio di sè (la trilogia di Valis, le stimmate di Palmer Eldritch, Ubik,...), questa volta, con questo romanzo scritto a 4 mani con Roger Zelazny, non riesce a convincere troppo. Trama fragile, personaggi che meritavano maggiori approfondimenti, pagine felici che si alternano ad altre che lo sono molto meno.
Forse un matrimonio tra i 2 co-autori che non raggiunge la giusta armonia.
Per quanto vi siano spunti interess
Neil St Cyr
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I probably should have read this book quicker. I spent a little over two months on it and for the most part only read a little at a time. But the book takes a little more imagination than a lot of other books and requires a more sustained approach to it. Otherwise, it's easy to lose track of what's going on. If I had read it quicker, in a day or a week, which is entirely doable, the whole story would have felt more cohesive. And it is cohesive. There are not many extraneous elements a ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Understanding the conclusion and message of Deus Irae 1 15 Aug 25, 2013 10:24AM  
  • The Zap Gun
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
More about Philip K. Dick...