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Ubik

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  75,949 ratings  ·  3,962 reviews
Glen Runciter está muerto. ¿O lo están todos los demás? Lo que es seguro es que alguien ha muerto en una explosión organizada por los competidores de Runciter. De hecho, sus empleados asisten a un funeral. Pero durante el duelo comienzan a recibir mensajes descorcentantes, e incluso morbosos, de su jefe. Y el mundo a su alrededor comienza a desmoronarse de un modo que sugi ...more
Paperback, Ventana Abierta, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by La factoría de ideas (first published May 1st 1969)
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Melissa Rininger The short answer: The coin is a reference to Plato. Wisdom is the key to unlocking the metaphysical question of reality: "There is one true coin for…moreThe short answer: The coin is a reference to Plato. Wisdom is the key to unlocking the metaphysical question of reality: "There is one true coin for which all things ought to be exchanged, and that is wisdom." Dick constructed the world of Ubik in a Platonic system: Theory of Knowledge, Theory of Forms, and the Conception of the Tripartite Soul. By the end of the novel, Joe Chip uses Socrates method of dialectics to see the difference between empirical reality and absolute Forms. He becomes the logistikan (logic), Ella represents spirit, and Jory represents appetite. Once wisdom (logic) overcomes the body's appetites, then logic/spirit/appetite align as one and they transcend--becoming the Total Man. The coin represents their transcendence and becoming One with God/the Immanent Mind/the Immovable Creator/the Univeral Being/whatever-you-want-to-call-IT. Ubik is a cosmological explanation for Dick's schizophrenic hallucinations and visions. The coin implies the nature of reality is cyclical and the direction of movement is circular depth, not linear.(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  75,949 ratings  ·  3,962 reviews


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RandomAnthony
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Phillip K Dick's Ubik flirts with perfection. I inhaled this novel over three days when one of my kids was sick and Christmas break was ending. I started the book on the couch during a Mythbusters marathon. By page fifty I wanted to shut the door and leave my kids to forage in the refrigerator for Gatorade and string cheese. And on Sunday night, when I closed the book, I felt satisfied and excited with a novel in a way that doesn't happen much. Ubik is fun, smart, and exhilarating.

Ok, let me take a s
...more
Lyn
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began reading some of Philip K. Dick’s short stories and quickly became hooked. His style and imagination have left an indelible mark on science fiction since and his influence is unmistakable. His novels are genius, and Ubik may be the best one I have read yet.

Telling an inventive sci-fi tale that is entertaining on its surface, this is also a theological metaphor that keeps the reader thinking and trying to figure out what in the world PKD is getting at. His brilliance is compelling and his
...more
Darwin8u
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american, 2013, scifi, fiction
“I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am.
Philip K. Dick, Ubik

description

I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, then do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. Iclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
I
...more
Glenn Russell
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


“He felt all at once like an ineffectual moth, fluttering at the windowpane of reality, dimly seeing it from outside.”
― Philip K. Dick, Ubik

Over-the-top zany madness, Philip K. Dick’s 1969 acclaimed work of science fiction opens in the year 1992, by which time humanity has colonized the Moon aka Luna and individuals having various psychic powers are commonplace, so much so some companies hire men and women (called “telepaths” or “precogs”) based on their power to predict the future and other companies hire individuals (c
...more
Cecily
A clever, original and often very funny sci-fi story. It is about psychic power battles, the nature of death, alternative reality and changing the past. Or not.

FUN, FUN, FUN - the clothes
It was published in 1969 and starts off in a sufficiently plausible but amusingly implausible 1992. In particular, the clothes take the flamboyance of the late '60s to extraordinary heights, for no obvious reason, other than fun. On the second page, we meet a man wearing "a tabby-fur blazer and pointed yellow/>FUN,
...more
Manny
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If you require a woman-friendly message that stars Roger Ailes... Trump's the answer!<
...more
Kevin Ansbro
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who like their sci fi laced with deadpan humour.
.
.
"He felt all at once like an ineffectual moth, fluttering at the windowpane of reality, dimly seeing it from the outside."
-Philip K Dick

"A fool and his poscreds are soon parted."
-Kevin Ansbro

Please allow me to preface my review by stating that sci-fi is not normally my thang. Aside from Asimov, when I was a teenager, I've preferred to watch it, and write it, rather than read it. In fact, were it not for Obi-Wan Cecily's recommendation, I might have erroneously imagined P/>/>
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many PKD fans refer to Ubik as Dick's strangest novel. That's saying a lot!

Related image

With the pervasive advertisements for Ubik intruding into reality (or what passes for reality in the character's world), I too found Ubik bizarre in a compelling and absolutely relentless way.
It's somewhat nightmarish too for our protagonist as he races to understand the messages from his former boss. And survive. The question of what really constitutes reality is one of the central underpinnings of this short novel and
...more
Apatt
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“Herr Schoenheit von Vogelsang; sorry to break into your meditation, but a customer wishes you to assist in revving up his relative.”

Haha! I don’t know if PKD intended the above dialogue to be humorous but it is so bizarre and PKD-esque it made me chuckle. There is often a weird stiltedness to his dialogue that I find oddly charming.

I last read Ubik in 2012 (seven years ago as of today) I remember thinking “this is it, this is my favorite PKD”. Before this current reread I can barely remember anything about the p
...more
Tara
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“He felt all at once like an ineffectual moth, fluttering at the windowpane of reality, dimly seeing it from outside.”

Ubik is a fun, fascinating, and often surprisingly philosophical look at the nature of reality and the role of our perception thereof. PKD also delves masterfully, cleverly, and even quite exuberantly, into some of his other favorite food for thought, which in this case includes entropy, alienation, and the question of (in)sanity, to name but a few. All the while, the story playfully and pe
...more
Stuart
It took me 40 years to get around to it, but I finally dived into PKD's reality-bending novels over the last two years, and this one is excellent. UBIK is much stranger and more darkly humorous than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It starts out with a very far-fetched future world set in 1992, and the plot revolves around telepaths, inertials, prudence organizations, snarky coin-operated household appliances, "cold-pac" half-life moratoriums, crazily excessive clothing styles, mysterious li ...more
Warwick
What I want more than anything right now is for some fashion designer or talented artist to do a series of illustrations of the clothing in this book. When it comes to ludicrous future fashions, Ubik is the Ur-text. Among the outfits described herein are the following racy numbers:

• green felt knickers, gray golf socks, badger-hide open-midriff blouse and imitation patent-leather pumps [Al Hammond]

• a Continental outfit: tweed toga, loafers, crimson sash and a purple airplane-pr/>
...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Brilliant and deeply unsettling. Worlds unravelling into something else.
TBC... full review pending.
Q:
From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt's money-gulping door.
"I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out. Joe Chip said, "I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.” (c)
Q:
I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am. I made the
...more
Joey Woolfardis
This review can be found on Amaranthine Reads.

I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, then do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be.

Three stars, but also four stars, and two stars, and five stars and only one.

I've not read much sci-fi and I/>
...more
Alex
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"Our own homegrown Borges" is how Ursula Le Guin describes Philip K. Dick, because they both use writing to question the nature of reality. Both writers assume that everything is up for debate: the story, the page it's written on, the author writing it.

Dick is my favorite of the pack of mid-century science fiction writers. (The "Big Three" of Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke, plus Bradbury, Le Guin and him.) He's best known as a short story writer; of his 44 novels, The Man in the High Castle is his most famous but it's pretty flawed, so when Lev
...more
Abram Dorrough
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I was reading this book, a bomb exploded in my apartment, tearing my paperback copy of Ubik to pieces. The book had been badly burned and found itself in tatters. After placing it into a protective cooler packed with solid state carbon dioxide, I rushed to take it to a local book-shop (located next to the morgue) to see if there was any hope of putting the pages back together, or at least what was left of them, to be able to commune with it — my cherished, fragile half-book — every once in ...more
Marvin
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is one of Philip K. Dick's strangest novels. Those who have read his novels know that is saying a lot. But there were a few surprises for me. This is one of his wittiest novels. There are a lot of clever moments especially at the beginning. Yet sooner or later Dick will take you into the weird dimension and he does it with finesse. I do not have the patience to describe the plot. Even the Goodreads description at the top is lacking. But all the necessary ingredients... frustrated protagonis ...more
Manuel Antão
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2008
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water: "Ubik" by Philip K. Dick

"'I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, they do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be. ‘“

 
...more
Kemper
Sep 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 100, sci-fi, spooky-powers
I don't know why but I always get a huge kick out of reading an older sci-fi story that was set in the near future, but it's a date I've lived through. In 2001, I'd just randomly shout, "Kubrick and Clarke were wrong,! We don't have bases on the moon! Those fools!" This is another one where Phil didn't exactly nail 1992 writing in 1969, but it's still a pretty good story.

In this 1992, there are people with psionic powers like telepathy or precognition that are used for industrial sab
...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
2.5 Half-Life Stars

Buddy Read with Gavin the Great at BB&B

Ubik is a wonder, it is anything and everything you could ever need. It can taste like fresh brewed coffee, or a nice hoppy beer, or be used as salad dressing. It can relieve a headache or stomach ache or clean household items. It slices and It dices with a never dulling edge, plus makes your hair shine like never before. It will help you sleep, stops perspiration, freshens breath and will uplift your breasts. But wait there’s more…..

It is hard to re/>Ubik/>Buddy
...more
Brian
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have one all-time favorite movie (aside from adaptions of Hamlet): The Matrix. I novelized this movie before writing my own novel (and am still processing). I asked Goodreads if they knew of any books like this movie, and I received two suggestions by P.K. Dick, “Ubik,” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

For some time this year I left the “pleasures” of reading to pursue my dreams of writing. I set out a plan: read literary magazines and short stories, write literary stories and get
...more
Brad
Apr 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: speculative, sci-fi
The concept behind Ubik is as brilliant as any of Philip K. Dick's ideas.

Glen Runciter is dead, or maybe he's not. All the people who work for him in his anti-paranormal "Prudence Organization" are dead, or maybe they're not. But even if they're dead (having been attacked by the big Kahuna of paranormal activity), they're being kept in half-life at a Swiss cryogenic facility where they may now be under attack from a soul predator who sucks the vitality out of their half-life, devouring them to power his
...more
RJ
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
Hey, what happened to my review? It was here recently but now seems to have vanished. Maybe it died in a bomb blast on the moon. Or maybe it crawled, weakened and frightened, into my closet in the middle of the night to die. Or maybe it's not dead at all. Maybe I'm dead, and my review is alive, trying to reach me through various apparitions in what I perceive to be reality. Or maybe it's all different.

One thing's for sure: I'm going to need a lot of Ubik.
Gavin
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I've been meaning to try one of Dick's sci-fi books for years because I have enjoyed a lot of his books and novellas that got adapted into movies. Blade Runner, Minority Report, and Total Recall are all great movies! I decided to go with Ubik as my first try of Philip.K.Dick's novels. I went into this book with manageable expectations as I generally fare poorly with the classics of any genre and at nearly 50 years old I think we can rate Ubik as a classic nowadays! It was a good thing I had low ...more
Penny
This book is pure genius! Even when I was as confused as Joe Chip about what in the hell was really going on, I loved every second of it. The concept behind this novel is brilliant. We spend a great deal of it unsure of what is real and what isn't and some of the ideas Dick manages to throw in as the story progresses had me grinning and shaking my head at the crazy logic of it all.

One of my favourites was the question of whether or not you can out-random a guy who had precogs tell hi
...more
Michael
Brilliant and disturbing, the epitome of PKD’s genius and window into his madness. Published in 1969, it projects a society of 1992 totally dominated by corporations and consumerism. Two corporations take center stage and a malevolent, mysterious one behind the scenes and off-stage provides the metaphorical bullets to keep the actors dancing to their tune. This is a tale of rampant paranoia, which Dick has a special mastery of in all its flavors. As usual, his brand of horror has plenty of comic ...more
notgettingenough
It seems to me that Dick is one of those authors who has to speak for himself.  The fact that the internet is littered with forum groups trying to figure out what the ending of Ubik means attests to that.

Although back in the sixties and seventies, Dick was not the commodity he is now, nonetheless a lot of interviews exist where he does get to do just that, speak for himself. So I'm going to let him do that here.
SFR: Why do you think your books have sold so well in foreign countries,/>
:
...more
ashley c
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Seems like it's a common experience from what everyone is saying here that once you start on Dick's mindbending, acid trips of a novel you can't stop. This was my first and by the time I'm writing this I'm done with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and I'm almost done with Dr. Futurity. It's so much fun and adventure packed into one short novel.

This story tells of a 'future' (read: 1992, and that's actually before I was born) where some people are born with special abilities like telepathy a
...more
Monica
I'm going to echo one of the reviews I read earlier. What just happened?!? Apparently reality is simply a matter of perspective...

I love it when the classics are still so incredibly fascinating! This one definitely stands up to the test of time. For a better review, why reinvent the wheel when Alex has already written perfection.

4+ Stars

Listened to the audio book. Luke Daniels was excellent
Jan-Maat
This book is somewhere between the insane and the devilish with a certified Philip K. Dick twist at the end. Moderately futuristic setting, with fabulous clothes for all. During reading you get to learn that Ubik is a terribly useful product (view spoiler). Read it if you dare to be flummoxed.
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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. Dick died on ...more
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“He felt all at once like an ineffectual moth, fluttering at the windowpane of reality, dimly seeing it from outside.” 62 likes
“I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, then do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be.” 56 likes
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