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Beyond the Door

3.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,041 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
"Did you ever wonder at the lonely life the bird in a cuckoo clock has to lead --" wrote the editor of "Fantastic Universe" in January, 1954, blurbing this tale "-- that it might possibly love and hate just as easily as a real animal of flesh and blood? Philip Dick used that idea for this brief fantasy tale. We're sure that after reading it you'll give cuckoo clocks more r ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1954)
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Bill  Kerwin

First published in Fantastic Universe (January, 1954), this strange little story about a bad marriage, an adulterous liaison, and a little birdie who lives in a cuckoo clock and just may have a mind of its own, is just—for want of a better term—kinda “dumb”. Dick, who by this time had become an accomplished professional hack, develops the idea well, but I doubt if the idea was worth developing in the first place. Taken as a whole, it feels like a third-rate episode from a half hour 50’s antholog
I got this short story for free in my e-book reader application. I think even short stories are ought to be well written. This one failed to satisfy my taste. The language is poor, the end is predictable, and the characters are lame (well, except for the cuckoo in the clock which had a more interesting character). However, I've read worse before.
Terence Blake
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
The cuckoo clock is the object of a struggle between two régimes: the mechanical and the machinic (in the sense of Deleuze and Guattari's "desiring machines"). Larry embodies the mechanical régime: the clock is an object of consumption, the acquisition made in a favorable economic transaction. It has a job to do, and should respect its specifications, or be coerced into doing so. For Doris the clock is an experience tied to memory ("like my mother had") and to desire. Larry's expectations are p ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The strangeness of ordinary. Things.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-story
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
again, not comparable to his grand later works, or other short stories of his such as 'The Second Variety' (which, ironically, was published in 1953, one year before 'Beyond the Door').

overall rather flat storyline, not engaging or thrilling at all, doesn't really leave the reader guessing (other than "ok, why did I just read that?")

to be fair, I read this as a free ebook, so nothing's lost by reading it, other than maybe ten minutes of my life. it's not THAT bad either, in the grand scheme of b
Dylan Gelbard
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I piss on these reviews. This was a fun, creepy, and interesting short story about a possessed cuckoo clock.
Susan Molloy
Take a penny-pinching husband, his nutty wife, her secret lover, and a cuckoo clock the husband bought for her – wholesale; don’t forget, he bought it wholesale! – and you have one crazy story that would be a perfect “Gallery Night” television episode.

The wife thinks the bird communicates with her; she communicates with it, for sure. When the husband kicks her out for canoodling with her lover, he keeps the cuckoo clock, and he must live with the cuckoo bird. Or does he?

Truthfully, I had an ink
Nikiforos Rigas
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-ebook
Truly and simply remarkable!
Mehjabeen Choity
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
সায়েনস ফিকশানের পরতি কখনোই তেমন আগরহ ছিলো না। "বিজঞানযাতরা"- নামক ফেসবুক পেইজে সায়েনস ফিকশন লেখক হিসেবে ফিলিপ কে. ডিক কে পরিচয় করিয়ে দেওয়ার পর তাঁর লেখা নিয়ে আগরহী হয়ে উঠি।
তাঁর লেখা পরথম পড়া গলপ, "Beyond the doors"। লযারি তার সতরীর জনয কিনে আনে এক পাখির এলারম দেওয়া ঘড়ি, ঘনটা পড়লেই কাঠের পাখি দরজা খুলে বেরিয়ে এসে গান শুনিয়ে যায়। কখনো কি ভেবে দেখেছেন, এই কাঠের পাখির ও থাকতে পারে মানুষের মতো অনুভূতি, নিবিড়ভাবে পরযবেকষণ করতে পারে মানুষের নিতযদিনের সংসার?
অনতত আমি ভাবিনি। আর এখানেই লেখকের সারথকতা। এমন
Tiffany Lynn Kramer
I do wish a few things had been flushed out a little more but over all I found this to be an enjoyably creepy tale. The use of the cuckoo clock was superb and I definitely look forward to reading more work by Philip K. Dick.
I'm quite torn between appreciating the story but not really liking it.
I sympathize with Larry, who was a bit the antagonist in the story (or was he not?).
But then I decided to simply tribute my torn feeling as a Philip K. Dick thing.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
one is a psychopath and the other is a sociopath. or is it vice versa? or are they both a combination of the two?
Chris Conrady
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Short story about a cuckoo clock - actually a great example of storytelling, in cramming a lot into just a few pages. Doesn't really compare to Electric Sheep but it does have a questionable mechanical bird.
'Special' Ed Harris
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As short as it is poignant. Another fine short story from Mr. K. Dick. It's nice to have such good science fiction to read, though I imagine I can thank my less than thorough exploration of the genre for that.
Edwin Lowe
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Strange Science Fiction. Short Story!

Philip K. Dick scores again with a short story that is bound to leave you more than a little shaken. Do we really have nothing to fear from little hand made machines?
Ravindra Pai
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Nothing really special, would've given 2.5.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Clever short story account a malignant cuckoo clock
Jul 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Hope his books are better ))
Andrés Álvarez Iglesias
Curioso relato, alejado de la obra de Dick. Sin mucho más que decir de él.
John Yelverton
It's a pretty horrible story about a husband and wife with martial problems and a cuckoo clock with a mind of its own.
Austin Wright
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another horror-type story. Reminded me of Stephen King. About an under-appreciated cuckoo-clock. :)
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
My first audio short story.
Perfect for ironing companion. 😆
Jared Abbott
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tale
What a creepy little story. I loved it! It had the feel of one of Grimm's fairy tales, though set in the modern USA.
Senthil Kumaran
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
A simple, imaginative book. Couldn't think about the plot. If it were a different author, this book or story would have been long dead.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
A weird story. It was building up well, and then all of a sudden everything falls flat without explanation. I don't get it.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely short story
Alethea Hammer
I thought this was a book when I downloaded it, but it turned out to be a short story. It reminded me of Rod Serling's "Night Gallery". It would have made a great little episode of that show.
Michael Teare
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A very short story, a five minute read at best but an amusing concept and entertaining story none the less.
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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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