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Our Friends from Frolix 8

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,575 ratings  ·  183 reviews
For all the strange worlds borne of his vast and vivid imagination, Philip K. Dick was largely concerned with humanity’s most achingly familiar heartaches and struggles. In Our Friends From Frolix 8, he clashes private dreams against public battles in a fast-paced and provocative tale that ultimately addresses our salvation both as individuals and a whole.

Nick Appleton is
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 16th 2009 by Vintage (first published June 1970)
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May 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our Friends from Frolix 8, first published by Philip K Dick in 1970 is classic PKD.

An observant student of Dick’s work will recognize many recurring themes such as government surveillance, isolation, affinity with the working classes, Biblical and classical references, rejection of elitism, paranoia and drug use. This one turns drug use on its ear, as many drugs are legal but a “dealer” in this novel sales illegal tracts from a revolutionary minority political hero.

There is also an underlying
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2017, american, fiction
"We may all be that soon. Unhatched eggs sat on by a cosmic chicken."
- Philip K. Dick, Our Friends from Frolix 8


I'm not sure how it stands as far as pages read, but in books read - no one is close for me to Philip K. Dick. I think this makes 29 or 30 of Dick's novels I've read (I won't count the LOA versions for the total, obviously). Just in case you are wondering, Nabokov, le Carré and Roth and the 2, 3, 4th place finishers (so far). When I think of PKD - the two-word description I keep coming

"We may all be that soon. Unhatched eggs sat on by a cosmic chicken."

A great title. A repressive government made up of two groups of elites who pretend to be opposed to each other. Said government sends dissidents to labor colonies in southwestern Utah and on Luna. Telepathic dictator of said government subjects his flunkies to monologues about his acrimonious divorce and convoluted plots to assassinate his former wife (incidentally, during the time he wrote this novel, 1968-69, Phil was on his
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Unlike Philip K. Dick's previous two novels, 1969's "Ubik" and 1970's "A Maze of Death," his 27th full-length sci-fi book, "Our Friends From Frolix 8," was not released in a hardcover first edition. Rather, it first saw the light of day, later in 1970, as a 60-cent Ace paperback (no. 64400, for all you collectors out there). And whereas those two previous novels had showcased the author giving his favorite theme--the chimeralike nature of reality--a pretty thorough workout, "Our Friends" impress ...more
Joey Woolfardis
Most of the sci-fi elements were pretty cool and very interesting, but not much explored to the extent I would have liked. The characters were all annoying and boring and kind of stereotypical and I didn't much care for what happened to them, but thought Thors Provoni and his friend from Frolix 8 were probably the best thing of the whole story.

I don't feel qualified to really write anything substantial in sci-fi as I'm so new to it and so lacking in having read any of it, but this felt really la
Mar 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-c, hardcover, special
First off, I loved the artwork for the hardcover Book Club edition by Kim Whitesickles - it took a while to find a decent copy. I consider this as PKD's last 'pulp novel' of his career.

I know that "Sandy" (in my opinion, GR's most respectful PKD reviewer), pointed out a multitude of mechanical flaws in the narrative, and he surely is correct. To be sure, some editor should have sorted all of these oversights out before sending this manuscript to press - but as I understand it, it was way past th
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Whenever I read Philip K. Dick, I react in exactly the same way. The first few pages, I tell myself that, after all, he isn't very good. And then the jagged paranoiac genius of the man kicks in, takes hold, and carries me along. And what a ride it is! Some 200 years in the future, the earth is under the control of Willis Gram, a telepath who sits around all day in pajamas, robe, and slippers while his "New Men," geniuses with bloated heads, give him advice. If one is not an "Unusual" (telepath) ...more
I'll be honest, I didn't really get it. As a huge fan of a lot of his other work (I'll resist the urge to suggest I'm a fan of Dick). And, I wanted to love it, I really did. I just didn't get it.

Maybe I'll give it another go sometime...
Aaron Arnold
I began reading this book just as the "Operation Varsity Blues" college admissions scandal story broke, and in confirmation of the unspoken rule that "all politics is in Philip K Dick somewhere", the very first chapter involves the main character's son having his score on an admissions test invalidated so that the rule of the elite can continue unabated. Fittingly, this is one of his more political novels, and yet one of the few with a happy ending. I liked it, but with the caveats appropriate t ...more
Pickle Farmer
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely one of Dick's better novels--maybe even top 10. Reads like a more religion-obsessed "1984". Read my full (if brief) review here: ...more
Angus McKeogh
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Fairly good read. Kind of a treatise on class structure. Perhaps a bit too ambitious for the result. Dick appears to digress and get lost and bogged down in too many directions to ultimately tie them all together for a brilliant finish. Just one of his middling efforts in my experience.
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i love pkd, but this book runs around at the height of his "wives are horrible, pathetic shrews; the only other women are vibrant pixie sex monkeys" bullshit.

the end is awesome, though.

but he forgot to tell us that these "new men" have big heads until halfway through, which is kinda bullshit.
I enjoyed three quarters of this book. Unfortunately the end wanders off and the plot loses cohesion and focus.
Marissa van Uden
This isn't my favorite PKD (it sits pretty low in the pack), but it's still PKD which means I had a ton of fun reading it. I'll list a few things I enjoyed.

- Wives criticizing their husbands in a manner described as 'wifewise' (lol)
- A world where alcohol is illegal (punishment is one year mandatory confinement without possibility of parole) but where drugs are legal and used casually;
- Society's equivalent to street pushe
Luke Devenish
What a quirky little oddity. I haven't read Philip K Dick before - a somewhat embarrassing thing to admit - yet I'll certainly be reading him again, even though, I somewhat suspect, this isn't the finest example of his sci-fi genius. While certainly entertaining, this book is a bit like two hundred pages or so of extended foreplay. By the time the real excitement starts, it's all over in a hail of brainwaves. What I loved most was the telepathic Council Chairman Willis Gram, a hilarious villain, ...more
Holly (spoopyhol)
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Nick Appleton is an Old Man, an anxiety-ridden pill-popping menial labourer, whereas Council Chairman Willis Gram is the psionically gifted, despotic oligarch is a planet ruled by the super intelligent New Men. Nicks prospects look bleak, until things take a decidedly unusual turn when Thors Provoni, the revolution’s leader, returns from ten years of intergalactic hiding with a ninety-ton protoplasmic slime that is bent on creating a new world order...’

This was my first ever Philip K. Dick nove
Cliff Jr.
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have really mixed feelings about this one. The main character is a bit of a scumbag. But you're seeing everything through his eyes, so you wind up feeling kind of dirty, like you're not supposed to think he's a scumbag. If you can keep those feelings at bay and maybe care still care what happens to the guy anyway, then this is a great story.

In classic PKD fashion, this one sets up a situation that's very clearly unjust, infuriatingly so. Then he proceeds to pick at the complexities of the situ
David Ross
A very typical PKD story. Feels very much like a story close to his home life, with a man leaving his family for a younger woman but with the lack of guilt the protagonist feels and how quickly the family disappear into the ether make him seem quite selfish. The dialogue veers into melodrama a bit much for me. I'm a huge PKD fan but this is not one of his best.
Patrik Sahlstrøm
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, Dick is almost prophetic in his description ("your problem is that you can not keep your personal and your private lives apart" of politicians. Witty book and one of his more accesible books. Highly recommended if you want get into Mr Dicks writing :-)
Byron  'Giggsy' Paul
quite a fun read at the moment, as the leader of Earth in the book - Council Chairmen Gram is very Trumpesque
Roddy Williams
Nick Appleton lives in a world governed by two new types of human, the New Men and The Unusuals. Children, like Nick’s son Bobby, are given a test when they are eleven, to determine if they are fit to work in government. Nick is convinced that the tests are not rigged but his son knows otherwise.
The tests are rigged, and we are privy to a discussion in the testing centre before Nick and his son even arrive, deciding whether the boy should pass or not. Bobby is quite cynically convinced he will n
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PKD fans, Matrix fans, sic fi fans
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
The main thing I remember about this book is that I got it from my ex-wife when we split up (she had read it and wasn't interested in keeping it) and that I read some other science fiction writer's denunciation of it right about the same time. I can't recall who it was (possibly Thomas Disch?), but it was in the context of a general discussion of PKD's work, and I recall the wording as, more or less, "...of course, no writer is perfect, and even Dick had his bad days. Could anything possibly be ...more
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading it; still undecided what I think of it.

Thought this book was meh, until the ending. The conversation Nick has with Amos Ild hit me especially hard (partially because some parts relate jarringly to my own life at this point).

Spoiler Alert

Thoughts to ponder over:
1. The Frolixian keeps emphasizing the fact that he/his race has no wish to invade the Earth, destroy human beings, etc. However, we don't (and will never) know his mind for sure. I found his method (eliminating New M
Oct 12, 2013 rated it liked it
In future Earth there are 3 types of citizens: the New Men (super-smart) and Unusuals (psychic powers) control the government. Most citizens are Undermen and perform menial tasks. When children are around 12 years-old, they are tested to see if they qualify as New Men or Unusuals. The tests are rigged, and when Nick Appleton’s very bright son fails the exam, Nick decides to take up with the resistance movement. The story zooms along with a love triangle, messy divorce, flying car (squib) chases, ...more
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Typical very cool Philip K. Dick book with rampant paranoia, people with different psychic abilities and a dark future. This is one of his best that he wrote late in his career. This is also the funniest book by him I've ever read with a few outright hilarious lines. And you won't believe what the protagonist does for a living. The only science fiction author who can come up with such bizzare ideas and yet make it all work.
May 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people with brains
I liked this because it reminds me that any "simple" and cruel solution to the problem "how should the world be run" can be undone by a "complex" solution that is at least marginally less cruel. It gives me hope.
Kilburn Adam
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another awesome book by Philip K Dick. Still so many of his books to read. I'm so glad he was was such a prolific writer.
Karl Kindt
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This has all the things one wants in a PKD novel.
Shahab Zargari
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Classic PKD!
Kirk Johnson
With the exception of the last paragraph, PKD never kicks into his literary mode in this book, and it makes for painful reading all the way through. I am sorry for myself for reading it.
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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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“God is dead,' Nick said. 'They found his carcass in 2019. Floating in space near Alpha.'

'They found the remains of an organism advanced several thousand times over what we are,' Charley said. 'And evidently could create habitable worlds and populate them with living organisms, derived from itself. But that doesn't prove it was God.”
“I am life,’ the girl said.
‘What?’ he said, startled.
‘To you, I am life. What are you, thirty-eight? Forty? What have you learned? Have you done anything? Look at me, look. I’m life and when you’re done with me, some of it rubs off on you. You don’t feel so old now, do you? With me here in the squib beside you.’
Nick said, ‘I’m thirty-four and I don’t feel old. As a matter of fact, sitting here with you makes me feel older, not younger. Nothing is rubbing off.’
‘It will,’ she said.”
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