Benji's Reviews > Ubik

Ubik by Philip K. Dick
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Updated: It's been quite some time since finishing this, and yet teh book remains with me. I like it even more, I look back on it fondly and think it is fun and sort-of cute. This is one that for me the resonance continues for quite some time afterwards.
My first Philip Dick novel. I liked it, a good 24-hour's read. And it is fun and well done and fresh, and it inverts the sci-fi landscape by taking us progessively into the past, seeing the things around us in our world, with a fresh eye (which is what sci-fi is supposed to do). The less you know the better, and its not a heavy read, its not too fantastical or hard to locate yourself in the world. Could have gone on for another 700 pages if he wanted to. Good also for its influence on some of my most dear movies.

And the small touches: Bliss is one characer, asking about world history and, the never-referred to joke is, the less you know, the better: Ignorance is Bliss.
Though this TIME 100 review says a lot, it doesnt distract from the work. But I wonder, why did they choose this sci fi novel over others to put on the list? The literary merits are not touched on at all, compared to other times where the whole review is the painstaking efforts they take to demonstrate why one book is chosen over others.

From the TIME 100 list:

An accident has occurred. Joe Chip and his colleagues—all but one of them—have narrowly escaped an explosion at a moon base. Or is it the other way round? Did Joe and the others die, and did the one fatality, Glen Runciter, actually survive? If Glen is dead and Joe alive, why does Joe keep getting weird messages from Glen? Is Joe's experience of his post-accident life just a hallucination, played out as his flash-frozen body lies in suspended animation? Joe's reality begins to fall apart, and a mysterious, vaguely mystical substance called Ubik—available in a handy spray can—appears to be the only thing that can stabilize it. From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you'll never be sure you've woken up from.

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