David's Reviews > VALIS

VALIS by Philip K. Dick
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's review
Oct 06, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: philip-k-dick

Well, I don't really know where to start in terms of a review for this book. But I can definitely attest to this being one of the most challenging pieces of literature out there. At least of the post-modern era. I would also have to note this as being one of the most complex reads, not to say it doesn't make sense, but mainly of the intricacy of its design.

This was the 5th book I've read of Dick's, and probably the best, although each of his works are brilliant in their own unique way.

A stimulating metaphysical inquest into the mystery of an almighty presence or presences, mixed with a battle to comprehend one's own sanity.
I think that serves as the most succinct summary.

Not to mention, Dick has the uncanny ability to mix in material of a heavily serious or existential nature with poignant and clever humor.

Plot-wise, the book (and his books) are designed well enough to maintain your interest. In the case of 'VALIS', the first half of the book introduces the main character, Horselover Fat, and his growing desire to commit suicide. The narrator, Horselover Fat's dual personality--Philip--establishes early on that he will refer to Horselover in the 3rd person even though Philip and Horselover are the same person. Thus, distinguishing the fact that Fat is insane and chooses Philip to be the conscious voicing of this fact.

In addition, the rest of the 1st half mainly follows Philip explaining how Horselover Fat has been working on his 'exegesis' manuscript. This 'exegesis' was not only to serve as an inquest to ratiocinate his cosomogonic beliefs, but as a response to a 'theophanic' experience that endowed him with prophetic knowledge.
To explain within his 'exegesis' Horselover formulates his own theories surrounded by references to historical philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Parmenides, Paracelsus, to more modern thinkers such as Schopenhauer, and Carl Jung. All in all, really heavy and metaphysically-laden introspection and detective work. That is, all his arguments have a progressive logical connection to his ultimate findings ; whether in reality they hold true, it would be quite profound to conceive in the idea.

To know specifically what I am talking about, you'll have to find out for yourself. READ VALIS!!!

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