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A Maze of Death
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Group Reads > A Maze of Death - initial thoughts (no spoilers)

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Byron  'Giggsy' Paul (giggsy) | 110 comments Mod
This thread is for pre-reading thoughts and comments from the first half of the book as you get reading.

PLEASE NO SPOILERS (there will be a final thoughts thread for full book discussion)

Group Read FEBRUARY 10 through FEBRUARY 28 2015


message 2: by Rose (new)

Rose LaCroix (roselacroix) | 7 comments I read this book last year, I think. Maybe not one of PKD's very best, but a conversation piece. The edition I read was the Library of America edition bound together with the "Valis" trilogy. I didn't fully understand the logic because "Maze of Death" is a much earlier space opera style and theme compared to the picaresque "Valis." I guess there were some similarities with "The Divine Invasion" but no more than between any of PKD's other novels.


message 3: by Hertzan (last edited Jan 28, 2015 03:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hertzan Chimera (hertzanchimera) | 225 comments Maze of Death: I lied, or rather the publisher lied... it's not science fiction, imho.

Saying Philip K. Dick writes science fiction is like saying George W. Bush's primary goal is a below-par round of golf. No, wait a minute... I digress.

Philip K. Dick writes the fiction of insanity; the fiction of reality denial; the fiction of (takes deep breath) the topographical lies of the psyche drug abuse can sponsor.

READ THE REST OF MY THOUGHTS ON MAZE~ (contains spoilers, so hold back if you're gonna group-read it) here... http://www.zone-sf.com/wordworks/maze...


Byron  'Giggsy' Paul (giggsy) | 110 comments Mod
Rose wrote: "I read this book last year, I think. Maybe not one of PKD's very best, but a conversation piece. The edition I read was the Library of America edition bound together with the "Valis" trilogy. I ..."

I haven't read Maze of Death yet, but was also a little curious if it had any reason to be included with Valis trilogy. This was the 3rd and final LOA PKD edition, so my guess is that they felt they needed a 4th book to match the typical length of LOA editions and the first 2 Dick editions - and this book was simply the first choice that missed the cut on making the other editions.


message 5: by Kev (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kev | 13 comments In the UK we have the Gollancz SF masterworks collection. PKD is heavily represented in this series (rightly so of course). I try and seek these versions out of PKD novels as the cover designs, paper quality and font are all first class.


Sarah | 11 comments i just wanted to announce my initial thoughts: I picked up the book Valis and later novels, ( contents: A maze of death, Valis, The divine Invasion, The Transmigration...). I will be reading A maze of death with y'all. Initial thought on that?--looking forward to it, easy to read, and hope it feels "mindbending and is a thrill-ride"...but will read it no matter how I feel about the flow of Dick's story in A maze of death. I just don't know what I'm about to read-it is shrouded in mystery.


Sarah | 11 comments Initial thoughts: (more)... me: Reviews of this book suggest this is dark and drug induced. I think if you have read a few of (any of) Dick's books before this and watching Radio free Albemuth is smart for preparation.

I like twists and mysteries.

you: Any other initial thoughts?


Mathew Millet | 15 comments Sarah wrote: "Initial thoughts: (more)... me: Reviews of this book suggest this is dark and drug induced. I think if you have read a few of (any of) Dick's books before this and watching Radio free Albemuth is s..."

Someone has called every PKD novel drug induced :P. I haven't read it in years, and only remember a couple of details. I remember it being one of his more thought provoking novels, though.


Khoragos | 1 comments This was my intro to PKD, borrowed from my best friend in junior high, so I'm especially eager to re-visit after, well, quite a few years. As I learned much later, the religious doctrines that factor into the plot are indebted to PKD's friendship with Bishop James Pike--who became a major figure in the author's intellectual and personal life (and who, of course, was the original of the fictionalized Bishop Timothy Archer).

A couple of elements in this book (such as the development of a "protagonist" who unexpectedly slips away from his central role and the psychedelic atmosphere in general) were quite shocking in the context of the straightforward sf I was reading at the time, and led me to seek out the New Wave SF writers who were then being overshadowed by the mainstreaming of science fiction after Star Wars.


message 10: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul (poldy16061904) | 20 comments In the PKD entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (Clute and Nicholls) it says that A Maze of Death is 'a bleak poisoned exercise in theology, which has been described as his single finest work'. I read A Maze of Death about 10 years ago, and at the time thought it was good, but not in the same league as Ubik or Valis. I'm looking forward to reading it again with the group.


message 11: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim I haven't received my copy yet, but I'm really looking forward to this one - "a bleak poisoned exercise in theology" has got to be a great read...


message 12: by Kev (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kev | 13 comments Yep looking forward to this one too. Copy received, just finishing a book from the excellent Flashman series and then I'm jumping right in.


message 13: by John (new)

John (j_v_bkny) | 7 comments Just got the book. Just read the Author;s foreword. Definite has me intrigued.. Just finished re-reading the Way Station (Simak). Must adjust my brain to PKD.. ok Ready...


message 14: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Made it to the halfway point. Liking it so far.

His tit fetish is manifesting as repetitions of "peek-a-boo bra", although I suspect I'll be spared in the second half.

Interesting how he names specific products like V.O. whiskey and Peter Dawson scotch.


message 15: by John (new)

John (j_v_bkny) | 7 comments It was weird how LOTR was playing on a 3d TV.


message 16: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul (poldy16061904) | 20 comments I'm going to start reading today. Is this the only PKD novel to have descriptions of what happens in each chapter on the Contents page? I can't recall any other times he did this.


Sarah | 11 comments Jim, on the contents page I think PKD os being sarcastic.


message 18: by John (new)

John (j_v_bkny) | 7 comments Just finished. I thought it was very good.


message 19: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (lovegestapo) | 10 comments Mathew wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Initial thoughts: (more)... me: Reviews of this book suggest this is dark and drug induced. I think if you have read a few of (any of) Dick's books before this and watching Radio free..."

I've heard people say he was into psychedelics, which is really ignorant. He did take amphetamines for a long time, but Dick's imagination was Dick's imagination, without a doubt.


message 20: by Kev (last edited Feb 16, 2015 01:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kev | 13 comments In my version Dick himself confesses that one of the scenes is an exact replica of an LCD trip he had.

Just finished chapter two. Enjoying so far. From the blurb I thought it would be similar to Three Stigmata... but its very different so far. I like how Seth Morley's character starts coming over all depressive when he's loading up his spaceship with all his possessions and realises its nearly all junk. I'm sure most of us have had that feeling a least once in our lives when we move out.


message 21: by Mathew (last edited Feb 17, 2015 10:06AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mathew Millet | 15 comments Nathan Mark wrote: "Mathew wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Initial thoughts: (more)... me: Reviews of this book suggest this is dark and drug induced. I think if you have read a few of (any of) Dick's books before this and watc..."

I love how people just assume he was into psychedelics because of his creativity. He did begin to suffer mild dementia from amphetamine abuse, though. He said Three Stigmata was influenced by a hallucination. Then there's the infamous transcendental experience he had under sodium pentothal.

@Kev I'd never heard that Maze of Death had a scene influenced by his LCD trip. I'll have to look that up, that's really interesting.

I still like to think the affects of drugs were not one of the more notable factors in his creative process.


message 22: by Hertzan (last edited Jul 23, 2015 01:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hertzan Chimera (hertzanchimera) | 225 comments Hmm, I just tried to re-read Maze of Death and it caused me 'utmost offence' and 'intense boredom', so I stopped. Enjoy discussing this book, but I won't be 'going there' with you.

Most of PKD's naive linear extrapolisms are fun, this one was anoying.

:)


ᴹᵗᴮᵈ멘붕 (mtbd215) i just started reading this i think it is absolutely amazing thus far


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