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Old 10-18-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
bloodlover
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Help with Philip K. Dick

Good evening readers! I come to you looking to a solution for my problem regarding the already mentioned author. Now I will be fair and say that I've only tried to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (once before and once after seeing Blade Runner) and failed miserably. The book just didn't stick to me. I'm sure he's a good author and since I am mostly into SF I will find at least one of his books enjoyable but I was wondering if someone could recommend something in special.

Same thing happened with John Fowles when I read Mantissa and Murakami's A Wild Sheep Case. They are authors that I adore now but my first contact with them was not really good so I'm thinking that this might be the same with Philip K. Dick.

Thx for your time
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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I also thought that this title was a bit hard to follow at times. There are some great moments I found in it though. There's this one paragraph describing the silence of the now almost abandoned Earth and how it's completely taking over that is simply beautiful.

Also a background on his Schizophrenia could help a bit to understand some of the things related to the religion, mercerism, described in the book.

But if you're decided to let this book go and try a different one, I think "Clans of the Alphane Moon" was easier to go through and had a better pace to it. And again, his psychologic condition does give a bit of background to the book.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
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Try Ubik. It's not my fave but a lot of peeple love it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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'Eye in the Sky' could be good starting point as well.
I had 20 years between that and last year I managed to read 'Now Wait for Last Year' and 'We Can Build You'. Still have 'Lies, Inc.' and 'The Simulacra' waiting in the shelf.
I'm no PK Dick fan myself but for me his late books are excellent training to keep the story in control all time.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
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I'd recommend Ubik, too. Of the good ones, it's the one that's most representative of his other work, in my opinion. If you like Ubik, then there is a spectrum of other similar works ranging from nearly as good to really quite bad, whereas if you liked, say, The Man in the High Castle (which I don't, particularly), then I don't really know where you'd go from there.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #6
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The book that nobody seems to mention, but I loved was the alternate history novel, "The Man in the High Castle". The United States has lost WWII with Japan controlling the West coast and Germany controlling most of the East.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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My recommendation would be to start with his short stories. Smaller investment, and IMO, that's where he really shined. His novels were OK, but not my favorite pieces of his work.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:14 PM   #8
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I think 'man in the high castle' is one of his most accessible of the novels.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
The book that nobody seems to mention, but I loved was the alternate history novel, "The Man in the High Castle". The United States has lost WWII with Japan controlling the West coast and Germany controlling most of the East.
I believe that book won the Hugo Award for Best Novel.




Don
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:51 PM   #10
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PKD wrote an awful lot of novels, and they are (IMHO, of course) of very uneven quality. I'd go with The Man in the High Castle, Ubik, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said or VALIS (in this order). Skip Man the High Castle if you dislike alternate history, though.

BTW, do read his essay How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later. It contains one of my favorite quotes, ever:

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:33 PM   #11
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If Electric Sheep isn't doing it for you, try to start with some of his short stories. They're a lot stronger than his novels tend to be. After that, give Ubik and We Can Build You a shot.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bZkindle View Post
I think 'man in the high castle' is one of his most accessible of the novels.
I agree, it's in the dead middle between the stuff he wrote to eat (the zap gun) and the stuff he wrote because he was crazy (VALIS)

Which is not to say that his crazy isn't instructive, but you don't want to start there.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:01 PM   #13
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No one's mentioned Dr Bloodmoney. It's referenced indirectly in popular culture all of the time. It's not as out there as some of his novels, it would be a generic 60's postapocalypic novel if not for all the weird bits. I think it's on the stranger end of accessible.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:38 AM   #14
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My main problem with PKD is that half the time I can't remember whether or not I've read something. I have no idea if I've read Dr Bloodmoney.
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