I always expect alot from him and i can enjoy the low level,mid level books of his but they make respect me more books like The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Dr.Palmer Elderitch, Now Wait for Last Year, Flow My Tears The Policeman said, Dr.Bloodmoney.
Those are the best i have read so far. I have read 10 books of him and have many left. He was so prolific that it doesnt matter if half of the other books are not that great. Im actually surprised he could write so often,so many books and still have them be acclaimed,rated.
Can i ask which are the other 4 PKD books you have read? The Man in the High Castle is the perfect book to read of him to read first that comm thread was right. It is not his usual style,calmer than his other but his writing is in top form.
The Walking Dead,Fatale,Near Death,Storm Dogs,Happy,BPRD,XO-Manowar
American Vampire,Animal Man,Swamp Thing
Daredevil, Winter Soldier,Indestructible Hulk
Dr. Bloodmoney or How we got along after the bomb, Now wait for last year, Flow my tears, the policeman said and Scanner darkly
If I had to rate my enjoyment of the novels, it would be:
1. Flow my Tears the Policeman Said
2. Now Wait for Last Year
3. Dr. Bloodmoney
4. Scanner Darkly
Scanner was an excellent novel, just depressing. Of course, it was supposed to be depressing.
I just got done reading an old Ace double that contained the 100 page novella The Unteleported Man by Phil Dick. Enjoyable,a few great concepts like the future method of harassing those who owe money.A little weird is that it takes place in 2014 and the story has instellar space flight,robot servants and other items that are at least a century away.
My question is: I read that late in life,Phil tried expanding this 1964 novella with another 100 pages and re-titled it Lies Inc.It was published after Phil departed with a little finishing-off touch by a different author. The review of the revision says the extra pages are basically about an LSD-type hallucinatory experience.The reviewer had an extremely low regard to that whole passage.
Any other readers of Lies Inc to confirm or rebut?I think I have the novel version somewhere in the house and wonder if its worth reading the longer edition
The Lies Inc. version is ... interesting, though definitely not particularly successful. My understanding is that the second half is basically PKD's attempt to re-create the longer version he's written back in '65, much of which was lost over the years, though some of the orginal writing was incorporated as well.
Is it worth reading? For a PKD obsessive like me, certainly. (Other than the last 4 or 5 posthumously published novels, as well as the second half of Lies Inc., I've read his first 36 or so novels at least twice; about half of those I've read 3 times, & the best [IMHO] 10 or so 4 times, except for the first of his I ever encountered, Time Out of Joint, for which the count is 5.) For the more casual readers, probably not.
I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.
I recently picked up a copy of PKD's "Exegesis", a collection of extracts from the notebooks assembled and edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem. Haven't started reading it seriuosly yet, but on the inside cover there's a reproduction of a crude diagram Dick drew to represent what in the accompanying text he refers to as his "meta novel":
The diagram has Valis in a central box surrounded by other boxes containing the titles of the other ten books. In clockwise order, starying from the 1:00 position:"Valis" is the Cypher Book - Code Book - to the whole 10-volume Meta-Novel. I will someday be read as such.
MitHC (Man in the High Castle, presumably)
Eye (in the Sky?)
Martian TS (Time-Slip)
Tears (i.e. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)
Frozen Journey (short story, not a novel, AFAIR)
Maze (of Death)
Game Players of Titan
Joint (as in Time Out of)
3 Stigmata (of Palmer Eldritch)
I've read all these except for Game Players of Titan and it's striking that while they're all amongst PKD's very best books I wouldn't have connected them with VALIS, except in the sense that all PKD's stories are concerned with a certain number of ideas that recur in them over and over. Looking forward to reading all these again and later on, the Exegesis itself to see if they hit me differently in this new context.
I like Divine Invasion a lot more than VALIS, not that either is superior to the other. The levels of metaphor in DI just opens up like flames in a flower budding in flower in a field, and I dig that pretty strong. The Finnegans Wake stuff is pretty sweet, too, and the Schopenhauer.
The goat's seduction, and minuteness, towards the end, makes me physically ill every time I reread it.
I haven't read the Exegesis (just the earlier-released excerpts), but Dick seems to take the Joycean view of the whole Eternal Return phenomenon; that it's unfair or unrequited. As opposed to Nietzsche or Heidegger finding more comfort in it.
I hadn't read Finnegans Wake or Schopenhauer at the time and, to be honest, don't recall the references to them in The Divine Invasion, which I haven't looked at since that first reading back in the late 70s or early 80s. But I'm hoping to read or re-read a lot of PKD sometime down the road, so I look forward to seeing if they strike me differently after all these years.
(edit) BTW, haven't read enough Heidegger to know what he said about the Eternal Return, but I think Nietzsche would have taken issue with the word "comfort".
Last edited by berk; 12-27-2013 at 11:29 PM.