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Ubik by Philip K. Dick
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Ubik (1969)

by Philip K. Dick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (85)  French (6)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
4.5ish ( )
  ThatOneLibrarian | Aug 18, 2018 |
One of the best twists/turns concept sci-fi books I have read.

( )
  simonspacecadet | Jul 29, 2018 |
Fun and all; has all the benchmarks of PKD's work but more cluttered than usual. ( )
  michaeljoyce | Dec 4, 2017 |
"'I am Ubik. Before the universe was I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, they do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be. ‘“

In “Ubik” by Philip K. Dick

This would feel like a meaningless read indeed if it wasn't, in fact, a very FUNNY one, full of a dry humor. In Ubik the characters are taken in such a subjective maze of crumbling reality, unexpected time-travelling and personal doubts, that it becomes a materialization of the absurdity of the human condition, in the form of an exhilarating fiction. If you are not into the humor of Kafka and Borges, it makes perfectly sense that you are not sensible to Dick's one. What makes Ubik a wonderful read still today? Dick didn't nail everything too tightly to the plot. The result may seem a potpourri but his worlds live and breathe. If he were writing now this book would make him a rebel and, given what he was like, would give most editors / publishers gray-hairs. It also begs the question (of others in the genre): Can you really do that?

I think the current fascination with Dick seems tied to the fact that most of his most popular books have dystopian or control themes. The other worldliness, or just around the corner-ness, of his stories, make it seem fictional, therefore enjoyable, yet also real and possible. I had been seeing a resurgence in sales of his books a couple of decades ago. This is just a speculative thought, but I wonder: If we had really been reading him for a spooky window into the future, then that means that the "seeds of the future dystopia" already started back then. Nixon had been around in Dick's time, but Reagan and the Republican nasties was their second coming. AI was only just poking its nose into things. 2000 was around the corner. Was Dick one of our clues to the future?

If you're into SF, read the rest of this review on my blog. ( )
1 vote antao | Nov 23, 2017 |
"The best way to ask for beer is to sing out Ubik. Made from select hops, choice water, slow-aged for perfect flavor, Ubik is the nation's number-one choice in beer. Made only in Cleveland."

Philip K. Dick wrote one of my favorite novels: The Man in the High Castle. Ever since then I’ve been searching for an experience to match that, reading several of his books, and nothing comes close. A Scanner Darkly opened with that same brilliance, and ultimately was an engaging mind-fuck of a read, if not up to the stylistic greatness of Castle. And Ubik was no exception. I love Dick (heehee) for his ideas, his inventiveness, his jaundiced eye peeking at corporate and government malfeasance. However, the characters often can be garish and flat all at once, the plot devices outdated and silly, and the style devoid of any trill or poetry. I know it’s science fiction—a genre appealing to a specific audience—but that didn’t stop Sturgeon or Pelevin or Delaney from writing truly artful fiction. And I do feel a bit conflicted bashing on Dick (oh Lord) since he’s given us so many great ideas and successfully lobotomized a sub-culture of writers and readers for generations. So, from Ubik—a flawed albeit interesting novel—I’ve included two passages that exemplify his creativity and humor. And I will continue to seek out another man in that high castle worthy of Dick’s best (OK, last prurient giggle).

"Prior forms, he reflected, must carry on an invisible, residual life in every object. The past is latent, is submerged, but still there, capable of rising to the surface once the later imprinting unfortunately—and against ordinary experience—vanished. The man contains—not the boy—but earlier men, he thought. History began a long time ago." ( )
1 vote ToddSherman | Aug 24, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bishop, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorémieux, AlainTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Espín, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frick, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heald, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laux, RenateTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lem, StanislawAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moisan, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pagetti, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podaný, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rauch, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Michael MarshallIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Ich sih die liehte heide
in gruener varwe stan
dar suln wir alle gehen
die sumerzeit enpahen.

I see the sunstruck forest
In green it stands complete. 
There soon we are all going, 
The summertime to meet.
Dedication
For Tony Boucher
First words
At three-thirty A.M. on the night of June 5, 1992, the top telepath in the Sol System fell off the map in the offices of Runciter Associates in New York City.
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Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679736646, Paperback)

Nobody but Philip K. Dick could so successfully combine SF comedy with the unease of reality gone wrong, shifting underfoot like quicksand. Besides grisly ideas like funeral parlors where you swap gossip for the advice of the frozen dead, Ubik (1969) offers such deadpan farce as a moneyless character's attack on the robot apartment door that demands a five-cent toll:

"I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out.

Joe Chip said, "I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it."

Chip works for Glen Runciter's anti-psi security agency, which hires out its talents to block telepathic snooping and paranormal dirty tricks. When its special team tackles a big job on the Moon, something goes terribly wrong. Runciter is killed, it seems--but messages from him now appear on toilet walls, traffic tickets, or product labels. Meanwhile, fragments of reality are timeslipping into past versions: Joe Chip's beloved stereo system reverts to a hand-cranked 78 player with bamboo needles. Why does Runciter's face appear on U.S. coins? Why the repeated ads for a hard-to-find universal panacea called Ubik ("safe when taken as directed")?

The true, chilling state of affairs slowly becomes clear, though the villain isn't who Joe Chip thinks. And this is Dick country, where final truths are never quite final and--with the help of Ubik--the reality/illusion balance can still be tilted the other way. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A dead man sends haunting warnings back from the grave, and Joe Chip must solve these mysteries to determine his own real or surreal existence

» see all 9 descriptions

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