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Ubik by Philip K. Dick
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Ubik (original 1969; edition 1978)

by Philip K. Dick (Author)

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4,217761,181 (3.99)92
Member:cdmc
Title:Ubik
Authors:Philip K. Dick (Author)
Info:Panther (1978), Edition: (Reissue), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:science fiction

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Ubik by Philip K. Dick (1969)

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English (63)  French (4)  Italian (4)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I got to be honest, I had completely no idea of what I was going to get into when I started reading Ubik by Philip K. Dick. It's a title that's on "Time's 100 Best English-language Novels" and is written by one of the biggest science fiction writers of the 20th century. After reading Ubik, it's become one of my favorite science fiction books of all time.

In this world, there is a struggle between people with mental abilities (telepaths, sightseers, etc.) and those who have abilities to fight them. Glen Runciter and his wife, who he can speak to through technology even though he is dead. He and and a team of his strongest anti-psychics were then ambushed while on assignment and the books descends into a crazy journey through time and space.

I found it really hard to really understand what was going on in the book at some moments, especially when Dick was setting the plot up at the beginning. He really just threw you into the world with very little to go off of. Yes, there were some explanations of certain skills or people, but it was hard to figure out what was going on in the big picture of things. To make this confusion a little worse, the book is chock full of twists and turns. What you think was going on at one moment isn't reality... and that also may not be reality either. It makes for a very entertaining read, much better than the crazy thrillers that you can find today, but without a strong introduction, it lost some of its clarity in the process.

Its a bit of a conundrum really. I really enjoy just how crazy the book seem to be. It almost felt like it constantly left me wanting, but not necessarily related to the advancement of the plot. It's more of a wanting to figure out just what the heck is going on in the first place. You are almost stuck in the "now" time frame instead of the "what's next." It's a really different type of feeling of a book, in my opinion, and even for the trouble it gives, it is most definitely worth it.

Since it's a science fiction book, one of the major parts of the book should be the idea of a "vision of the future." In a way, Dick turns that idea on its head and fuses it with a "vision to the past." It starts with that vision of the future, a world where psychics and anti-psychics have become a business, a world where everything requires payment. By the end, everything just flips over. I don't want to spoil the book at all, but things can get pretty crazy as you make your way through the pages of the book. You can find yourself moving back in time just as time is moving forwards as well. It's a really weird concept, but it is also really intriguing.

Ubik has become one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time. Apart from the initial confusion from the near-nonexistent introduction to the world, it will grab you and not let you go until you reach the end of the book. It feels like a breath of fresh air from the types of plots and novels we find today. I can easily recommend Ubik to anyone and especially if they are interested in science fiction stories. ( )
  Plyte | Jul 21, 2014 |
This took me two days to read, but only because I was rather busy and skipped around among this and two other books; otherwise, I guess I'd have sat down and read it all at once. I don't know exactly what to say, though, except that it was well worth reading, and very interesting, and definitely full of symbolism and meaning that I didn't give too much effort to pondering as I read, but which peripherally added to my enjoyment.

The little adverts for 'Ubik' that began each chapter were, well, like a sort of commercial break. And the name's clear relation to 'ubiquitous' sort of planted an idea from the start, ran like a thread through the story...which is in keeping with the word's definition, I s'pose.

Anyway. This was fun to read--a mystery to solve, a maze of thought, dreams, life and death, sci-fi and futuristic society (the way you had to pay just to open a door--any door--, I found appalling, but also amusing so long as it remains in fiction, or at least out of my everyday experience). And the length was perfect--a short story would've been disappointing, but any longer and it would've grown tedious. And the ending...I don't know what to think of it. I know it sort of draws things together, but it seemed the story, the poor characters and myself, had had enough of doubting reality at that point...and it seemed like overkill, clumsy even. That was my own feeling, but I guess the whole "doubting reality" thing isn't meant to be pleasant, and I felt it was a bit cruel to throw in more of it right at the end when things seemed to be straightening out finally. Then again, I don't know that another sort of ending would have been any better--stories like these tend to call for an uneasy ending.

Look at me. I'm babbling. Anyway: Read Ubik. It's good. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
This took me two days to read, but only because I was rather busy and skipped around among this and two other books; otherwise, I guess I'd have sat down and read it all at once. I don't know exactly what to say, though, except that it was well worth reading, and very interesting, and definitely full of symbolism and meaning that I didn't give too much effort to pondering as I read, but which peripherally added to my enjoyment.

The little adverts for 'Ubik' that began each chapter were, well, like a sort of commercial break. And the name's clear relation to 'ubiquitous' sort of planted an idea from the start, ran like a thread through the story...which is in keeping with the word's definition, I s'pose.

Anyway. This was fun to read--a mystery to solve, a maze of thought, dreams, life and death, sci-fi and futuristic society (the way you had to pay just to open a door--any door--, I found appalling, but also amusing so long as it remains in fiction, or at least out of my everyday experience). And the length was perfect--a short story would've been disappointing, but any longer and it would've grown tedious. And the ending...I don't know what to think of it. I know it sort of draws things together, but it seemed the story, the poor characters and myself, had had enough of doubting reality at that point...and it seemed like overkill, clumsy even. That was my own feeling, but I guess the whole "doubting reality" thing isn't meant to be pleasant, and I felt it was a bit cruel to throw in more of it right at the end when things seemed to be straightening out finally. Then again, I don't know that another sort of ending would have been any better--stories like these tend to call for an uneasy ending.

Look at me. I'm babbling. Anyway: Read Ubik. It's good. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
On my to-read list for a long time, Ubik was certainly excellent, although it was infused with a bit more of the spiritual side of Philip K. Dick than I fully relate to.

Ubik was mind-bending, suspenseful, filled with earnest interesting characters, and had a science fiction invention/device that was fascinating and new to me: half-life which allows people to continue to communicate with a corpse for a limited period of time. Much of the book depends on the interplay between real life and half life and the increasingly amorphous borders between the two. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Fast moving novel that explores solipsism, perhaps, in a mind-bending manner. Dick creates a world overflowing with novelties, then shifts the entire setting of the novel, twisting the plot and characters in a manner that reminded me of the creative freedom of the novel. There's a strong whiff of meta-fictive play about the novel, but none of the pretentiousness that so often accompanies it.

( )
  Michael.McGuire | May 22, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bishop, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorémieux, AlainTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Espín, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heald, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laux, Renatesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary 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
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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:02 -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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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