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VALIS by Philip K. Dick
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VALIS (original 1981; edition 2011)

by Philip K. Dick

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2,900411,988 (4)61
Member:pnorth
Title:VALIS
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Mariner Books (2011), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Science fiction

Work details

VALIS by Philip K. Dick (1981)

Recently added byJacob_Vaz, Zdubs, paruline, private library, Sandeman, cohles, fatdulac, night_owl13, GPlumb
  1. 10
    Briefing for a Descent into Hell by Doris Lessing (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Spiritually-oriented narratives in which sanity and reality are brought into hypothetical opposition, both with science-fictional elements.
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English (36)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
This is the most bizarre book I've ever read. I kept reading to the end to see if the author would start to make more sense. But it's the same all the way through. The whole book is inside an insane person's mind. ( )
  WildMaggie | Sep 1, 2013 |
Wow! That's how I'll start my review on this book. Dick uses the vehicle of fiction to understand the meaning behind his spiritual experience. I have had a similar experience and a lot of what is revealed in Valis runs parallel to what happened to me, which is why I personally resonated with the story.

What drew me in was Dick’s use of first and third person in the narration. The reason for the switch was so that the narrator could be more objective about his spiritual experience. However, this split in narration evolves into something greater, which I won’t mention here as I don't want to give it away. Dick’s decision to use two points of view is eventually made very clear. I couldn’t see this story being told any other way.

Valis is filled with introspection, madness, and spiritual insight, all effectively seasoned with humor. Dick never takes himself too seriously and always makes it seem as if he’s open to every explanation that he muses over. My personal favorites in this book were the movie sequence, the discussion between Phil and his friends about the meaning behind it and their subsequent meeting of Sophia. During the reading of the book, I was noticing similarities between Dick and Robert Anton Wilson, and I was pleasantly surprised when Dick mentioned RAW's book, Cosmic Trigger!

Valis is not an easy book to read, and the plot is thin, but if you're looking for something with depth, you'll enjoy it. ( )
  elenipapanou | Aug 22, 2013 |
The most brilliant sci-fi novel I've ever read, and maybe the best. ( )
  blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
A common saying is that there is a thin line between genius and insanity. PKD turns the line into a 4D hypercube and goes on at length about Gnosticism, WWII battles, history, politics, drug culture, and its still incredibly interesting. I won't pretend to judge on the nature of what happened to him, but his books are as interesting to think about as ever. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Dizzyingly layered; demands to be re-read, but not until my head has stopped swimming.

Whether you buy-in to Dick's religious/philosophical position or not, there's certainly lots to think about and, if you make it through to the end, it will stay with you for a long time.

As is usual with PKD, there's much here about the nature and perception of reality and what it is to be human. There's a big chunk of auto-biography and painful honesty. Where PKD deals with characters, they are by turns funny, infuriating, warm, pitiful and frightening. There's also big chunks of religious and philosophical exposition (much of which went over my head, hence the need to re-read), so it's not a book I'd recommend for everyone. If you haven't read PKD before, it's probably better to start with something else and come to this in 5 to 10 book's time. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Louit, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masera, RubénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosvall, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Horselover Fat's nervous breakdown began the day he got the phonecall from Gloria asking if he had any Nembutals.
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Fish cannot carry guns.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679734465, Paperback)

The first of Dick's three final novels (the others are Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer). Known as science fiction only for lack of a better category, "Valis" takes place in our world and may even be semi-autobiographical.

The proponent of the novel, Horselover Fat, is thrust into a theological quest when he receives communion in a burst of pink laser light. From the cancer ward of a bay area hospital to the ranch of a fraudulent charismatic religious figure who turns out to have a direct com link with God, Dick leads us down the twisted paths of Gnostic belief, mixed with his own bizarre and compelling philosophy. Truly an eye opening look at the nature of consciousness and divinity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:39 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Horselover Fat begins receiving what he considers to be divine revelations that imply extraterrestrial forces are interfering in the affairs of the Earth.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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