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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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3,122451,805 (3.96)89
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)

  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 (40)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Very confusing and somewhat annoying at first since the author seemed to keep repeating himself on many points. As the story developed though, I realized that it was all a very well-planned storytelling device. By the time I finished this book, I realized how thoroughly it had pulled me onto the crazy edge that the author was dancing on while writing the story. Very, very clever Mr. Dick! ( )
  ScoLgo | Apr 11, 2016 |
The main character in VALIS is Horselover Fat, an author surrogate. "Horselover" echoes the Greek etymology of the name Philip, while in German, Dick's surname means "fat".

Dick, as narrator, states early in the book that the creation of the character "Horselover Fat" is to allow him some "much needed objectivity." In this particular work the narrator is also a fictional character provided as a cool, pragmatic counter-point to Horselover's slow disintegration.

Even though the book is written in the first-person-autobiographical, for most of the book Dick treats himself and Fat as two separate characters; he describes conversations and arguments with Fat, and harshly if sympathetically criticizes his opinions and writings. The major subject of these dialogues is spirituality, as Dick/Fat is/are ostensibly obsessed with several religions and philosophies, including Christianity, Taoism, Gnosticism and even Jungian psychoanalysis, in the search for a cure for what he believes is simultaneously a personal and a cosmic wound. Near the end of the book the messianic figure, incarnated by the child Sophia (a name associated with Wisdom in many Gnostic texts, literally meaning "wisdom" in Greek [ Σοφία]), temporarily cures him, and the narrator describes his surprise that Horselover Fat has suddenly disappeared from his side.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Bizarre story that kept evolving in increasingly stranger ways. I did enjoy the elements from Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Gnostic Christianity. ( )
  dewbertb | Jan 21, 2016 |
If this had been my first Philip K. Duck novel, I would have never read another. I didn't find it funny or a joy to read. It was a chore.

I honestly don't know much about the author, but this book was just as insane as several of the characters in it.

If you're going to pick up a PKD novel, start with something like A Scanner Darkly. ( )
  GeekGirlM | Dec 8, 2015 |
GOD IS NO WHERE

GOD IS NOW HERE ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Feb 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 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
North, HeidiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosvall, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Russell Galen

who showed me the right way
First words
Horselover Fat's nervous breakdown began the day he got the phonecall from Gloria asking if he had any Nembutals.
Quotations
Fish cannot carry guns.
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Disambiguation notice
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:38 -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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