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Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick

Time Out of Joint

by Philip K. Dick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This one felt like a couple of different short story ideas pasted together. Typical early Phil - unlikeable characters and a storyline that knows where it wants to end up but not sure how to get there, so a bunch of stuff happens and finally the inevitable comes knocking. Even his characters seem to be aware of the plot that's chasing after them, they run and hide for a while but then just give up, sit down and wait for the men in suits to pick them up. A sigh of relief, the struggle is over, and so too, this book. ( )
  MartinEdasi | Feb 14, 2017 |
It is always fascinating to see how a writer from the 1950's imagines the future, and it's weird to read such a story from the perspective of 2016. There is a beautiful portrait of the carefree suburban '50s USA. (the place the conservatives always want to take us back to). But hovering over this utopia is a sense of unease and disquiet which is masterfully drawn out by the writer. The story, about a world that is not what it seems, is a favourite theme of PK Dick, and it has inspired many similar films and books since. This one is the original, and it's a true classic. ( )
  Estramir | Oct 2, 2016 |
As the novel opens, its protagonist Ragle Gumm believes that he lives in the year 1959 in a quiet American suburb. His unusual profession consists of repeatedly winning the cash prize in a local newspaper competition called, "Where will the little green man be next?". Gumm's 1959 has some differences from ours: the Tucker car is in production, and Uncle Tom's Cabin was recently written. As the novel opens, strange things begin to happen to Gumm. A soft-drink stand disappears, replaced by a small slip of paper with the words "Soft-Drink Stand" written on it. Pieces of our 1959 turn up: an article on Marilyn Monroe (who didn't exist in their world), and radios (which had been abandoned at the dawn of television). People with no apparent connection to Gumm mention him by name, including military aircraft pilots. Few other characters notice these or experience similar anomalies; the sole exception is Gumm's supposed brother-in-law, Victor "Vic" Nielson, in whom he confides. A neighbor woman, Mrs. Keitelbein, invites him to a civil defense class where he sees a model of a strange military factory. He has the odd feeling he's been in that building before.

Confusion gradually mounts for Gumm. His neighbor Bill Black, observing this, starts worrying: "Suppose Ragle is becoming sane again?" In fact, Gumm does become sane, and the deception surrounding him (erected to protect and exploit him) begins to unravel.

Gumm tries to escape the town and is turned back by kafkaesque obstructions. He sees a magazine with himself on the cover, in a military uniform, at the factory depicted in the model. He tries a second time to escape, this time with Vic, and succeeds. He learns that his idyllic town is a constructed reality designed to protect him from the frightening fact that he lives on a then-future Earth (circa 1998) that is at war with its colonists on the Moon, who are fighting for independence. Gumm has a unique ability to predict where the colonists' nuclear strikes will be aimed. Previously Gumm did this work for the military, but then he defected to the colonists' side and planned to secretly emigrate to the moon. He was captured, his memory erased, and the fake town created so he would continue predicting missiles in the guise of a newspaper contest, without moral qualms about being on the wrong side.

When Gumm realizes his true history, he decides to emigrate to the Moon after all, because yearning to explore and migrate is an innate human tendency. Vic rejects this belief, and returns to the town. The book ends with hope for peace, because the colonists are more willing to negotiate than the Earth government has been telling its citizens.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Time Out of Joint is an early work of sci-fi by one of the undisputed masters of the genre, Philip K. Dick. Like some of his later works such as [b:The Man in the High Castle|216363|The Man in the High Castle|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347388495s/216363.jpg|2398287] and [b:Ubik|22590|Ubik|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327995569s/22590.jpg|62929], Time Out of Joint is concerned with the nature of reality and how much one can truly know it.

The central character lives in an idyllic suburban town, which itself is Dick's satire on the materialistic and escapist suburbs of 1950s California, but ultimately finds out that things are not as they seem. Without too many more spoilers, Dick expertly crafts a tense and paranoid atmosphere, sowing doubt up until the final reveal.

An excellent work on constructed realities that predates many others (most notably The Truman Show), this showcases Dick at his best. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Un libro della fine degli anni '50 e, come spesso accade con Dick, attualissimo. E' innegabile che da questo romanzo siano state tratte idee per molti romanzi e film successivi (Truman Show è l'esempio più eclatante), ed è il libro migliore per cominciare la lettura di questo autore, sia per le ovvie ragioni cronologiche, sia perché racchiude già buona parte dei suoi temi più cari (la percezione soggettiva della realtà, la fallibilità dei ricordi, cosa determini la propria identità...). Una stella in meno per via del finale, troppo sbrigativo e onestamente debole (dove per esempio un dilemma morale che è al centro dell'ultima parte del romanzo viene risolto all'improvviso in maniera per niente soddisfacente). ( )
  Marco_Soldo | Jul 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beekman, DougCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burger, GerdTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colmer, RoyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krohn, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rebora, PinucciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stathis, LouAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stimpson, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From the cold-storage locker at the rear of the store, Victor Nielson wheeled the cart of winter potatoes to the vegetable section of the produce department.
Da câmara frigorífica na traseira da loja, Victor Nielsen rodou um carro de batata nova para a secção de hortaliças do departamento de produtos.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037571927X, Paperback)

Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick’s classic depiction of the disorienting disparity between the world as we think it is and the world as it actually is. The year is 1998, although Ragle Gumm doesn’t know that. He thinks it’s 1959. He also thinks that he served in World War II, that he lives in a quiet little community, and that he really is the world’s long-standing champion of newspaper puzzle contests. It is only after a series of troubling hallucinations that he begins to suspect otherwise. And once he pursues his suspicions, he begins to see how he is the center of a universe gone terribly awry.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Marvelous, terrifying fun, especially if you've ever suspected that the world is an unreal construct built solely to keep you from knowing who you really are. Which it is, of course."--Rolling Stone Ragle Gumm has a unique job: every day he wins a newspaper contest. And when he isn't consulting his charts and tables, he enjoys his life in a small town in 1959. At least, that's what he thinks. But then strange things start happening. He finds a phone book where all the numbers have been disconnected, and a magazine article about a famous starlet he's never heard of named Marilyn Monroe. Plus, everyday objects are beginning to disappear and are replaced by strips of paper with words written on them like "bowl of flowers" and "soft drink stand." When Ragle skips town to try to find the cause of these bizarre occurrences, his discovery could make him question everything he has ever known.… (more)

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