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Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick
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Time Out of Joint (original 1959; edition 1987)

by Philip K. Dick

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1,446175,188 (3.73)28
Member:SooGuy
Title:Time Out of Joint
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Carroll & Graf Pub (1987), Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Time Travel
Rating:
Tags:science fiction, time travel, pkd, second copy

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Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick (1959)

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English (16)  Italian (1)  All languages (17)
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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 |
Hallucinations. Yes, he thought. Insane. Infantile and lunatic. What am I doing, sitting here? Daydreams, at best. Fantasies about rocket ships shooting by overhead, armies and conspiracies. Paranoia.
A paranoiac psychosis. Imagining that I'm the center of a vast effort by millions of men and women, involving billions of dollars and infinite work . . . a universe revolving around me. Every molecule acting with me in mind. An outward radiation of importance . . . to the stars. Ragle Gumm the object of the whole cosmic process, from the inception to final entropy. All matter and spirit, in order to wheel about me.


Many of Philip K. Dick's books concern paranoia about the nature of reality, and in "Time Out of Joint", both Ragle Gumm and his brother-in-law Vic, start to have grave concerns about their lives. Ragle becomes paranoid because that everyone seems to know who he is, due to his fame as the long-term winner of a newspaper contest called Where Will The Little Green Man Be Next? and when he starts to hallucinate that objects disappear and are replaced by strips of paper with the name of the object written on them, he fears that he is insane, since the paper strips seem too be real and he keeps a collection of them in a box. Vic starts to wonder when he has a strange experience with a bathroom light cord that doesn't exist and later has an odd experience on a bus when self-hypnosis lets him see the truth behind the illusion. Thin support struts, the skeleton of the bus. Metal girders, an empty hollow box. No other seats. Only a strip, a length of planking, on which upright featureless shapes like scarecrows had been propped.

My first clue that this not our world's 1950s America came with the discussion about radio stations all going off the air once television came in, but there may have been earlier clues that Americans or people who remember the 1950s would catch. That reminds me of a big plot hole; at the end Ragle suggests that the significance of Sammy's crystal set was overlooked because the person who should have seen it as a threat was distracted by playing poker and didn't remember that radios were not allowed. But I looked back at that scene and the crystal set wasn't just present in the room, as Sammy put it on the table next to the poker strips and the adults were all involved in a conversation about what Sammy might be able to pick up on it since no radio stations were still broadcasting.

All in all, it was a more straightforward story than the author's more famous later works, and I felt that the ending was too simple and fell short, but I enjoyed working out what was really going on, as the story progressed and my original thoughts about alternate histories and time travel were proved wrong. ( )
2 vote isabelx | Apr 14, 2013 |
Molto spesso Dick gioca sui diversi livelli di realtà con risultati più o meno lineari e comprensibili (questo romanzo ricade nella seconda categoria).
Ragle e la sua famiglia vivono in una cittadina americana anni '50 da cartolina e lui per vivere partecipa (e vince) al concorso che compare quotidianamente sul quotidiano locale, la loro vita trascorre serena.
Però c'è qualcosa che non torna, dei piccoli dettagli che fanno pensare a un'altra e molto diversa realtà; a questo punto iniziano paranoia e complottismo e la disperata ricerca della verità.
Decisamente ben scritto, leggendo alcune recensioni mi sono rovinata la sorpresa finale e nonostante questo la lettura è stata coinvolgente.
Viene il dubbio che l'idea per "The Truman Show" l'abbiano presa da qui assottigliando lo spessore del romanzo. ( )
  Saretta.L | Mar 31, 2013 |
A good break out novel, but not quite the Dick that came to be. ( )
  TJWilson | Mar 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colmer, RoyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rebora, PinucciaTranslatorsecondary 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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:22 -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)

(summary from another edition)

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