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Counter-Clock World (Voyager Classics) by…
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Counter-Clock World (Voyager Classics) (original 1967; edition 2002)

by Philip K. Dick

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9982412,463 (3.34)17
Member:dennymeta
Title:Counter-Clock World (Voyager Classics)
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:HarperVoyager (2002), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 236 pages
Collections:Your library
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Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick (1967)

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English (22)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
It is a great big barrel of WTF. Entertaining to read, but the weird logic of the world will fall apart if you think about it too much while reading. ( )
1 vote Jon_Hansen | Jun 22, 2018 |
This had good bits and bad bits and quite a few thought-provoking bits ... I agree with Mel's review that the book lacked a convincing strong female character, even with Ann Fisher the Librarian/seductress. The motivations for actions weren't very obvious to me, but perhaps that's because I am looking at the world in a "clockwise" direction! I was also confused about the smoking and eating backwards arrangements, because if the counter-clockwise happened at that micro level, why did people not talk and walk backwards too? Nevertheless, it is an interesting premise and I am inspired to hunt down other novels with the same idea at their core. Time's Arrow? Backwards? ( )
  Deborahrs | Apr 15, 2017 |
But this world *doesn't* move backwards - only select aspects of it, those that are most fun to write about, do.

The sexism and near-pedophilia and religious drama are dominant here, not the ideas or even the *L*iterary stylings. And, get this, the *cop* is a sympathetic and heroic figure. That's weird for our favorite paranoiac, isn't it? (Or maybe not... I'll have to reread Do Androids... soon.)

Anyway, by the end of this book there was no real impact on the world or on me, so despite the fact that I do feel I understood most of it, I won't pretend I either enjoyed or was impressed by it. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Not the best Dick. Hobart Phase idea was weird and grotesque, as in his best works, but he usually comes up with one or more twists in his plots. Women characters poorly drawn, he is displaying his pulpy roots. Ending seemed unfinished, as if he wasn't getting paid for any more words. ( )
  crosbyp | Nov 14, 2015 |
How much do I love Philip K. Dick? A lot, okay? I love him a lot. For which I mostly blame my father, but not in a bad way. It's just one of those things that are clearly attributable to a single source, like my love of novelty songs, or my compulsion to catalog and create checklists.

So of course when I heard about the publication of his Exegesis I was excited. (Dick's that is. Not my father's.)

But then reading about it made me strangely paranoid. It's not that reading about his theology/philosophy was in any way surprising -- I mean, I've read the V.A.L.I.S. trilogy. But reading about it as a theology/philosophy made me suspicious that each Dick novel I read was progressively programming my brain -- rewiring it along his own beliefs. Still, I was delighted to arrive at the bookstore and discover an entire Dick display, centered around The Exegesis. I picked it up and flipped through it, but in the end decided I was just not read for that much crazy, and set it back down.

Happily, though, it was surrounded by a collection of handsome new editions of his novels by Mariner. I could not resist them, and so I picked up a copy of Counter-Clock World, which I read mostly in transit on my D.C. trip the next week.

The central concept of the book is The Hobart Phase -- a reversal of time's (or entropy's) arrow, for the most part localized to the Earth. Long buried bodies reassemble themselves and come back to life in their coffins, from where they must be rescued before they run out of air and expire again. People disgorge their food, put it back in the fridge to take to the store later. With interesting ramifications -- disgorging is something to be done in private -- embarrassing, "food!" is an expletive, and "mouthhole!" a perjorative. But the central problem of the plot is religious in nature. What if you were the leader of a major religion, and you knew that the major prophet of your faith was shortly to rise again from the grave?

Counter-Clock World is an expansion of a short story, and in retrospect that seems obvious. While there were interesting ideas and brilliant moments, in places the plot seemed threadbare, predictions of future fall-out of Dick's contemporary social upheavals not fully thought out, and the ending anti-climactic. Of course, a lot of Dick's stories end with a sucker-punch to the gut, but this one seemed to miss some of the impact.

For Dick fanatics like me, still plenty diverting and compelling. Probably wouldn't recommend to anyone who hadn't read five of the great ones first. ( )
1 vote greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davies, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutsch, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehr, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prezzavento, PaoloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
von Zitzewitz, HootCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As he glided by the extremely small, out-of-the-way cemetary in his airborne prowl car, late at night, Officer Joseph Tinbane heard unfortunate and familiar sounds.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375719334, Paperback)

In Counter-Clock World, one of the most theologically probing of all of Dick’s books, the world has entered the Hobart Phase–a vast sidereal process in which time moves in reverse. As a result, libraries are busy eradicating books, copulation signifies the end of pregnancy, people greet with, “Good-bye,” and part with, “Hello,” and underneath the world’s tombstones, the dead are coming back to life. One imminent old-born is Anarch Peak, a vibrant religious leader whose followers continued to flourish long after his death. His return from the dead has such awesome implications that those who apprehend him will very likely be those who control the fate of the world.


Winner of both the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:33 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The world has entered the Hobart Phase, a vast sidereal process in which time moves in reverse. As a result, libraries are busy eradicating books, copulation signifies the end of pregnancy, people greet with "Good-bye" and part with "Hello," and underneath the world's tombstones, the dead are coming back to life. One imminent old-born is Anarch Peak, a vibrant religious leader whose followers continued to flourish long after his death. His return from the dead has such awesome implications that those who apprehend him will very likely be those who control the fate of the world.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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