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Ubik (1969)

by Philip K. Dick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,8431401,145 (4)162
A mind-bending, classic Philip K. Dick novel about the perception of reality. Named as one of Time's 100 best books. "From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you'll never be sure you've woken up from." --Lev Grossman, Time Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business--deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all. "More brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo." --Roberto Bolano… (more)
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» See also 162 mentions

English (121)  French (8)  Spanish (4)  Italian (3)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (139)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
This book messes with your head. I really appreciate that, because most books are pretty damn predictable. It's not the most enjoyable book in the world, but certainly worth the read. I recommend avoiding any reviews because its main appeal is having your head messed with. Reviews are, sadly, a potential antidote. ( )
  mvolz | Jul 10, 2022 |
My favorite PKD novel and probably my favorite scifi novel of all time. What more can one say. Buy it. Read it. It won't take you that long. And all you Kindle users can eat me! ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
“Taken as directed, Ubik provides uninterrupted sleep without morning after grogginess. You awaken fresh, ready to tackle all those little annoying problems facing you. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.”

Passing in 1982, Phillip K. Dick was an interesting author. College dropout, heavy drug user, suicidal tendencies, and known for tumultuous relationships with women and his struggles with mental illness, he certainly wasn’t the gentleman scientist that Asimov, Clarke, or Heinlein were held up to be. But he brought something new to science fiction. A postmodern, counter-culture exploration focused on paranoia, alternate or altered states of realities, and the nature of perception. It’s a twist on science fiction we are familiar with today, but in 60’s and 70’s Dick’s approach was raw, novel, and probably disturbing to many. However, looking back, there is no doubt about his impact. His works have been adapted widely into films and television, and influences are seen often in fiction and even music.

Dick wrote Ubik in 1969 and set his story twenty-three years in the future – 1992. In Dick’s future, humanity has established a colony on the moon and has also found a way to temporary sustain people’s consciousness (‘half-life’) and allow communication with the ‘mostly dead.’ In addition, everything is coin-operated – appliances, elevators, and even doors. It reminded me of the outlandish pneumatic tubes in the movie ‘Brazil’ and serves a similar purpose in theme. Finally, psychic and counter-psychic capabilities (‘inertials’) exist in a small number of people. Corporations control these telepaths and ‘inertials’ allowing for corporate espionage and an arm’s-race-like control of the abilities.

All of this world-building allow Dick to create a world where reality is shifting. He telegraphs the major plot twist but offers up some red herrings to keep the reader guessing. On the surface it’s a statement on government and corporate control over our lives, but more deeply it questions our perception of consciousness and reality.

In all honesty, I’m more of a fan of Phillip K. Dick’s adaptions verses his novels. They are intriguing and enjoyably puzzling, but they don’t move me the way some of my favorite science fiction works do. I find most of the characters unlikable and the endings depressing. However, I do appreciate his creativity and pioneering themes questioning perception and reality.

An imaginative journey of a near future where telepathy is monetized, death is postponed, and reality is seldom what it seems. Four Ubik-infused stars, which is guaranteed to cause readers to philosophize when used as directed! ( )
  Kevin_A_Kuhn | May 28, 2022 |
Este livro foi parar as minhas mãos sem saber muito bem como, li a descrição e achei interessante, mas nunca na vida ía achar que o livro é tão bom só pela descrição. Como foi a minha primeira leitura do Philip K. Dick toda a permissa do livro surpeende-me imenso, mas sendo que já vi outros livros dele apercebi-me que a temática do "o que é real o que é na minha cabeça" é bastante comum nos livros dele.
Eu acho que é daqueles livros que não deviam ter muita coisa a dizer na sua descrição, e desse modo também não vou explicar muito. Só sei que vale imensa a pena ler este livro se gostam de fantasia e ficção científica. E especialmente quem nunca leu Phillip K. Dick. ( )
  Hanna_Rybchynska | Apr 29, 2022 |
Áhrifamikil vísindaskáldsaga. Dick er kannski þekktastur í dag fyrir kvikmyndirnar sem gerðar hafa verið eftir sögur hans en þessi var valin ein af merkustu vísindaskáldsögum síðustu aldar.
Mannkynið hefur þróast í þá veru að hugarkraftar eru orðnir algengir og söguhetjurnar vinna við að tryggja öryggi einstaklinga og fyrirtækja við hugsanalestri með eigin hugarkröftum. Látnir einstaklingar eiga þess kost að vera settir í hálf-líf þar sem sálum þeirra er haldið við og ástvinir þeirra geta komið reglulega og spjallað við þau.
Án þess að fara mikið í söguþráðinn þá snýst sagan mikið til um þetta líf eftir dauðann og að hve miklu leyti geta einstaklingar gert greinarmun á eigin tilveru og lifanda lífi. Raunar skella á manni spurningar við lok sögunnar sem fá mann til að vilja lesa hana aftur til að tækla þessi umhugsunarefni betur. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bishop, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boca, LaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniels, LukeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorémieux, AlainTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Espín, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frick, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heald, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laux, RenateTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lem, StanislawAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moisan, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pagetti, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podaný, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rauch, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, Kim StanleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Michael MarshallIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Ich sih die liehte heide
in gruener varwe stan
dar suln wir alle gehen
die sumerzeit enpahen.

I see the sunstruck forest
In green it stands complete. 
There soon we are all going, 
The summertime to meet.
Dedication
For Tony Boucher
First words
At three-thirty A.M. on the night of June 5, 1992, the top telepath in the Sol System fell off the map in the offices of Runciter Associates in New York City.
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A mind-bending, classic Philip K. Dick novel about the perception of reality. Named as one of Time's 100 best books. "From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you'll never be sure you've woken up from." --Lev Grossman, Time Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business--deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all. "More brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo." --Roberto Bolano

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Sick? take a UBIK

Hollister’s team are blown up

Will it all make sense?

(DarrylLundy)

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