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The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by…

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

by Philip K. Dick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,470542,461 (3.88)76
In this wildly disorienting funhouse of a novel, populated by God-like--or perhaps Satanic--takeover artists and corporate psychics, Philip K. Dick explores mysteries that were once the property of St. Paul and Aquinas. His wit, compassion, and knife-edged irony make The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch moving as well as genuinely visionary.… (more)
  1. 21
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: The Three Stigmata to me is a forefather of cyberpunk, with it's internal action that questions existence and God. Neuromancer is often credited as the book that made the genre, so I suggest Neuromancer as an interesting book to compare to The Three Stigmata.… (more)

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» See also 76 mentions

English (50)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
I think I need to reread this one, but not sure it would help. ( )
  redbird_fan | Jan 13, 2020 |
What an insane and wonderful book. I'll confess this is the first novel by Philip K. Dick I've read and I'm told it is not like his others. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The generosity of ideas here stood out and that's an aspect I've come to appreciate from authors more and more.

I want to continue reading more PKD now but where next? ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
What an insane and wonderful book. I'll confess this is the first novel by Philip K. Dick I've read and I'm told it is not like his others. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The generosity of ideas here stood out and that's an aspect I've come to appreciate from authors more and more.

I want to continue reading more PKD now but where next? ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
Philip K. Dick was a paranoid dude who took too many drugs, and imo no book outside of Scanner Darkly illustrates that more than this one.

Apparently this book so scared Dick, that he couldn't read it for editing after writing it. Considering Dick's issues with reality, it's easy to see why he's so disturbed by a character who goes out of their way to confuse the real with the imaginary. Unless you share the same fears as Dick, you're probably not going to find this book any more upsetting than his other work.

Honestly, there's not much to say about this that you couldn't say about his other work. Every character has their flaw and is far from perfect, but you love them anyway. The plot is interesting and full of thoughtful ideas, the world is unique, the ending is a bit meh. ( )
  Fardo | Oct 15, 2019 |

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - A Philip K. Dick novel so crazy I found myself laughing out loud on every page. Here are a dozen key ingredients PKD mixes in his hallucinogenic science fiction roller coaster:

The illegal hallucinogenic drug Can-D
Drug of choice for those colonists on Mars and other remote planets, a drug enabling its chewers to inhabit the same body and mind-stream and then travel together to an appealing illusory reality in another dimension.

The legal (sort of) hallucinogenic drug Chew-Z
Taken solo for a solo trip to an alternate reality where, among other possibilities, one can revisit and remake the past in a way that influences the future.

Leo Bulero
Cartoon version of a 1940s gruff, bald, cigar-chomping boss, a man who puts a high premium on maintaining control of market share and control of his sanity.

Barney Mayerson
Cartoon version of a 1950s boss want-a-be, a ‘precog’, that is, someone given, via technology, the gift of knowing certain aspects of the future.

Miss Rondinella Fugate
Cartoon version of a 1960s attractive, sexy corporate climber who is also a precog and knows exactly how to manipulate men like Barney Mayerson and Leo Bulero.

Dr. Smile
A psychiatrist who is an advanced computer living in a briefcase, offering advice to men like Barney Mayerson.

Emily and her Ceramic Pots
A potter who makes pots that have, believe it or not, a profound influence in this futuristic world of interplanetary travel.

Richard Hnatt
Current husband of Emily and a salesman in New York City, a most demanding and difficult job since the daytime temperature in the Big Apple runs 130 degrees.

Dr. Willy Denkmal's E Therapy clinics
That’s E Therapy as in Evolution Therapy, providing humans with accelerated mental powers. But there are some problems: the therapy distorts your features so you look like a bubble-head. Also, the therapy might backfire and instead of evolving you devolve back into a cruder, less intelligent you.

Anne Hawthorne
Appropriate name, since Anne is a conservative Christian right out of the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Anne is less than thrilled with the drugs and other beings with God-like powers.

Hovel on Mars
Being sent to a place like Mars isn’t any fun. There are some advantages, though: the colonists chew their Can-D and everyone has sex with everyone else. Ah, community.

Palmer Eldritch
If Philip K. Dick was paranoid, then Palmer Eldritch might be his perfect alter ego. Mr. Palmer has several super-human powers that fuel this novel right to the last sentence.

Similar to PKD's Dr. Bloodmoney, the most hypercrazy novel I've ever read, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch would spin into a formless mess if it wasn’t for the author's strong sense of interweaving plots and underlying themes. What an absolutely zany, outrageous, bizarre, wild read!

“The time, then, had come for him to poison himself so that an economic monopoly could be kept alive, a sprawling, interplanetary empire from which he now derived nothing.”
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - American Science Fiction author Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982) ( )
1 vote Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Next year SF celebrates a fairly significant anniversary. It will be 40 years since JG Ballard published The Terminal Beach , Brian Aldiss published Greybeard , William Burroughs published Naked Lunch in the UK, I took over New Worlds magazine and Philip K Dick published The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch . It was a watershed year, if you like, when SF rediscovered its visionary roots and began creating new conventions which rejected both modernism and American pulp traditions.

Perhaps best representing that cusp, Dick's work only rarely achieved the stylistic and imaginative coherence of those other writers. His corporate future came from a common pool created by troubled left-wingers Pohl and Kornbluth ( The Space Merchants , 1953) or Alfred Bester ( The Demolished Man , 1953). His Mars is the harsh but habitable planet of Leigh Brackett ( Queen of the Martian Catacombs , 1949) or Ray Bradbury ( The Martian Chronicles , 1950). His style and characters are indistinguishable from those of a dozen other snappy pulpsters. Even his questioning of the fundamentals of identity and reality is largely unoriginal, preceded by the work of the less prolific but perhaps more profound Charles Harness, who wrote stories such as "Time Trap", "The Paradox Men" and "The Rose" in the 50s.

So how has Dick emerged as today's best-known and admired US SF writer? It's hard to judge from this book (which was promoted enthusiastically by me and many others when it first appeared).

» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abadia, GuyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Csernus, TiborCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gudynas, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mohr, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelham, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, PaulAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I mean, after all; you have to consider we're only made out of dust. That's admittedly not much to go on and we shouldn't forget that. But even considering, I mean it's a sort of bad beginning, we're not doing too bad. So I personally have faith that even in this lousy situation we're faced with we can make it. You get me?
--From an interoffice audio-memo circulated to Pre-Fash level consultants at Perky Pat Layouts, Inc., dictated by Leo Bulero immediately on his return from Mars.
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His head unnaturally aching, Barney Mayerson woke to find himself in an unfamiliar bedroom in an unfamiliar conapt building.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Can-D or Chew-Z
Perky Pat, Palmer Eldritch
All just empty dreams

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