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VALIS (Valis Trilogy, Book 1) by Philip K.…
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VALIS (Valis Trilogy, Book 1) (original 1981; edition 2011)

by Philip K. Dick (Author)

Series: VALIS Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,552752,576 (3.92)105
A theological detective story in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime. The schizophrenic hero, a Dick alter-ego named Horselover Fat, begins receiving revelatory visions through a burst of pink laser light. As a coterie of religious seekers forms to explore these messages, they are led to a rock musician's estate, where a two-year old Messianic figure named Sophia confirms that an ancient, mechanical intelligence orbiting the earth has been guiding their discoveries.… (more)
Member:dharmabum1974
Title:VALIS (Valis Trilogy, Book 1)
Authors:Philip K. Dick (Author)
Info:Mariner Books (2011), Edition: Reissue, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work Information

Valis by Philip K. Dick (1981)

Recently added bykadlib, katri_kr, higalva, Kitling.Ripe, jpries44
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English (69)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
So this is another one I've had on my shelf for more than 20 years and I was always worried I wouldn't like it. It was pretty strange, but interesting enough to me to be enjoyable. Someone said the 2nd book is better and then there was supposed to be a 3rd book, but he never wrote it, but he did write a book that "works well" as an ending to the series, so I'm really curious about how that works.

Reading this really brought me back to the 90's, when I was reading Robert Anton Wilson and a bunch of postmodern stuff. One of my close friends talked like the main character in this book and it makes me really want to reconnect with him (it's been at least 8 years).

There was a line where the author (as a character in the story) says "Sometimes I dream..." and a person replies, "I'll put that on your gravestone." I immediately looked online to see if that line was on Philip K Dick's gravestone, but was disappointed to find out it was not. ( )
  ragwaine | Apr 6, 2024 |
An amazing twist in writing built on a mythology that is convincing, dense of reinterpretation of Christian stories... Overly emphatic deliberations around the possibility of suicide but that become transformed.

I didn’t quite enjoy the book but I learned a lot about what is possible in writing. ( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
Recently reread this after about 15 years. Much more interesting the 2d time.
Extremely interesting how he puts together all the Gnostic and other historical references to create the world of Horselover Fat and how it parallels his own life.

Amazed at his vocabulary but unfortunately did not have easy access to a dictionary or internet while doing the reread.

I do have a copy of Exegesis? but don't think I could ever make it through. It would be a great book if stranded on a deserted island... ( )
  delta351 | Dec 18, 2023 |
Not quite what I expected
  atrillox | Nov 27, 2023 |
This book defies description. In fictional form, it is the writer's own experience following a strange event in 1974 in which he opened the door to a young woman delivering something and a flash from jewellery she was wearing was perceived by him as a pink laser beam delivering an epiphany straight into his brain. He became convinced that the universe was sentient, was split into ying/yang beings, that all life was really encoded information, that history since Roman times was illusory and therefore that 1974 was really still in New Testament times, and a whole lot more. This was a revelation from VALIS: Vast Active Living Intelligence System, connected with the star Sirius and a strange 3-eyed race originating from there. Weirdly, the revelation also included a diagnosis of his young son's illness, enabling Dick to tell the doctor what was wrong with him and saving his life.

Structurally, the account is given by a character named for the author, who is a successful Science Fiction author and who is trying to help his mentally ill friend, Horselover Fat. However, he tells us early on that Fat is really himself (the name is derived from Philip, which comes from the ancient Greek for 'lover of horses' and Dick which apparently means fat in German. So quite a few conversations occur in the book between these two parts of himself, and sometimes it is acknowledged that this is the case, but sometimes Horselover Fat goes off to another place on his spiritual quest while Dick stays behind.

Some truly mind boggling beliefs are discussed in the story, and I couldn't really reconcile them all so became a bit brain-boggled in the attempt. I had to dip into this book for a few pages at a time in between reading other things, which is why it took me a very long time to read it. On one level it is an interesting examination, by someone who suffered hallucinatory mental illness, of what it is like to be in such a mental condition. It is also quite darkly humoured in places. The author is frank about his previous drug taking though oddly these mental episodes took place after he had weaned himself off amphetamines and other substances.

The book shows the author's well-read background as it brings in elements from many different philosophical systems and religions dating back to ancient Greece, including Platonism, Gnosticism and Zoroastranism.

Given my difficulty in reconciling all the differing philosophical discussions about God, reality, the universe et al, I can only give it 3 stars although it was an interesting read.

( )
1 vote kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
DeLotel, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Louit, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masera, RubénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
North, HeidiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosvall, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Russell Galen

who showed me the right way
First words
Horselover Fat's nervous breakdown began the day he got the phone call from Gloria asking if he had any Nembutals.
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Fish cannot carry guns.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

A theological detective story in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime. The schizophrenic hero, a Dick alter-ego named Horselover Fat, begins receiving revelatory visions through a burst of pink laser light. As a coterie of religious seekers forms to explore these messages, they are led to a rock musician's estate, where a two-year old Messianic figure named Sophia confirms that an ancient, mechanical intelligence orbiting the earth has been guiding their discoveries.

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