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We Can Build You by Philip K. Dick

We Can Build You (original 1972; edition 1997)

by Philip K. Dick

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Title:We Can Build You
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:HarperVoyager (1997), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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We can build you by Philip K. Dick (1972)


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English (9)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All (11)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Don't remember much about it. I picked it up at a drug store where I used to get a lot of cheap sci fi paperbacks. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
We Can Build You is set in a then-future 1982. It centers on Louis Rosen, a small businessman in the near future whose company produces spinets and electronic organs. Rosen's partner wants to begin production of simulacra, or androids, based on famous Civil War figures. The firm completes two prototypes, one of Edwin M. Stanton and one of Abraham Lincoln. Rosen then attempts to sell the robot patents to Sam K. Barrows, an influential businessman who is opening up lunar real estate for purchase and colonization. Unfortunately, while the Stanton simulacrum proves able to adapt to contemporary U.S. society, the Lincoln simulacrum proves unable to do so, possibly due to the fact that the original experienced schizophrenia. At the same time, Louis begins a relationship with Pris Frauenzimmer, the schizophrenic daughter of his business partner, who has designed both simulacra. This becomes an obsession and Louis himself begins to hallucinate about Pris.

At the same time, Pris defects to Barrows, but loses faith in the benevolence of their partnership when his objectives are disclosed as more prosaic than hers, with his plans to use simulacra colonists to entice human settlement on the Moon and other human interplanetary colonies within the solar system. After Pris' destruction of a John Wilkes Booth prototype simulacra, the Stanton/Lincoln simulacra strand of the plot abruptly ends, with no definite resolution.

The remainder of the book deals with Louis Rosen's admission of schizophrenia and his Jungian therapeutic treatment at the Kasanin Centre in Kansas, from where Pris was originally released. Under the influence of his therapist, Rosen creates a virtual hallucinatory reality of his own, where he resumes his relationship with Pris, marries her, they have children, and grow old together, culminating in him hitting her hallucinatory doppelgänger. This concludes his final therapy session, and he is released from the Kasanin clinic, after his doctor accuses him of malingering. The end of the novel asks whether he was actually ill in the first place. However, Pris has become unwell again, and returned to Kasanin after a temporary career as a simulacra designer earlier in the novel.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
I've read nearly 40 books by Philip K Dick and have loved most. This book was only the second sci fi novel I couldn't finish, so that says something. I got halfway through and gave up. It's about two guys who own a company that makes electronic organs who decide to branch out and make robots of Lincoln and other Civil War persons. One of them has a schizophrenic 18 year old daughter named Pris (remind you of anyone?) who's batshit crazy. She and Louis, the protagonist, develop a love/hate relationship, but aside from just how goofy the premise is and how woefully written it is, the thing I really hate is the dialogue. It's terrible! I love you. I despise you. Would you want to have sex with me? No, I don't think so. Let's have sex. No. OK. I'm in love with you even though I don't know you at all. Maybe this is more a reflection of Dick's private life and his affairs with women than anything else. It's just stupid though and entirely unbelievable. I was excited when I got the book because I had heard some good things about it, but I can't get past its weaknesses. It's a poorly written book. Not recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Nov 21, 2014 |
Despite it's hungarian title, this book is not about an android, simulacrum, impersonating Lincoln but much more a strange, sad love story. In the background there is everything makes a PKD book special. Great part of the population (allegedly) has mental illness, androids indistinguishable from humans, paranoia is a normal part of life, etc. Not his best by far, but if you like PKD, you won't be disappointed. ( )
  TheCrow2 | Feb 19, 2014 |
A depressing Dick novel of a doomed, one-sided love affair that also had the usual Dick humor, realistic dialogue, and superb characterization. The book's only flaw was that it seemed to wander at times, but that was probably due to its emphasis not on plot (some of the problems seemed artificial, easily solved, and there just to advance the plot) but on character. ( )
1 vote RandyStafford | Jul 23, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dick, Philip K.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Böhmert, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, TimAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tybus, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Robert and Ginny Heinlein,

whose kindness to us has meant more

than ordinary words can answer.
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Our sales technique was perfected in the early 1970s.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067975296X, Paperback)

Louis Rosen and his partners sell people--ingeniously designed, historically authentic simulacra of personages such as Edwin M. Stanton and Abraham Lincoln. The problem is that the only prospective buyer is a rapacious billionaire whose plans for the simulacra could land Louis in jail. Then there's the added complication that someone--or something--like Abraham Lincoln may not want to be sold.

Is an electronic Lincoln any less alive than his creators? Is a machine that cares and suffers inferior to the woman Louis loves--a borderline psychopath who does neither? With irresistible momentum, intelligence, and wit, Philip K. Dick creates an arresting techno-thriller that suggests a marriage of Bladerunner and Barbarians at the Gate.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:06 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In this lyrical and moving novel, Philip K. Dick tells a story of toxic love and compassionate robots. When Louis Rosen's electronic organ company builds a pitch-perfect robotic replica of Abraham Lincoln, they are pulled into the orbit of a shady businessman, who is looking to use Lincoln for his own profit. Meanwhile, Rosen seeks Lincoln's advice as he woos a woman incapable of understanding human emotions -- someone who may be even more robotic than Lincoln's replica.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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