Book - 1981
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Random House, Inc.
Valis is the first book in Philip K. Dick's incomparable final trio of novels (the others being are The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer). This disorienting and bleakly funny work is about a schizophrenic hero named Horselover Fat; the hidden mysteries of Gnostic Christianity; and reality as revealed through a pink laser. Valis is a theological detective story, in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime.

"The fact that what Dick is entertaining us about is reality and madness, time and death, sin and salvation--this has escaped most critics. Nobody notices that we have our own homegrown Borges, and have had him for thirty years."--Ursula K. Le Guin, New Republic

Baker & Taylor
Horselover Fat begins receiving what he considers to be divine revelations that imply extraterrestrial forces are interfering in the affairs of the Earth

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1981
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780553141566
Characteristics: 227 p. ; 18 cm


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Sep 05, 2017

This book is one part autobiography and one part bad hallucination. It's not your average science fiction story. The book diverges into theology for quite a bit and the plot seems to go nowhere for a while. The philosophy is very interesting in this book and the characters are pretty funny too.

However, the overall plot is somewhat disappointing and this book did not have very good closure and leaves you hanging. You should only read this if you area a big Philip K. Dick fan.

Graypeters Mar 22, 2014

This book is a semi-autobiographical look at PKS's struggles with mental illness. The narrator, like the author, attempts (and seemingly fails) to see his delusions for what they are, instead becoming increasingly lost in a complex and bizarre theosophy of his own creation. I was not prepared for how sad this book was. PKD can be pretty inconsistent, but the writing here is a cut above a lot of his work. Also, as a music fan - David Bowie and Brian Eno are both characters in this book (though I'm not sure they would be thrilled at how they are portrayed)!

theorbys Jun 18, 2012

Dick multiplexes his written self and writing self, with theology/philosophy (relying heavily on Greek and Gnostic sources, as well as Christianity), science fiction, and the high tech of his time, (and some William Burroughs), into a novelistic whole that blends fiction, reality, and parareality. Much is made of the fact that Dick seemed to have experienced VALIS, but whatever that was, he turned it into an interesting, complex piece of writing (it uses sci fi, but I would not call this sci fi anymore- Dick wants to write about his personal reality, however extreme, not a made up one). It's style and imagery are less extreme than Naked Lunch but seems to me to be dealing with similar orders of self and reality (cosmic as well as anthropological reality).


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