So there seem to be a lot of reviews saying this is a great book with a bad narrator. The narrator is indeed bad, but the book really isn't that good. I haven't read anything else by PKD, so I can't say whether this is one of his better or worse novels, but I definitely don't think it's worth reading unless you have some particular reason for doing so.
The basic story, you probably know, is that the US has lost WWII (because FDR was assassinated before taking office apparently), and now the Japanese are occupying the Pacific coast where the story takes place. There's a book-within-a-book in which someone has imagined an alternate world where the US did win the war, the possession of which is understandably a crime, and a copy of which falls into the hands of some of the main characters. One of them remarks how strange it is that no one has written such an alternate history, since it seems like such an obvious idea for a novel.
This is clearly what PKD thought, though you might have expected that after finishing this thing, he would have understood better. Like most of what he wrote, there's an idea there, but the pieces just don't come together. The story is muddled and confused, some of the pieces feel extraneous, and there's no real ending.
A stylistic point: I was irritated by Dick's need to always provide explicit motives to his characters actions. The omniscient narrator is constantly telling us what characters want and why they do things. I don't know if this is characteristic of Dick's overall body of work, but I think it's a lot of what gives this book the feel of cheap science fiction.
Amazing book which takes a good look on an alternate history. The narrator isn't as bad as people on here are claiming. It can get dry sometimes but most of these reviews make it seem you are listening to nails gliding across a chalk board. The narrator does his job decently.
In any case, I don't see how you could need your hand held for this book, Dick's prose is the essence of clarity and the narrator shouldn't throw you off to much (until he voices a female character)
Still reading it but a great take on the 'what if' scenarios
A bit dry and stilted in some areas......he should make it a career never to do a female voice ever again.
The story was interesting but it was a little bit all over the place. the narrator had a really monotone voice which made the listening experience not as enjoyable as it could have been. I will say though if you like alternate history books I would give it a listen.
on the top 20
no comment. Why spoil it for others
they were all well done
I found the intrusion of Japanese sentiments into the thinking of westerners masterful
It opened my eyes to what could have been and what will be if we don't wake up.
The actual meeting of the
Yes it did, however way too many back and forth in the story telling. (he said then he said)
It made me see how fragile our society is. This stirred a deep feeling of unease for what our future will be.
I like Philip K Dick, but I had a really hard time sticking with this book. I guess after all this time the narrative seems a bit hard to believe. I struggled to find a
I also found the narration jarring. I know that was consistent with the book, but it was not pleasant to listen to.
If you are a hardcore fan of the author, you'll like or even love this one. But I found it very forgettable and not worth my time or money.
The story is interesting and I'm sure, for the time it was written, creative and novel. I think the language Dick uses in this book is terrific. The story and the pace just wasn't grabbing me. There are others who would certainly disagree and that's completely fine. I just didn't like the reading all that much and the story wasn't really giving me any reason to care. This book was written a few years back and perhaps wasn't intended to be read as an audiobook. I think if I read this it may have felt more appropriate. Philip K. Dick is doubtless a great writer. It just didn't fit with me.
author managed to turn a perfectly scintillating title into a dead-boring morass of nothingness, focusing on the unedifying daily minutae of faceless characters, a confusing and much too much read-between-the-lines script leaves the listener lost & uninterested.
If you've finished reading the phone book and manuals in the house when sleepless, then this may be the one for you.
Likes intelligent mysteries, spy thrillers, world history, most anything Roman. Hates bad writing.
The social dimensions of contra-factual history here (Germany and Japan win WWII) are executed brilliantly, evoking a credible and thought-provoking image of what an America occupied by Japan and Germany would look like 15 or so years after the end of the war. Dick is at his best writing about society and human nature. He is relatively weak when it comes to dealing with technological change--something which is glaringly apparent now, decades later. However, this is a minor shortcoming in what is otherwise a tour de force. Note: I found the narration perfectly acceptable.