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Rich Seeley

From 1980 to 1994, I was a local columnist for The Outlook, the daily newspaper in Santa Monica.

Tulsa, OK, United States | Member Since 2009

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  • The Transmigration of Timothy Archer: VALIS, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    The final book in Philip K. Dick’s VALIS trilogy, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer brings the author’s search for the identity and nature of God to a close. The novel follows Bishop Timothy Archer as he travels to Israel, ostensibly to examine ancient scrolls bearing the words of Christ. But more importantly, this leads him to examine the decisions he made during his life and how they may have contributed to the suicides of his mistress and son.

    Darwin8u says: "No single thing abides, except mushrooms & memory"
    "My Favorite PKD novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was Dick's last novel and contains zero science fiction.

    PKD always wanted to be a literary novelist but had to write scifi for the $. Finally at the end of his life he had enough money via film rights sales of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner) to write what he wanted. Then he died shortly after seeing the rushes for Blade Runner. So he never got to experience being a famous Hollywood writer. Maybe just as well.

    Anyway onward, Transmigration is told in the first person by Angel Archer, a very cynical woman done by the narrator (Joyce Bean) in a pitch-perfect voice.

    The novel presents a medium cool portrait of the San Francisco scene in the 1970s with Bishop Pike (Timothy Archer) and Alan Watts (Edgar Barefoot) as major characters.

    Two of my favorite lines come toward the end when the Watts character tells Angel she should not come to his lectures for his words of wisdom but for the sandwiches he offers for the students when the talk is over. "Someday perhaps you'll come for the sandwich. But I doubt that. I think you will always need the pretext of words." The other is when Angel promises to take care of Bill, her schizophrenic friend, when he gets out of a psychiatriic hospital. Angel tells him "I will see you as you were; I will not give up. You will remember the ground again."

    "... remember the ground ..." somehow that seems like something we all need to do at this very weird present moment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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