Delmak-O is a dangerous planet. Though there are only 14 citizens, no one can trust anyone else and death can strike at any moment. The planet is vast and largely unexplored, populated mostly by gelatinous cube-shaped beings that give cryptic advice in the form of anagrams. Deities can be spoken to directly via a series of prayer amplifiers and transmitters, but they may not be happy about it. And the mysterious building in the distance draws all the colonists to it, but when they get there each sees a different motto on the front. The mystery of this structure and the secrets contained within drive this mind-bending novel.
©1970 Philip K. Dick (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
The beginning of Dick's later God novels, but still predating his 2-3-74 pink beam episode and his later VALIS Trilogy (Gnostic Trilogy [God Trilogy]), 'A Maze of Death' is a philosophical SF novel that explores the nature of God, religion, and the way we as both individuals and a society try to deal with the various levels of reality and the inevitability of death.
Reading this, it was hard not to see huge chunks of this novel that were cribbed by LOST (good tv borrows, great tv steals). The marooned crew, experiments, theological mash-ups, insanity, dream-like fugues, paranoia, etc., all float around in the same dreamy, frenzied universe as LOST. JJ Abrams you are a book thief.
Dr. Nils Rasmussen
The problem with MUCH of Philip K. Dick's stories is the fact that, although he manages to come up with some truly original, fascinating premises for each, they never seem to have a satisfying ending.
I have mixed feelings toward how he chose to end this novel - but - the overall experience while listening to it was SO fantastic that I HAD TO give it a full 5 stars. Philip K. Dick is pretty well known for coming up with some REALLY weird ideas for each of his stories, but out of all that I know of his work, THIS book takes the cake in complete insanity.
Some of the ideas and imagery from within this book as so utterly original and mind-blowing, I would really enjoy actually giving this book a second listen.
Considering that this book is selling on Audible for less than ten bucks, I would say that it would be a shame if you didn't pick this one up. Great overall listen.
8.97 / 10.00
Welcome to planet Delmak-O where danger and confusion lurk
behind every corner and reality is constantly shifting out from under you! Science Fiction Grand Master Philip K. Dick guides you on a surreal trip down the rabbit hole as 14 eccentric characters find themselves the sole colonists assigned to a fledgling outpost on Delmak-O, a strange and hostile planet inhabited by mechanical bugs, gelatinous tenches that answer questions based on the I Ching, and a sinister building which appears different to everyone who approaches. Offbeat god-figures manifest at various times to help and advise to the settlers. Death stalks the colonists as one by one they are killed off by each other or mysterious unknown forces. By way of a forward to the book, PKD acknowledges that this work found inspiration in LSD experiments and his interest in Eastern religion. This is an enjoyable listen for those who appreciate science fiction which explores metaphysical and surreal themes. The narrator does a good job with the various voices, male and female alike.
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