Ragle Gumm has a unique job: Every day he wins a newspaper contest. And when he isn’t consulting his charts and tables, he enjoys his life in a small town, in 1959. At least, that’s what he thinks. But then strange things start happening. He finds a phone book where all the numbers have been disconnected, and a magazine article about a famous starlet named Marilyn Monroe, whom he’s never heard of. Plus, everyday objects are beginning to disappear and are replaced by strips of paper with words written on them, like "bowl of flowers" and "soft-drink stand". When Ragle skips town to try to find the cause of these bizarre occurrences, his discovery could make him question everything he has ever known.
©1987 Laura Coelho, Christopher Dick, and Isa Dick (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
A book that could have inspired both Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (anticipation of rockets) and the Truman Show (community set up around one man). While I give it points for anticipating a couple generations early the narcissism of the 21st century, the absurdity of American Exceptionalism, the shallow falseness of community on FB, etc., it was in the end just too damn slow. Most of the narrative was underwater. Not as kinetic or beautiful as his later stuff (read, it is sometimes boring). There was no rush. There were no prose daisies to pick as I picked through the pages. It was good just not great. It was PKD, just not great PKD
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
People who know PKD's works do not need a review.
To hear one of PKD's earlier novels has been a great experience. His stories travel better through time than most of Heinlein's novels. At times I was reminded of 'The Manchurian Candidate' ( Richard Condon, 1959) and of the more recent CIA experiments in mind control.
I was/am keen to again hear Heinlein's 'Moon is a Harsh Mistress' (that I do rank as one of my favouite stories) after listening to this.
Jeff Cummings' reading was good as were the ideas embedded in the story. The quest for the nature of reality and the nature of words in defining percieved reality is interesting at very least. ( Not a spoiler because that is not the story, just following through to his later works.)
For anyone new to PKD this is a mystery story set in a future written over 50 years ago, and not too hard to follow,
For me it was a great listen.
Master of the weird, Philip K. Dick takes us back to a 1958 world revolving around Ragle Gum, literally. Famous for continuously winning a newspaper contest and the subject of news himself, everyone seems to know him. However, as we read more, nothing is ever at it appears.
I appreciate this work as a classic from a twisted mind, but it is more predictable than most. The twist comes in the second half of the story as in the first half we are only given the background, the drawing of the picture of Mr. Gum’s life consumed by winning entries in the newspaper contest.
Where he becomes confused, so perhaps, do the readers, drawing conclusions, forming theories and reading just one more chapter to find the clues as to what is really going on.
Without spoilers, this is definitely from the mind of Mr. Philip K. Dick.
First experience with Dick, PK. I was as lost as Gumm at first, turned out to be... Out there, in a good way.
The narrator did a great job of making most of the characters sound annoying, esp the woman and children. At first I hated, but I ended up thinking that the annoying voices added to Gumm's psychosis.
The nice and easy fifties, families living their post war lives until one day something odd happens. Discover ever so slowly what is hidden and then hang on for the ride of a lifetime!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it starts out very slow, almost boring. It is so worth it, because it intensifies the suspense that builds up slowly until suddenly everything falls apart and the reader sits at the edge of the seat until the last page!
Maybe it's my relative inexperience with audiobooks, but the varying voices in the narration felt corny and grating. I listened to all of fifteen minutes before I had to stop. I found it so distracting that I really can't vouch for the story itself at all - I'm merely assigning a best guess based on my knowledge of the author and appreciation of the genre. Caveat emptor.
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