©1981 Philip K. Dick; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"The most brilliant SF mind on any planet." (Rolling Stone)
"What Dick is entertaining us about is reality and madness, time and death, sin and salvation....we have our own homegrown Borges." (Ursula K. Le Guin)
Off-beat, surreal, sacrilegous, sordid, and almost no robots involved, at all. Its a twisted hallucinogenic tale of improvised dogma based on science-fiction constructs. Its like a Phillip K. Dick version of scientology. Reminded me of Fuceault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.
Valis is like Naked Lunch meets Life of Brian. Very sublte humor. Who knew irreverent science fiction could be so much fun?
This is a very enjoyable listen containing the trifecta of audio book essentials: Well narrated, conviently timed segments and most importantly great material that grabs your attention. As a Lost fan, you have to read this book because so much of what's happening on the island is inspired by this novel. An eye-opening experience, without a doubt.
This is a strange combination of a modern novel, detective story, mystical revelation, gnostic theology and science fiction. It can be tough going sometimes - when there are lots of dense theology - but it also has lots of cynical black humor and it is very original. You have never read something like that before!
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
Probably in the top-10.
The complexity of it.
I don't think I have one particular favorite scene.
I'm not sure. This would be very difficult to film.
Dick’s books, at least his good ones, are similar to David Lynch’s later works in that I am able to follow the story pretty well at first and then at some point I have no idea where I am. In some ways listening to Valis is like navigating a maze. It’s a complex work for science fiction, as it deals with Christianity and Gnosticism, Taoism, and psychoanalysis, and I believe it is Dick’s best novel, or if not his best then at least his most ambitious.
The beginning was very engaging--borderline genius, I thought. But the next several chapters just seemed to ramble on and on; I had no real sense of where the book might be going, or if it was even going anywhere at all. Eventually I gave up and stopped listening. The performance was a bit monotone, too. That wasn't too bad, but it may have added to the sense that the story was not progressing. Valis is thought-provoking but lacking in plot.
into madness. Or maybe I'm too dense to get it. I have read most of P.K. Dick and recommend him highly, but not this one.
...and not in a good way. I have listened to many PKD titles which is the only reason why I selected this book and kept at it. If it had not been written by PKD, I would have walked away from it. Everything comes together at the end, but when the dust settles, I had to ask was it worth it? and I am not sure the answer is yes.
One of Dick's best stories. An truly important book. Tough going, but worth the time for anyone interested in the nature of God.
I really enjoyed Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but I couldn't get into this one. The style reminded me of Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions except without certain essential qualities that make Vonnegut so entertaining to read. There is something to this book, but it didn't grab me after reading about a quarter of the way through.
PKD had his ex-president, disgraced, walking on a sandy beach, but my generation has our own, living in a Dallas suburb, as a probable drunk, whose lovely wife can't pray enough to end her husband's pain. Our President is haunted by a soldiers mother who would never give up the question of "Why?", why did her son die in some foreign land? Did he die for Dick Cheney's oil? Did he die for some misconceived Christian crusade against the Muhammadan infidels? Did he die simply because given his economic conditions going into the military was his best and only option to enable himself to go to college? We have pop singers asking how our President can sleep at night knowing that a mother never got the chance to say goodbye, and you have to wonder how he actually can sleep sometimes. At least Nixon ended a war started by a Texas president. All we got was a Texas President who started an illegitimate war, and a whole lot of pain that is being blamed on a perfectly good man who also tried to stop the war. I hope our current President doesn't end up like Nixon. Whatever PKD might have thought about the Empire, it didn't end in 1974, it is still ongoing, and it is still painful. The only good thing is that the 2012 is coming, and maybe the singularity event will occur during this supposedly ill fated time. Maybe all of the pain that PKD, the prophet, knew will go away during the winter solstice of 2012; probably not though, but we can hope.
This is a great book. It is about the empire that never ended. Unfortunately our good prophet thought it ended in 1974, when in fact it hadn't ended. When Nixon was ousted and Gerry Ford was set in his place the Empire actually entrenched itself in the form of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Greenspan. It had to germinate a few years in order to reach full fruition, but eventually it did, and the result is now. What is happening now is a result of the true germination of the Empire that occurred after Nixon was ousted. Remember this when you read VALIS. Dick was a prophet, but like all prophets he was wrong, but there is still insight to be gained from listening to Dick the Prophet.
"At times it hilarious, other times complicated"
Funny Complex Intriguing
I've read many Dick books, this was the first I listen to. Have since listened to two more. This is a good book, I did enjoy it. At times though it get really bogged down in thought processes, going off on tangents, talking about Gods. If you don't know what's being referred to it's hard to follow and you can't read at your own pace to take it in.
When compared to the other this sits somewhere in the middle of Dick books. Can be followed by not completely straight forward.
Kevin's cat was definitely my favourite.
The performances by Tom were first class though.
Explain my dead cat
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