Now there's competition: a substance called Chew-Z, marketed under the slogan "God promises eternal life. We can deliver it." The question is: What kind of eternity? And who - or what - is the deliverer?
In this wildly disorienting fun house of a novel, populated by God-like - or perhaps satanic - take-over artists and corporate psychics, Philip K. Dick explores mysteries that were once the property of St. Paul and Aquinas. His wit, compassion, and knife-edged irony make this novel moving as well as genuinely visionary.
©1992 Laura Coelho, Christopher Dick, and Isa Hackett; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio
The reader strikes just the right tone in PKD's trippy classic. Poetic and bizarre space-noir. A very enjoyable listen.
On the surface, the story is about a bunch of sort of swingin' 60s types on a cooking planet earth, with some corporate intrigue involving the arrival of a new hallucinogenic drug from some other star system, at the hovels of other bored swingers living at the stifling and claustrophobic out-world colonies.
As a dated bit of science fiction, however cleverly imagined, there are incongruities of technology (old phone technologies in the future, that sort of thing). But Dick was a storyteller beyond these superficialities. Listening to this is as close as I can imagine to (1) being unknowingly dosed with hallucinogens, and/or (2) having a sudden onset of major mental illness of a paranoid type, yet sometimes punctuated with things of great mystery or beauty. Or, perhaps, more like having a bona fide religious experience, but kaleidoscopic, not framed so that a clear message emerges. There are plenty of impressionistic suggestions. Yet, the characters (having this sort of experience) manage to be generally petty, calculating, small-minded, horny early 1960s corporate climbers throughout, as if a stupid breed of insect trapped in a more elegant and visionary trap than they can comprehend. Sorry if that doesn't make much sense. But the whole texture of this book is to continuously throw the reader off in terms of what is reliably real, while unfolding various possible explanations. For me, it does what I like art to do.
I think it would be a better read, the story is quite complicated and has many convoluted subplots, it can be hard to keep track of what's going on at times. I definately had to go back and relisten a few times if I wasn't fully engaged.
Vurt; it's very heavily focused on the use of a psychedelic drug that creates a kind of alternate reality/parallel universe, which is why it can be hard to follow. But it was very interesting,
He did an amazing job creating distinction between the many characters' voices. Very good narrator.
It was entertaining, though I'm not sure I had any laugh out loud moments
I very much enjoyed this book, and if you like pkd's unique style, you'll love it. It causes you to constantly second guess what you think you already know. Because it is so intensely cerebral, it does take a significant amount of conscious attention to both pick up on the story line and maintain an understanding of the plot.
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