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4.0 out of 5 starsFast Paced and Interesting
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2013
It's very difficult for me to write reviews of Philip K Dick novels because on the one hand, the are often rushed first or second drafts, and on the other hand, they are fun, easy to read, and full of ideas. This book was no exception. The writing isn't the greatest, but it moves along at a quick pace, and introduces a lot of the "psi-fi" elements that play prominent roles in his later writings. I would recommend it for people like me who read all things PKD, or for anyone looking for some interesting ideas in the form of a fun read.
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2012
Some of the prose here is comically overwrought - his writing got smoother, subsequently. And the premise is a bit goofy. But the flow of unexpected ideas and the vividness of their rendering is great stuff. He is working to do the same thing here that he did so well later - complex, multi-threaded stories full of ideas and humor - and he does do that here, with the same high level of ambition that he maintained through his career. It's not a classic, it has flaws, but it's a fine piece of work.
5.0 out of 5 starsOlder work, but it still stands up to scrutiny
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2016
This was the first Philip K. Dick novel that I read, and one of his earliest. It still stands up, like most of his work, and his concept of how a lottery determines who becomes the leader of the nation is one that I have considered and taught to students in my political science courses.
4.0 out of 5 starsThe story that started it all...
Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2016
PKD's first novel... Isn't that reason enough to read it? For me, it was simply fascinating to see the author's beginnings. Don't expect a complete masterpiece. Instead, a sea of raw creativity, splayed out in the form of a Scifi story that still holds up sixty years later.
Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2013
A solid effort by Dick. You will find pretty all that you expect here, with well-drawn characters, fast paced plot and a fascinating universe. Maybe it's just me but I thought the main character was drawn a bit too much without flaws, which somehow made him a bit unlikeable. If you like Philip K. Dick's stuff, you won't regret buying this one.
4.0 out of 5 starsPhilip K Dick's First Published Novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 10, 2011
"The operating principle was random selection: positions of public power were decided by a sophisticated lottery. Everyone had a chance, everyone could live in hope that they would be chosen to be the boss, the Quizmaster. But with the power came the game - the assassination game - which everyone could watch on TV. Would the new man be good enough to avoid his chosen killer? Which made for fascinating and exciting viewing, compelling enough to distract the public's attention while the Big Five industrial complexes run the world, the solar system and the people, unnoticed and completely unopposed. Then, in 2203, with the choice of a member of a maverick cult as Quizmaster, the system developed a little hitch..." -- from the back cover
Written in 1954 and published in 1955, Solar Lottery was Philip K Dick's first published novel. It introduces a number of themes which he continued to explore throughout his career.
As with all PKD's works this novel makes you marvel at his imagination but also (if you are of a philosophical turn of mind) brings you to question and consider the themes he raises for yourself. PKD also creates characters that I at least find believable.
"[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from." --Paul Williams, Rolling Stone
"Philip Dick does not lead his critics an easy life, since he does not so much play the part of a guide through his phantasmagoric worlds as give the impression of one lost in their labyrinth." -- Stanislaw Lem, "Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans"
If you are new to Philip K Dick's work I would also recommend the following novels (which generally seem to be regarded as among his best):
The Man In The High Castle (S.F. Masterworks) Ubik (S.F. Masterworks) A Scanner Darkly (S.F. Masterworks) Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. Masterworks) Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (S.F. Masterworks)
That said, though some of PKD's works are better than others, to my mind they are all well worth reading. I would also recommend his short story collections:
Beyond Lies The Wub: Volume One Of The Collected Short Stories Second Variety: Volume Two Of The Collected Short Stories The Father-Thing: Volume Three Of The Collected Short Stories Minority Report: Volume Four Of The Collected Short Stories We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: Volume Five of The Collected Short Stories
Wie alle Bücher Dicks, die zu lesen mir vergönnt war, so ist auch dieses ein seiner Zeit weit vorrauseilendes und vor abstrusen, aber hauptsächlich grandiosen, Ideen strotzendes Werk, das in ein, einerseits unserer Welt sehr ähnliches aber andererseits auch vollkommen unfassbares, Universum entführt.
On trouve déjà beaucoup de thèmes de ses livres ultérieurs : simulacres, personnalités multiples, le tout greffé sur une trame sans doute inspiré par le succès de Van Vogt avec son " monde des non-A" : l'ascension d'un individu libre dans une société aux règles inflexibles. Ici c'est la théorie des jeux de John von Newman qui est mise à contribution pour étoffer un roman d'action et de sf en apparence classique mais en fait déjà bien marqué par la patte dickienne. Les dialogues et les personnages sont déjà caractéristiques. A noter les nombreuses erreurs typographiques de cette édition électronique bon marché.