A Maze of Death

Narrated by: Benjamin L. Darcie
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (156 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What listeners say about A Maze of Death

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

JJ Abrams YOU are a book thief.

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.

25 people found this helpful

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WELCOME TO DELMAK-O!

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.

5 people found this helpful

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Lots of Mind Blowing Ideas - All in One Book

Any additional comments?

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

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent book!

Great story from Philip Dick. The characters are interesting, the plot entrancing and the mythology behind it is great, comparable to great works, like Vance’s Dying Earth.
Highly recommend it, finished it in two days.

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What is reality?

A Maze of Death by Philip K Dick is a tale about examining reality. A group of colonists end up on a world that doesn't make sense. Once they arrive, they are supposed to learn their mission, but things go awry. There are unusual artificial creatures as well as a mysterious building, that appears different to each colonist. In addition, there is a 'creature' that appears to duplicate items, but also answer questions in a cryptic manner. Eventually, the colonists begin dying and/or killing each in what they believe is a sinister experiment where they are the guinea pigs. The big reveal at the end further questions the notion of reality.

Dick posits a future where space travel is somewhat routine, but still in the early stages colonization. Specialists of all types are exploring various worlds. At the same time, this future has a variant religion that is quite pervasive consisting of several elements some of which can walk around and interact with humans.Finally, the sophistication of virtual reality (although not referred by Dick as such), leads to the questioning of where reality begins and ends.

The narration is respectable with reasonable character distinction and adequate pacing.

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one of pkd's best

this ultimate bad LSD trip delivers fresh insights into Dick's obsession with reality and pseudo-reality.

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Makes no sense, until the end

Most of this story makes no sense, and even gets a little boring, until the last few chapters. However those last chapters are incredible and pull everything together. It’s worth a listen just for that.

The narration was well done.

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Great performance, nihilistic story

One of my favorite sci-fi performances. With the usual unaffected British narration on Audible, this story would’ve been unbearable.

The story, while interesting, is too nihilistic for my tastes. The twist ending doesn’t help and makes things worst.

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Not the nest PKD book

I have always been a big fan of PKD, but this was maybe my least favorite of his books. It wasn't completely horrible, but I would definitely not recommend this one unless you're a die hard Dick lover.

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the lost you always wanted

like a mixture between lost, maze runner, and a couple others that i feel like if i mentioned the name it might give away parts of the story. It didn't seam to me that this book is usually regarded as one of his best but it is in my top three so far! along with Martian time slip and three stigmata, highly recommended read and it is shocking that he wrote this so long ago, the technology is very much something a modern sifi author would write about. I apologize for the poor penmanship of this review, if it feels like a text message it is because I am writing it on my cell phone. Read on!

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  • S. B. Hall
  • 03-21-17

Interesting ideas, lacking some depth of characters.

Don't get me wrong, this is an interesting read (listen). The plot is quirky and unpredictable and attempts to address some interesting topics. I found the characters a little shallow and superficial and found that I didn't really care if they lived or died. Narration is good. I could see this translating well into film - in fact it probably has. I suspect Red Dwarf (UK TV SCI-FI sir com) may have drawn inspiration from here too. On the whole a recommended read but could be a bit better.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-03-16

I preferred Ubik

There is a lot of common ground between the two, but I prefer Ubik. Between Ubik and this book, the religious elements of Philip Dick's become much more overt.