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Publisher's Summary

What is VALIS? This question is at the heart of Philip K. Dick's groundbreaking novel, the first book in his defining trilogy. When a beam of pink light begins giving a schizophrenic man named Horselover Fat (who just might also be known as Philip K. Dick) visions of an alternate Earth where the Roman Empire still reigns, he must decide whether he is crazy or whether a godlike entity is showing him the true nature of the world.

VALIS is essential listening for any true Philip K. Dick fan, a novel that Roberto Bolaño called "more disturbing than any novel by [Carson] McCullers." By the end, like Dick himself, you will be left wondering what is real, what is fiction, and just what the price is for divine inspiration.

©1981 Philip K. Dick (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Life changing

This is exactly the kind of story I need to hear. If you are dealing with depression or you feel alone and confused about the Universe, I would highly recommend this book. It maybe baffling at times, but that just makes me feel more connected with the characters (especially Dick himself). It won't make you less crazy, but you might feel less alone. You may even find a spark of faith you never thought you had.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Madison, WI, United States
  • 11-06-16

Brilliant

Creative and cleverly witty. An impressive mix of theology, gnosticism, psychology and humor. Expertly narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Horselover Fat, Marin County, Is this even real?

Would you listen to Valis again? Why?

Yes. I enjoyed the book, but like before I will follow along in the text. I found it useful to make use of both formats.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Horselover Fat is a fantastic character for many reasons: 1. he transposes his visions/dreams to what could be alternative realities of real life on Earth, 2. he is basically Philip K. Dick so he is automatically amazing.

What about Phil Gigante’s performance did you like?

His voice with a hint of "southern-ness" when speaking for Horselover Fat aided to his characterization, particularly when trying to shape a character who is altogether somewhat unreliable and could be perceived as lacking in his mental faculties.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Is this even real?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J.W.
  • Senningen, Luxembourg
  • 08-25-16

Briljant, original or ramblings

Can't make up my mind on this one. So much philosophical rambling and semi religious stuff that I was waiting for it to end really badly. But it brilliantly weaves aliens with dreamworld with religion and science into one big hallucination that makes it really hard to pin down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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drug addict's dream

If I was high on drugs this might have made sense. As it was it is mostly just nonsense.

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Fantastic Reading of a Strangely Told, Odd Story

The reader, who I previously enjoyed as the Stainless Steel Rat, outdoes himself in narrating this story. The multiple characters, in more way than one, pose an interesting challenge, and they were all rendered perfectly.
The story itself took some repetitions to even begin to make some sense, but it was enjoyable even when I didn't have the any idea of what was going on. This is a book that felt like a romp around in the fascinatingly strange mind of the author, with a strange feeling of autobiography by an unreliable narrator.
There is not likely another book like it, but it has positive similarities to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I quite enjoyed the philosophical ramblings as well.

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  • PJ
  • 01-04-16

Not for the casual reader.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The book spends way too much time immersing the reader into an induced acid trip or insanity experience that is tiresome to slog through. As a huge fan of PKD, I soldiered on through the entire book to try to get a payoff but it left me thoroughly disappointed. It simply should not have taken so much time and so many repetitive stabs at impressing the reader as to the fog in Horselover Fat's brain.

What was most disappointing about Philip K. Dick’s story?

The story line took much too long to develop into a cohesive narrative.

Did Phil Gigante do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He did as good a job as anyone could have with the subject matter.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Valis?

Much of the first half of the book was overdone. It could have been shortened significantly with less repetitive ravings.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Finally, A Pleasant Aural Version of Valis Trilogy

Under the false-impression a review was optional, I grinned when informed that submitting without writing 15 words wasn't allowed: a Dick move, by all accounts.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Not what I thought, hard to get through.

I like other Philip Dick's books, this book sounded interesting so I gave it a go. The story is very slow and the narration was painfully dry. I did not enjoy this book. Would not recommend; read the minority report short story audible, it is a much better read!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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meh

Interesting idea but very hard to follow as an audio book. Hard to tell what was real and what was imaginary.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MatCult
  • 10-15-15

Brain-bending brilliance

First I want to mention the excellent performance by Phil Gigante. His reading is pacy and expressive, really bringing the story to life.

The book itself is a deep, profound meditation on the nature of reality itself, on mental illness and theology. It incorporates elements of science fiction in an unusual way. The result is a book like no other I have ever read. Mind expanding, thought provoking, strange and wonderful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • thereadaholic
  • 03-30-17

Confusing ramblings of a mental breakdown

Would you try another book written by Philip K. Dick or narrated by Phil Gigante?

I love most of Philip K Dick's books and Phil Gigante is a great narrator but this actual 'novel' is just a stream of consciousness of an intelligent man who has had a mental breakdown.

Would you ever listen to anything by Philip K. Dick again?

Yes. most of his books are a fantastic mind-f@ck.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Philip K Dick is a highly intelligent man and has lots of interesting ideas and perspectives but this book just seemed to ramble with no point.

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  • Jonathan D
  • 11-06-16

Gnosis

Christ is a physician
The Buddha is in the park
Sophia lives and speaks yes