• The Cosmic Puppets

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 4 hrs and 6 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (70 ratings)
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The Cosmic Puppets  By  cover art

The Cosmic Puppets

By: Philip K. Dick
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
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Publisher's summary

Following an inexplicable urge, Ted Barton returns to his idyllic Virginia hometown for a vacation, but when he gets there, he is shocked to discover that the town has utterly changed. The stores and houses are all different and he doesn't recognize anybody. The mystery deepens when he checks the town's historical records...and reads that he died nearly twenty years earlier. As he attempts to uncover the secrets of the town, Barton is drawn deeper into the puzzle, and into a supernatural battle that could decide the fate of the universe.

©1957 A. A. Wynn, Inc., © renewed 1985 by Laura Coelho, Christopher Dick, and Isa Dick. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Cosmic Puppets

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Remember Millgate?

Ted Barton returns to the small Virginia town of his youth and discovers the town is completely different. It is ground zero for an eternal battle between two Zurvanite Zoroastrian demigods/twin brothers -- Ahura Mazda (Ohrmuzd) and Angra Mainyu (Ahriman). This fight is being waged by proxy using two of the town's more precocious tweens (Mary and Peter).

The novel starts like a typical Rod Sterling production, but like PKD is want to do, it quickly transforms and expands into something almost out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel (Lyn, I love reading your review AFTER and discovering a similar vibe). This novel is one of the main reasons I love PKD. Here is a guy, in his youth, writing a pulply Sci-Fi novel and he can't help jump from campy Sci-Fi into a bizarre Zoroastrian battle that is both across the Universe and in a small Virginia town. He is the epitome of high brow (Zoroastrian demigods) and low-brow (turning a ball of string into a tire iron).

It is strange that in the same week I would read TWO different novels that basically play with the idea of Zoroastrianism being true (the other is Stephen Peck's A Short Stay in Hell). So, if I learned anything this week, it might be that it's time to bone up on my cosmogonic dualism because I don't want to be the last person on Earth to suck up to the supremely wise, Lord Creator, Ahura Mazda.

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A larger than life story with magical twists

I loved every chapter, how it builds up gradually to the fantastic end play. A Sci-fi must have.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Great story

It was a great short story that makes you think about what is truly behind everything.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • JW
  • 08-23-23

Absolutely Awful Performance

Finally I adjusted this to 1.25 speed just to finish it. The narrator's dreadful impressions are so grating that at one point I swore I'd get off Audible. The story is not so bad, although it reads like PDK on steroids. (Which may have been accurate.) A good editor might have held him back a bit. If I could return this one, I would. Waste of a credit. PDK has written much better books, and hopefully the buyer can avoid this untalented reader who frankly I wonder if he's in junior high. Ugh.

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

Wow! Short and powerful - one of the best by PKD

I honestly can't believe this was written in the 50's. It's a pretty radical story and seems way ahead of the times in which it was written.

Lots of twists and turns. Lots of action. This is pretty punchy writting without the usual stiffness of other more pulpy sci-fi that I've read from the same era.

So much going on in this short little story! The set up is awesome and the way the story unfolds from the initial premise is both surprising and unpredictable.

This short gem of a story is so vibrant and filled with energy. The writting sinoky sizzles off the page. I wanted to know what would happen next. I enjoy most books by PKD and I'm a fan of many forms of sci-fi and various other types of fiction. I also feel like I've been in a dry spell with books lately. It's taken me some time to get really pulled into a story and the last 2 books I read by PKD have gotten me back on a roll again!

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The reader’s performance

This is a good early PKD story. The reader’s performance is lively, imaginative, and generally remarkable.

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