• The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (672 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On Mars, the harsh climate could make any colonist turn to drugs to escape a dead-end existence. Especially when the drug is Can-D, which transports its users into the idyllic world of a Barbie-esque character named Perky Pat. When the mysterious Palmer Eldritch arrives with a new drug called Chew-Z, he offers a more addictive experience, one that might bring the user closer to God. But in a world where everyone is tripping, no promises can be taken at face value.

This Nebula Award nominee is one of Philip K. Dick's enduring classics, at once a deep character study, a dark mystery, and a tightrope walk along the edge of reality and illusion.

©1964 Philip K. Dick (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

Average Customer Ratings
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Fantastic and current

This may be the best book I've read in a decade.

Fifty years later and this book remains as insightful as ever. PKD delves into consumerism, virtual reality, and drug flashbacks before there were words to describe these things. His meditations on religion and the nature of a supreme being resonate today.

13 people found this helpful

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Reality is for people who can't handle drugs

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is a Philip K Dick story exploring the blurry line between reality and drug induced alternative realities. In a dystopian future time, Earth is succumbing to uncontrolled climate change, while the United Nations is using forced conscription to colonize Mars and other bodies around the solar system. Drug use is common in this group and a company that supplies articles for colonial distraction purposes also surreptitiously supplies a drug to assist. Into this situation, Palmer Eldritch returns from a interstellar visit with aliens and appears to have brought back an even more powerful drug. With the business under attack, attempts to sabotage the new drug are mounted.

Beyond the straightforward, but unremarkable space flight, Dick's sci-fi elements include global warming which was a bit prescient for the time as well as some rudimentary precognition. There is also advances in biology to result in epileptic inducing toxins as well as medical treatments intended to accelerate human evolution. The main focus of the tale, as with other Dick stories lies with the question of reality and how much is dependent on our perception versus an outside objective view.

The narration is quite respectable with a decent range of characters as well as good pacing and tone throughout.

12 people found this helpful

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Stupefied.

I'm just not bright enough to keep up with the mental obstacle courses of Mr. PKD. Almost, though.... *sigh*

Not really. Crayon eater over here.

7 people found this helpful

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Ideas, Poorly Written

While Dick's conceptual abilities are stellar, the characters are wooden and their dialogue reads like a comic book from the 60s. It's hard to keep the characters straight, mainly because all the men think and talk the same, and the women are all treated as sex objects, and all but one is deferential to men. This could be a great graphic novel, but doesn't have the depth I look for in a novel.

6 people found this helpful

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one of the best

great narrator, who put effort into voicing the characters. if you're a pkd fan get this one for sure

5 people found this helpful

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Disjointed-Not worthy of PKD

It's impossible to keep up with this story. Not because, "i'm just not smart enough to keep up with this," as one reviewer put it. But because the story is disjointed, the plot keeps changing with further complications, and the book is an incomprehensible mishmash. Not one of PKD's best. I could bow to the political correctness of other reviewers and insinuate that the story is somehow above the normal comprehension of mere mortals. but I'll just say that this is poor writing.

4 people found this helpful

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get lost easily

can be hard to follow but as always, an impressive display of creativity. I fail to understand the end

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

One of PKD's finest.

Stigmata is absolute genius. Of the pre 03/74 novels, it is one of the most reality warping, and simultaneously one of the wittiest, deepest, and most entertaining. As essential as Ubik to an understanding of the Dickian Canon.

7 people found this helpful

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typical PKD

Great narrator. Similar in style to Ubik. I enjoyed listening, but had to go back frequently to make sure I understood as it takes very strange turns. If you like weird, give it a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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An awesome Mind f*ck.

this book was incredible. I did not know what to expect at all and was happily surprised. I now know where most of the plot lines for science fiction movies come from.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mars Lipowski Voiceover
  • 12-03-20

Wonderful

This story is absolutely fascinating! Specially after you read the story of PKD, disturbing, in a way I could say.
Besides, the narrator's performance is just brilliant.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Inbj
  • 01-19-17

after this, I'm a reader who become a book

great listen. I also read the book in-between listens, still didn't understand it. but, it didn't stop me enjoying it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christian
  • 10-31-20

Incredibly well read

Intriguing and twisting story with a brilliant performance by Luke Daniels, his voices for the characters really stick with you and have a lot of depth to them.
Frustratingly however there are a few places in the audiobook where it keeps skipping. Nothing against the book itself though

1 person found this helpful

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  • P
  • 04-13-22

start to finish it was incredible.

Narrator is amazing, he brings such depth and personality to the characters. One of the best stories I've ever had the pleasure to experience, as it is something of an experience.

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  • mr a g parkinson
  • 08-11-21

interesting ideas

not great literature, but fun ideas.

(minimum 15 words and 25 characters is a pain in the arse.)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Brendan Chapman
  • 01-19-21

Drug Stuff.

Interesting enough. Feels like an exposition of a bad trip from within a bad trip. That shit is cyclic.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Thom
  • 12-30-18

great story, good narrator who made one off choice

don't want to spoil anything in the story, it's great barring some very mid-20th century writing on women, but the narrator made a bad choice in going for really strong regional accents for all the characters, there are better ways to differentiate different people in a reading

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-19-18

A great tripped out story

A well-performed tripped out story that takes your mind to other planets and other levels!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin Pinsent
  • 09-16-18

mindbending

this is a great story told well and thanks to the voice I was able to keep track of the action. especially during the more trippy moments with choo-z

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-18

Intriguing

A fascinating, typically trippy novel from Philip K Dick. It is thought provoking and always interesting in its insights and structure. Ultimately, though, one does not care for the characters or their fates, which makes the whole experience one of the head rather than of the emotions.

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  • Samuel
  • 08-30-20

incredibly well read


one of the best Dick books, and incredibly well read. really pretty sad when you get down to it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-29-16

magnificent homage to H.P Lovecraft

Great narration

The story is already starting to move into the direction of Valis with a deep undercurrent of Gnostic mysticism

Feels very topical with the elements of global warming and solipsistic retreat into virtual reality