Valis

Narrated by: Phil Gigante
Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
4 out of 5 stars (396 ratings)

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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

23 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

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

5 people found this helpful

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love this book

really helps me deal with the hard days and the sad times to search for a God with PKD. hopefully something has my back.

2 people found this 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?

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Definitely not for those who are new to PKD

I’m really shocked that anyone who hasn’t read a few PKD books would start with this one...it’s definitely a great book and it’s not like you can’t understand it at all without having read his other books, however, you will have a much easier time discerning what’s fact and what’s fiction if you know the author better and have read some of his other books. Some of the ideas in this book are scattered through out his other books, the Tibetan book of the dead is a big theme in Ubik, seeing god then becoming depressed to the point of suicide was also a theme in Scanner Darkly, the clay pots and young girl theme comes up in Three Stigmata. When you read into the author, you find out these are based on real life experiences. So much of the first half of this book is based on his real life experiences, actually. It helps to have those novels to connect some of these ideas to.

I was obsessed with the first half of this book, and it wasn’t until the last 2 chapters or so that I felt myself being slightly uninterested. In usual PKD fashion, the ending was sort of a flop. However, the book in its entirety was so good it didn’t totally ruin it for me at all. And there are two more to this series. Looking forward to them.

1 person found this helpful

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great book great finish.

The beginning was a little hard for me to grasp, but it all kinda tied together at the end. I suppose that's a hallmark of Dick's writing. I really enjoyed it, easily one of my favorite of his. The performance was great! I loved the reader's voice, and happy with my purchase of this book. Cheers.

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Fun and trippy

He wraps you into a wild and fantastical world - blurring the lines between the real and mental illness.

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Thought provoking

Nice fun read! Thank you to those involved for producing this book. Let me get some of that pink light PKD.

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Wow

As an introduction to Philip K. Dick's work, that was one heck of a ride. I'll definitely be getting back on.

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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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

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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.