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Counter-Clock World [Hardcover]

Philip K. Dick
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1979 0839824858 978-0839824855
Pre-empting novels such as the Booker Prize-winning 'Time's Arrow' by as much as twenty years, Counter-Clock world is a story of racial tensions told against the background of the year 1998 in which time flows in reverse as people are born old only to grow younger and younger. Time runs backwards in the Counter-Clock World. Old people emerge from their graves, grow to middle age, youth, adolescence and childhood to be finally unborn in their mothers wombs. The most powerful - and most feared - organisation in the world is the Library, in charge of expunging the written records of events, which have no longer happened. When a powerful black leader is reborn, the Library's one concern is to eliminate him before the renewal of racial violence tears the country apart. But in this counter-clock year of 1998 it isn't that simple! This eerie and unforgettable premise encapsulates Philip K Dick's ambitious and inimitable approach to fiction writing. The attempts of his characters to cope with the bizarre reality of a world that runs backwards while their minds run forwards like ours, operate as a stunning critique of the way in which we perceive our own civilization.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Released in 1967 and 1956, respectively, these volumes offer Dick's usual bleak outlook for the future. In CounterClock World, time begins moving backwards, and, as a result, there is a reanimation of the dead, including a religious leader who has amassed a sizable number of followers since his demise. Back above ground, he finds himself worshipped by millions who will do anything he says, making him quite dangerous. Japed follows a similar theme in the character of Allen Purcell, a highly placed politico who has the power to change the world. Dick fans and Blade Runner nuts will be glad to see these.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


'One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction' Sunday Times 'Dick quietly produced serious fiction in a popular form and there can be no greater praise' Michael Moorcock 'No other writer of his generation had such a powerful intellectual presence. He has stamped himself not only on our memories but in our imaginations' Brian W. Aldiss 'The most consistently brilliant SF writer in the world' John Brunner --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very cool May 21 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Eccentric and inspiring ideas are a Philip K. Dick norm, and this story is no exception. This story gives us insight into what our world would be like if people came back from the dead instead of being born, and said "goodbye" instead of "hello." Where the end is only beginning. This appears to be a commentary on the afterlife and how humanity handles loss and change.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A darker shade of Dick June 5 2004
This novel, first published in 1967, has a more serious and darker tone than most of Dick's earlier works. It is an ambitious novel, underread and underrated in the Dick canon, in which the author attempts to integrate religious and metaphysical thought from a wide variety of writers across history. The premise is that time has started to run backwards due to something called the Hobart Phase. Dead people come back to life in their graves; living people grow continually younger until they reenter their mothers' wombs. Food is regurgitated into its original form, and while eating is considered obscene, waste ("sogum") is "imbibed" through tubes in public. People say "goodbye" when they greet each other and "hello" when they part. Critics have derided Dick's use of time reversal as completely illogical and inconsistent. That doesn't seem to matter really. The novel's serious concerns, about the frailty of life and love in the face of monolithic external forces, lift it above its own contrivances.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four stars for imagination. Dec 1 2003
Though the pace can at times make you feel like your in labor, this novel has an incredible plot, and is simply another in the plethora of PKD's dystopic wonders. Honestly, not his best effort, but definitely worth the time.
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PKD faced the old problem of commercialism vs. integrity. I consider this book to be a testament to Dick's integrity. Exploring often mentioned, but never developed, ideas.
For example, the Wizard Merlin supposedly lived backwards in time. Yet this idea has only been presented, not developed in the stories I have read. Several religions suggest a rapture or ressurection of the dead, without filling us in on the details.
Dick must have really felt the avenue of backwards time was worth exploring or he never would have finished it. It was brave for Dick to see these ideas through to their conclusion. While facing the realities of rent and editors, etc.
This book is not as morbid as earlier reviews might suggest. The characters are sincere and even light-hearted at times.
I found this to be one of Dick's easier and smoother reads.
I break it down this way. If you go to a movie and willingly submit to a fantasy experience, read this book. If you go to movies to test your analytical and deductive skills don't bother.
If you suspect that time is really just one big cosmic "Wow!" that has already ensued, I highly recommend it.
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