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Ubik Paperback – Dec 3 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Dec 3 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679736646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679736646
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 12.9 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Doug Mackey on April 28 2004
Format: Paperback
In Ubik, first published in 1969, we find the first distinct appearance of the transcendental element in Dick's work. In his earlier novels, he had been content to demonstrate that there is no "objective" reality irrespective of consciousness: the mind essentially constructs its own world. In Ubik, the protagonist Joe Chip, condemned to a perpetual "half-life" of suspended animation after a fatal accident, finds his world inexorably deteriorating around him. The only thing standing between Joe and complete extinction is a product called Ubik, which comes in spray cans, and, when sprayed on, instantly counteracts the forces of destruction. Among other things, Ubik appears as a razor blade, a deodorant, a bra, a breakfast cereal, a pill for stomach relief, plastic wrap, a salad dressing, a used car, and a savings and loan. As its name implies, it is ubiquitous. Though a symbol of the divine, it is not a mere magical aid but a gift that can only be summoned by the person who needs it through an exercise of will and intelligence. The ending of Ubik has a twist that calls into question the substantiality of the "real world." This is my favorite PKD novel, the one that combines the most dazzling metaphysics with the most involving story and characters. After reading it, one can only start scanning one's own environment for hopeful signs of the redeeming Ubik!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christoph Strizik on April 15 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic! I have to admit that Ubik was the first Philip K. Dick book I read and I was thrilled by his concepts. I loved this book from the very first page on because it is...abnormal. In the meantime I have also read a couple of other Philip K. Dick books but Ubik is the one which is above all them. The kind of ideas he throws at you are just stunning. Objects are morphing back into earlier technologies (a fancy high speed elevator transforms into an old cable operated thing), a talking doors threatens to prosecute one of the main characters, messages from a dead guy, the picture of the same dead guy turns up on money coins, and last but not least the all important question: are we dead or is everybody else dead? The book has only 200 pages and not a single word is wasted. The story is superbly and plotted in a complex way and takes countless unexpected turns. Every single time when you start to believe what this is all about, it just changes in such a drastic way that you have to put your thoughts together from scratch. Philip K. Dick is a master in his own genre and I don't think anybody else dares to enter his realms. The only sad thing which is currently happening to his brilliant stories is the way Hollywood turns them into cheap blockbusters such as Pay check. I can understand that the complexity of his stories can not be easily turned into movies but using 10% of his genius ideas and 90% action crap is not good
Enough!
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By hubert on Aug. 25 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Great Product, as described and in very good condition. The shipping was very well handle and very fast. thank you
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By Roland on Aug. 2 2010
Format: Paperback
I've always been deeply in love with Philip Dick's paranoid worlds. I love his books, I love his short stories, I even love things like Our Friends From Frolix 8. There is something raw and razor-sharp, almost clinical in Dick's writing, something that transcends style, ideas and story. You can always tell that a part of him - and it might very well be a dominant part - not only believes in what he writes, but lives it.

I haven't read all of Dick's books. I haven't even read half of them. Still I've read most of those whose names everyone knows, and I have read enough to think that even a genius of his magnitude would be hard pressed to write anything quite as good as Ubik twice. If I had to point at a single one of Philip Dick's works as his magnum opus, that would undoubtedly be it.

As Michael Marshall Smith aptly puts it in the forward of my edition of the book, there is a mind-boggling number of SF ideas in Ubik: time-travel; psychic abilities and their corresponding anti-abilities; the dead being kept in a state of "half-life" where they could be reached by the living; alternate realities and reality revision; futuristic space-faring society; dystopian economic system. Many authors would spin a book around any ONE of those, but for Philip Dick it's always what's underneath the flesh that matters, so he casually presents them ALL in the first ten pages of his novel.

In Ubik's world technology has advanced to the state where colonization of the Moon and other worlds is possible. Psychic phenomena are common and many people employ psychics in their business ventures or shadier dealings. And since no law could control such powers, the so called "prudence organizations" have appeared.
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Format: Paperback
I've been reading the works of Philip K. Dick for several years now, and have read most of his more well-known works, thought I still have a lot to go. I have read a lot of books from many different genres, including the classics and technical writings, and the books of Philip K. Dick are, in many ways, the most complex of them all. Ubik was not his most original or creative work, as the author himself admitted, but is a great blending of many of the elements that make up the PhiDickian universe. Here we find Dick toying with many of his favorite themes: paranoia, isolation, alienation, paranormal phenomenon, and, of course, the slippery nature of reality. Ubik works on several levels, as do all of Dick's books; one is a quasi-detective story, which will interest the average reader with its suspense and intrigue, and another is as a dark metaphysical comedy. Much of the book is funny, in its way, wavering from black humor to near-slapstick. All the time, we are drawn further and further into the world of the book as weirdness piles upon weirdness and the mystery of the book thickens. Like all PKD, it is superbly and complexly plotted -- almost unimaginably so. His works never cease to amaze me. How did he come up with this stuff? It is almost incredible that he did -- and so easily and quickly at that. Dick spits out immensely imaginative subplots and asides that lesser authors could build an entire career on. His plots are the most complex I have ever encountered in literature, surpassing even the convuluted multiplexity of other science fiction works. Dick had a truly incredible imagination. That said, Ubik, as with all PKD, is very tightly written and extremely focused; though all of his books contain enough material for years of pondering, most all of them are around the 200 page range.Read more ›
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