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Ubik – tekijä: Philip K. Dick
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Ubik (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1969; vuoden 1991 painos)

– tekijä: Philip K. Dick

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6,4571271,127 (4)155
Glen Runciter is dead. Or is he? Someone died in the explosion orchestrated by his business rivals, but even as his funeral is scheduled, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping and regressing in ways which suggest that their own time is running out. If it hasn't already.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:patronus11
Teoksen nimi:Ubik
Kirjailijat:Philip K. Dick
Info:Vintage (1991), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 224 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
Avainsanoja:1960s, novel, science-fiction, weird, surrealism

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Ubik (tekijä: Philip K. Dick) (1969)

Viimeisimmät tallentajatesplanades, SugarThief, SErdman, yksityinen kirjasto, gluegun, KovolKenai, SherryLochhaas, marvincalmer
PerintökirjastotTerence Kemp McKenna
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englanti (108)  ranska (8)  espanja (4)  italia (3)  hollanti (1)  unkari (1)  saksa (1)  Kaikki kielet (126)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 126) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
4.5ish ( )
  MagpieBricolage | Jul 17, 2021 |
Well, damn. I think this was the quickest I've gotten through a Dick novel, and I'm not sure what to think of it. The speed, not the book. I loved the book.

Look, I love Philip K. Dick. I frequently joke with students and colleagues that I'm going to form a religion based on his writings, and I'm not half joking. I've actually thought about how I would do this, from writing down all declarative sentences in each novel, with each novel's compression equalling a book in new holy text. There are 44 novels, more than the Protestant bible, and I dare say mine would be more interesting. I don't know what I'd do with the short stories, however. Maybe psalms?

I think part of the subconscious reasoning behind my "joke" is the fact that all of Dick's novels seem to have to do with religion anyway-- or they are at least metaphysical in nature, dealing as they so often do with perception and reality. [b:Ubik|22590|Ubik|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327995569s/22590.jpg|62929] is no different, and is perhaps the least "scientific" of Dick's novels. The central characters are all psychics of various kinds, though this is like so much of the details of Dick's writing beside the point. What the book really seems to be about is the essence of existence, what happens when between life and death, and how (or if) we can even tell the difference. I suppose, in a sense, Dick writes the same story over and over again, only with different MacGuffins.

As always, I hesitated in giving this novel five stars. If Dick's greatest novel is [b:Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep|7082|Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327865673s/7082.jpg|830939], as I think it is, and that is five stars, how can this one also be? Of course, my relative enjoyment and appreciation of this or any book can't be in comparison of any other, but I do tend to think that way. Unlike most Dick novels, there was even a point late in the reading when I felt a discernible sense of disappointment. Certainly, the "soft" nature of the science in this fiction contributed to that. But then, the best science fiction in my view is the kind that places the world before you and doesn't attempt to explain how things are different. Dick, in fact, rarely bothers. At times, it almost seems he doesn't care too much if the tropes of science fiction present in his novels hold up-- by that I mean, [b:Ubik|22590|Ubik|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327995569s/22590.jpg|62929] takes place in what is obviously meant to be the future, but much like Orwell, Dick didn't bother to put it too far into the future. Not even thirty years. It's strange, at times, when you realize that you're reading a book about a future world that takes place in 1992, twenty-one years in the our past.

Ultimately, however, my disappointment faded as I remembered that Dick is no dogmatist. His books don't serve the expectations of science fiction as a genre, those expectations provide the backdrop for his books. Never does Dick attempt to explain the science behind the psychic "talents" the characters in [b:Ubik|22590|Ubik|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327995569s/22590.jpg|62929] have (but rarely use), or the science that allows other characters to exist in a kind of cryogenically-frozen "half-life". Nor does he need too, because this isn't the point. They simply can, and do, and besides he has a story to tell, ideas to explore. In [b:Ubik|22590|Ubik|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327995569s/22590.jpg|62929], he does so with great humor (the ad copy that prefaces each chapter are hysterical and get more so as the novel progresses), and the character of Joe Chip, like Rick Deckard and so many others, is just so downtrodden but likable. That goes a long way in my book. What goes even farther is the fact that, yet again, Dick gives me a premise that I'll undoubtedly chew on for days to come. This time, it's the idea that all forms of advancement, be they technological or social, contain within them images of past iterations, so that the advance form draws on the early one. We see this literally when cars revert to older models, sociologically when attitudes toward race and global politics revert to more narrow-mindedness (at least to this progressive reader), and metaphorically when the cure-all Ubik reverts to other forms of snake oil.

What I really love is that, having completed the book, I have a sense of what is going on under the surface, but I haven't figured it out completely, not just yet. In that way, reading Dick is like having a good meal, but not eating to over-full. Rather, I now can look forward to feeling sated, and begin to digest. That will always get five stars in my book. ( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
"I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be."

Wow. How I overlooked this book for so long, I don't understand. It is an amazing work, a dark and stormy night of the soul, no doubt, and I have two threads of thought about it as I stare at the closed book I just finished.

The first starts with simple comparison; if Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" is an absurd, darkly-humorous scramble of time and reality, "Ubik" is a grim rumination on reality as a construct beyond our control. As the pace and intensity mount over second half of the novel, the lurking fear of alienation and dislocation become a palpable presence that can follow you around the neighborhood. Living in the current dystopia of 2020, it is easy to wonder what lurks behind the appearances of real life. The USA of 1969 in which Dick wrote "Ubik" must have seemed as hallucinogenic and malignant to him, to imagine such conscious manipulation occurring.

The second is a set of "Aha!" moments, in which Tad Williams' "Otherland" comes into a clearer focus. TW's "Sprootie" and "The Other/Lord Set" are pretty much riffs on Ubik and, [no spoilers] here, if played out differently. It is certainly easier to sleep at night having read of Otherland's uber-VR than Dick's world of RL and "half-life"; in TW's net, the characters but for Jonas know they're in a simworld, but characters in "Ubik" don't know where they stand. Nightmare times, indeed.

This is a top-shelfer, to go on a read-again rotation. But not too often. ( )
1 ääni MLShaw | Jun 17, 2021 |
I've not read a lot of Dick's books, so getting used to the writing style was difficult. At times it can be a bit loose and difficult to keep track of, particularly with several of the characters all once in a pretty alien space. It was tough to slog through the initial portion of the book, and consequently I spent a pretty good bit of time trying to make more sense of what was going on more than really being all that engaged with the characters.

About halfway to three-quarters of the way through the book, things really begin to tighten up as major plotpoints evolve and the real core of the story and the situation reveal themselves. What began as a pretty campy sci-fi text turned into a pretty crazy existential mess about death and life in a fictional world. ( )
  theothergarypowell | May 20, 2021 |
I am not entirely sure how I feel about this book. This might well be because I don't think I've understood it completely quite yet - which, judging by the other reviews, puts me into good company.

Many aspects of the book are tremendous fun while others are in my opinion overdone: The future that Dick describes is not implausible at all (While we may not pay for our doors to open, there are many things that we allegedly don't own any more but rent or license - e-books are just one example.) and I found its portrayal hilarious. The clothes descriptions have been mentioned elsewhere and I found them funny at first but at some point they got on my nerves. The way the characters interact often struck me as strange - walking away from conversations, not reacting to obvious rudeness etc. - maybe this can be attributed to their situation, they are nearly-dead psychics, well inertials, in cold-pac after all, but it sometimes took me out of full immersion in the book's world.

Especially the first half of the book is very witty and I read it speedily while, for me, the latter half or third dragged on a bit. Some of the concepts and explanations introduced in that part just seemed too far-fetched or disconnected to make real sense - but as I said, maybe I just didn't get it.

Anyway, although three stars doesn't look like much, I feel that I will read this book again at some point. I have a hunch that much more will become clear with a second reading and I might just grow to appreciate it much more. For the record, I read the [b:The Philip K. Dick Reader|14183|The Philip K. Dick Reader|Philip K. Dick|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388187295s/14183.jpg|1261788] and loved most of the stories in it, especially the mind-bending ones, so I guess it's not a lost cause. ( )
  SpookyFM | Jan 18, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 126) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (28 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Dick, Philip K.ensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Adams, MarcKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Espín, ManuelKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Frick, JohanKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Jones, PeterKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Pagetti, CarloKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Podaný, RichardKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Rauch, PeterKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Robertson, IanKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Robinson, Kim StanleyJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Smith, Michael MarshallJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Ich sih die liehte heide
in gruener varwe stan
dar suln wir alle gehen
die sumerzeit enpahen.

I see the sunstruck forest
In green it stands complete. 
There soon we are all going, 
The summertime to meet.
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For Tony Boucher
Ensimmäiset sanat
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At three-thirty A.M. on the night of June 5, 1992, the top telepath in the Sol System fell off the map in the offices of Runciter Associates in New York City.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

-

Glen Runciter is dead. Or is he? Someone died in the explosion orchestrated by his business rivals, but even as his funeral is scheduled, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping and regressing in ways which suggest that their own time is running out. If it hasn't already.

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