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VALIS (1981)

Tekijä: Philip K. Dick

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: VALIS Trilogy (1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
4,466742,549 (3.92)104
Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

The mind-bending novels of Philip K. Dick transcend genre to explore the nature of consciousness and reality, placing ordinary men and women in congress with the unknowable and the awe-full. Valis, the first in Dick's final trio of novels, is a theological detective story in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime. The schizophrenic hero, a Dick alter ego named Horselover Fat, begins receiving revelatory visions through a burst of pink laser light. The visions are of an alternate Earth where the Roman Empire still reigns, and Horselover must decide whether he is crazy or whether a godlike entity is showing him the true nature of the world. As a coterie of religious seekers forms to explore these messages, they are led to a rock musician's estate, where a two-year-old Messianic figure named Sophia confirms that an ancient, mechanical intelligence orbiting the earth has been guiding their discoveries.

Mixing Gnostic Christianity with Dick's own strange philosophy, Valisis as funny and surprising as it is eye-opening. 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. This novel is essential reading for any true Philip K. Dick fan.

.
… (lisätietoja)
  1. 10
    Unesta päivää päin (tekijä: Doris Lessing) (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Spiritually-oriented narratives in which sanity and reality are brought into hypothetical opposition, both with science-fictional elements.
  2. 00
    Foucaultin heiluri (tekijä: Umberto Eco) (Baldrian)
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» Katso myös 104 mainintaa

englanti (67)  espanja (2)  ranska (2)  unkari (1)  italia (1)  Kaikki kielet (73)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 73) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Recently reread this after about 15 years. Much more interesting the 2d time.
Extremely interesting how he puts together all the Gnostic and other historical references to create the world of Horselover Fat and how it parallels his own life.

Amazed at his vocabulary but unfortunately did not have easy access to a dictionary or internet while doing the reread.

I do have a copy of Exegesis? but don't think I could ever make it through. It would be a great book if stranded on a deserted island... ( )
  delta351 | Dec 18, 2023 |
Not quite what I expected
  atrillox | Nov 27, 2023 |
This book defies description. In fictional form, it is the writer's own experience following a strange event in 1974 in which he opened the door to a young woman delivering something and a flash from jewellery she was wearing was perceived by him as a pink laser beam delivering an epiphany straight into his brain. He became convinced that the universe was sentient, was split into ying/yang beings, that all life was really encoded information, that history since Roman times was illusory and therefore that 1974 was really still in New Testament times, and a whole lot more. This was a revelation from VALIS: Vast Active Living Intelligence System, connected with the star Sirius and a strange 3-eyed race originating from there. Weirdly, the revelation also included a diagnosis of his young son's illness, enabling Dick to tell the doctor what was wrong with him and saving his life.

Structurally, the account is given by a character named for the author, who is a successful Science Fiction author and who is trying to help his mentally ill friend, Horselover Fat. However, he tells us early on that Fat is really himself (the name is derived from Philip, which comes from the ancient Greek for 'lover of horses' and Dick which apparently means fat in German. So quite a few conversations occur in the book between these two parts of himself, and sometimes it is acknowledged that this is the case, but sometimes Horselover Fat goes off to another place on his spiritual quest while Dick stays behind.

Some truly mind boggling beliefs are discussed in the story, and I couldn't really reconcile them all so became a bit brain-boggled in the attempt. I had to dip into this book for a few pages at a time in between reading other things, which is why it took me a very long time to read it. On one level it is an interesting examination, by someone who suffered hallucinatory mental illness, of what it is like to be in such a mental condition. It is also quite darkly humoured in places. The author is frank about his previous drug taking though oddly these mental episodes took place after he had weaned himself off amphetamines and other substances.

The book shows the author's well-read background as it brings in elements from many different philosophical systems and religions dating back to ancient Greece, including Platonism, Gnosticism and Zoroastranism.

Given my difficulty in reconciling all the differing philosophical discussions about God, reality, the universe et al, I can only give it 3 stars although it was an interesting read.

( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
I was recommended this after having mixed feelings about Ubik. I'm not sure I was more into it, but it's definitely more *interesting*, which is good. The pulp storyline there is completely dropped - this is a (semi?)-autobiographical voyage through him trying to understand the universe and the meaning of reality. A lot of stuff happens but it's unclear if any of it is even close to what's "real". It feels much more honest about this than the other novels he's written where it often feels less clever and more like a cheap twist. Here it feels like there's an admission thinking about this stuff is basically impossible, even with revelations - the world may be illusion of some kind but it still clearly *is* for us at the moment.

The big thing that probably put me off from the start is that 3 women characters are introduced in the first 1/3 or so, and they're all basically evil. The woman right at the start, looking for a way to kill herself? She's not just hit rock bottom, she's deeply evil and trying to bring everyone else down with her. The MC's wife? She only sought a divorce because she believed it would kill the MC. The woman waiting, knowing she'll soon die from a return of cancer which almost wiped her out first time? She hates everyone who's nice to her because she wants to be miserable and wanted the cancer to come back. It's really really noticeable. It's sort of understandable in terms of the book's "philosophy" to have a character like that. Having 3 and they're all women? Eesh. Like, this is both a narrative issue and clearly an issue he had IRL, that he did not like women, despite marrying 5 times. It's uncomfortable as hell! Especially when it's used to teach the "lesson" that the MC/Dick "needs to stop helping people" because he loves doing it and he's too kind lmao. It's lesser, but there's also a weird lack of sympathy for drug users, especially given he was one for a long time AFAIK (even in narrative!)

I think that genuinely made me feel a lot less inclined to try to get to grips with the weird, shifting, complex account of gnosis here. It is kind of fascinating. What parts are played by three eyed aliens, an eternal satellite, a reincarnation of Jesus/the Buddha/Zoroaster, immortal Christians from Jesus's time, a thought transmission device from the Soviets? Even to the end we don't really know. The likelihood of each constantly shifts. There's a sort of logic and cohesion to it, even if the shifts follow a logic that's not rational exactly (although of course what's rational in an irrational world? If a delusional person tries to rationalise their delusions that's treated as proof they're irrational). It's hard to believe that 3 people would have their entire worldview shifted as the result of watching a strange sci-fi film, but there is some logic when they read into it symbols they'd already seen elsewhere. There's a strange mix of the banal and the epiphany. The divine can be discovered in clay pots and drive in B-movies. Maybe ultimately the search is more important than the destination, the openness to the out of the ordinary, accepting it and letting it drive you even if it appears strange and delusional to others. Maybe you need to be more grounded, even if you always remain waiting for something more. The book doesn't feel certain at the end. It goes through a lot of stuff that's strange but ultimately accepts that right now we don't know. But he's certain there's something more, at least.

Ultimately a book with a lot of interesting stuff, even if the philosophy is a bit difficult to sit through sometimes. Just found things like the treatment of women enough to throw me off. ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Interesting but definitely crazy documentation of a writer's descend into madness. Too much drugs is bad, hmkay. ( )
  zeh | Jun 3, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 73) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (21 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Dick, Philip K.ensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
DeLotel, JamesKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Louit, RobertKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Masera, RubénKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Moore, ChrisKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
North, HeidiKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Pék, ZoltánKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Rosvall, MattiKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Weiner, TomKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät paikat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
To Russell Galen

who showed me the right way
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Horselover Fat's nervous breakdown began the day he got the phone call from Gloria asking if he had any Nembutals.
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Fish cannot carry guns.
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen kieli
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

The mind-bending novels of Philip K. Dick transcend genre to explore the nature of consciousness and reality, placing ordinary men and women in congress with the unknowable and the awe-full. Valis, the first in Dick's final trio of novels, is a theological detective story in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime. The schizophrenic hero, a Dick alter ego named Horselover Fat, begins receiving revelatory visions through a burst of pink laser light. The visions are of an alternate Earth where the Roman Empire still reigns, and Horselover must decide whether he is crazy or whether a godlike entity is showing him the true nature of the world. As a coterie of religious seekers forms to explore these messages, they are led to a rock musician's estate, where a two-year-old Messianic figure named Sophia confirms that an ancient, mechanical intelligence orbiting the earth has been guiding their discoveries.

Mixing Gnostic Christianity with Dick's own strange philosophy, Valisis as funny and surprising as it is eye-opening. 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. This novel is essential reading for any true Philip K. Dick fan.

.

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