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Mary and the Giant (GollanczF.) Paperback – June 9, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: GollanczF.
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (June 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575074663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575074668
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,109,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Twenty-year old Mary Anne Reynolds lives in Pacific Park, California, and is looking for love. The time is 1953. Seeking a "giant" of a man to make her life right, Mary has brief affairs with a black blues singer and the middle-aged owner of a classical music record store. Mary knows that she "wants out" of Pacific Park, but she doesn't know much more. This slice-of-life novel, a classic tale of 1950s frustration, has considerable literary merit both for characterization and the vividness of its setting. A well-drawn, sympathetic character, Mary is something of a forerunner of the liberated Sixties woman. Written 30-odd years ago when the late science fiction great was still in his 20s, this mainstream novel is being published for the first time in its entirety. Even now, it has a strong sense of relevancy and deserves a wide readership. James B. Hemesath, Adams State Coll. Lib., Alamosa, Col.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical-music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, 'Beyond Lies the Wub' in 1952. Among his many fine novels are The Man in the High Castle, Time Out of Joint, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By benshlomo on June 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
On the surface, at least, this is an early feminist novel. It's about a young woman in a small town, a victim of abuse, trying to make her own way in the world and constantly imposed upon by various men. Some of these men want to please themselves with her, some want to define her by traditional or untraditional roles, some genuinely want to help, but none of them can see her for who she is. You might think this was just a thinly disguised fictional version of "The Feminine Mystique" except for a couple of things. First, while the protagonists in some feminist literature seem like nothing more than bullhorns for the authors' philosophies, Mary is a complex, needy, strong, often infuriating character right from the start. Second, "Mary and the Giant" is by Philip K. Dick. And I've been reviewing the man's work for a while now, so let me repeat what I've said before; absolutely nothing you find in a PKD novel is as simple as it seems.

Mary Ann Reynolds is a 20-year-old high school graduate in Pacific Park, California, who starts off the novel working in the office of a furniture factory. She's dissatisfied with her life, her job and her family, but unlike some people in fiction and in life, she makes no effort to hide her dissatisfaction. This obviously puts her at a disadvantage with many of the people she meets, but it sure makes her interesting to read about. What's more, this strength of character becomes critical very quickly; it's no surprise to see that she likes to hang out in places where women of her age and race ordinarily don't show up, nor that this habit exposes her to some frightening scenes. There are plenty of men around who would love to help her out of these jams, for various reasons. However uncomfortable she is, though, Mary isn't interested in rescue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doug Mackey on June 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Completed in 1955, but not published until 1987, Mary and the Giant revolves around a subject close to Dick's heart, music. Almost everybody in the novel is related somehow to the music business; music is the constant topic of conversation and is usually playing in the background. Joe Schilling, the "giant" of the title, is a record-shop proprietor who represents a taste for the classical, while Mary Ann Reynolds, a young woman whom he hires as a sales clerk, gravitates to jazz. A very strong example of Dick's mainstream writing, Mary and the Giant is a tight, well-constructed narrative. The character of Mary is convincing and compelling. Although cold on the surface, she is a multilayered creation with whom the author empathizes strongly. Her refreshing honesty and directness are seductive. The scenes in the jazz club, the wild party, the sordid and claustrophobic atmosphere of Mary's family home, and the well-drawn subsidiary characters make this novel memorable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved this. It's one of Dick's better books. Story of strange young woman and how she finds her place in the world. Very interesting characters.
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