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A Maze of Death Paperback – April 16, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reissue edition (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547572441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547572444
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Fourteen strangers came to Delmak-O. Thirteen of them were transferred by the usual authorities. One got there by praying. But once they arrived on that planet whose very atmosphere seemed to induce paranoia and psychosis, the newcomers found that even prayer was useless. For on Delmak-O, God is either absent or intent on destroying His creations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Over a writing career that spanned three decades, Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) published 36 science fiction novels and 121 short stories in which he explored the essence of what makes man human and the dangers of centralized power. Toward the end of his life, his work turned toward deeply personal, metaphysical questions concerning the nature of God. Eleven novels and short stories have been adapted to film; notably: Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. The recipient of critical acclaim and numerous awards throughout his career, Dick was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007 the Library of America published a selection of his novels in three volumes. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.


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Customer Reviews

The characters in Maze are lost in the surreal world of PKD.
Steve S
Most of the characters have convincing inner lives to motivate them, although they seem at times a little too self-aware for plausibility.
Amazon Customer
It's a must read for fans of both psychological and philosophical science fiction.
Czombie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By EMAN NEP on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is definitely in my top ten list of PKD's best. Here's the basic storyline: An odd group of people find themselves on a planet called Delmak-O. Just as they're about find out what they're there for, the satellite that's supposed to tell them does something strange, leaving them in the dark. Now, clueless as to their reason for being here, they try and find a way to regain communication. But then something else happens. Slowly, they start dying off, and no one knows who is killing who. It sorta reminded me of the movie CLUE. At first you might think that this is just a murder-mystery in space. WRONG. The ending was EXTREMELY unpredictable, but EXTREMELY brilliant. This story could only have come from one of SF's masters, PKD. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but his character development is good enough that you can tell who's who most of the time. I can't believe that this book didn't win an award or something, it's really great. If you find it, read it and enjoy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
See where Hollywood got the idea for "The 13th Floor." This book, and "Ubik" more or less created the genre of psychedelic science fiction. It is one of his most cohesive books, among the most genuinely paranoid, and very much predates Jack Chalker's recent (good) Wonderland trilogy. These are some of his better characters, all trapped on a pathetic planet and trying to figure out what is going on before they die. Now, with all the Hollywood copycats, the ending might seem clichéd. But remember, that he was in that genre first and "Maze of Death" is still champion. Personally, Dick inspired me. I know of no one else who so masterfully writes of that strange domain where psychology, philosophy, theology, and mythology intersect.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AMC on January 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Realistic characters (all human this time), genuine suspense, a strange and oddly familiar view of religion and a really well handled twist at the end - for those reasons A Maze of Death is one of my favorite Philip K. Dick novels. It's a short book, but packs in a lot of insight about perceptions, the shifting nature of reality (of course), human interactions, paranoia and hopeless cases. I notice that the tone here is more dismal than Philip K. Dick usually offers, but (as always with his stories) reading it is an eye-opening and memorable experience.
While many authors have expanded on themes in this story, written in 1970, I don't think that anyone's improved on his presentation of them. Read it with your mind open to all possibilities.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Guy Salvidge on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Maze presents the common PKD theme of one ersatz reality, the one in which we believe we live, giving way to another. Invariably this is traumatic, such as in Ubik. In this case, however, all hope is lost as to a solution. Dick's metaphor of the doomed spaceship (being Earth) is gloomy indeed, and it is no surprise that this book was written at a time in Phil's life where he had no hope. The only hope is the mystical removal of Morley at the end, but this could be interpreted as an escape into death. This is not a happy novel.
Nevertheless, as others have said, Maze is possibly the fastest PKD read you will encounter. I have read this book but once, and I was astounded at the time. I rate this extremely highly as a work of fiction, although I suspect that further reading will confirm what others have said - that is that the soul is not there, Dick no longer believes in what he is writing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Plaque on May 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Philip K. Dick is best known for being the mind behind the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", better known to most as the cult sci-fi film "Blade Runner". Dick is a master of expressing paranoia and delusion, frequently within a science fiction setting, although it is the ideas that take center stage, rather than the "science" of it all. In a Philip K. Dick novel, things are never what they appear to be at first glance.
"A Maze of Death" fits right in with other Dick novels I've read, and as usual his explorations of paranoid thinking take center stage. As the back cover synopsis suggests, the characters here find themselves on the strange planet of Delmak-O, brought together through means not of their own choosing. While on the oddly deserted world, they find themselves packed together in a semi-modern encampment, surroundings not unlike what the characters in John Carpenter's "The Thing" lived in. Fact is, the plot follows in much the same way as "The Thing"; these people are being killed left and right, and nobody is beyond suspicion.
Another element Dick introduces here are far-future ideas concerning God and theology. Imagine taking some of the far-out ideas in today's theological studies, yet implementing those ideas as PART OF accepted beliefs in God. The Bible re-written, essentially... right down to the names of the divine characters involved. Combining this with firm evidence that the divine walk among us, the idea that prayers are answered on a frequent basis, and you have the basis for a LOT of interesting twists and turns, particularly when it's in the capable hands of Dick.
As the story progresses, however, this novel does not deliver what it promises. I had a hard time picturing Dick's ideas, which is unusual in my experience with him.
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