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The Divine Invasion Paperback – October 18, 2011

57 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the VALIS Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews


'A great philosophical writer' Independent 'Really excellent entertainment' Daily Telegraph 'One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction' Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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n The Divine Invasion, Philip K. Dick asks: What if God--or a being called Yah--were alive and in exile on a distant planet? How could a second coming succeed against the high technology and finely tuned rationalized evil of the modern police state? The Divine Invasion "blends Judaism, Kabalah, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity into a fascinating fable of human existence" (West Coast Revew of Books). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reissue edition (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547572425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547572420
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By P. Nicholas Keppler on December 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
The protagonist of the Divine Invasion is Herb Asher, a recluse living on a human colony on the planet CY30-CY30B. Asher spends most his time lying in bed, listening to singer Linda Fox, until one day a deity identifying itself as the Judeo-Christian God Yahweh calls him to comfort his neighbor, Rybys Rommey, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. A prophet named Elias Tate informs them that Rybys, a virgin, is pregnant with the Second Coming and the three travel to Earth where the child will finish the battle with Belial, the Adversary who banished Yahweh to CY30-CY30B thousands of years earlier and has kept the Earth under his dark cloud since.
Or at least that is the story that keeps playing in Asher's head as he is kept in a frozen state awaiting a new pancreas to replace the one that was injured in the jet crash that killed Rybys upon their return to Earth. Meanwhile, her child Emmanuel, who survived the crash but with brain damage, lives with Tate and attends a special education school with Zina, a girl who seems to know much about Emmanuel and his place in the cosmos.
Welcome to the strange, strange world of latter day Philip K. Dick. The science-fiction author, who specialized in surreal settings and complex puzzles concerning identity, questioned the cosmos as only he could in his final trio of novels of which the Divine Invasion is the middle entry. The novels were inspired by an instance in 1974 in which Dick alleged that a transcendental being briefly possessed him.
For a project inspired by such an absurd episode, the Divine Invasion has a tight, highly coherent theological underlining. Dick shows a remarkable understanding of Gnostic principles, with Asher, Fox, Rybys, Tate, Emmanuel, and Zina each representing an important component of the Christian cosmic order.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on June 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
To all the would-be literary naysayers out there who say "all possible plots have already been used" and "every book is just a different version of a previously released book", I have one piece of advice for you: read a Philip K. Dick book. Particularly his Valis trilogy is highly unique and a bit eye-opening. How many books have you read that star God as a crippled, 10-year-old amnesiac? Not very many, I would imagine, but this is such a book. Setting the novel in such an off-kilter scenario allows Dick to examine, and thereby challenge, our conventional ideas of God. This book is very dense and hard to penetrate at times... many of the references escaped me, but I still found it interesting for it's novel views on theology and the nature of God. I highly recommend this book, and Dick's entire Valis trilogy, to anyone looking for theology-expanding fiction, or simply a unique read.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dorion Sagan on March 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Divine Invasion opens with Herb Asher (do I detect a botanical reference?) "dead and in cryonic suspension" overseeing information traffic from within his dome around the binary star system CY30-CY30B. His sickly female neighbor, dying of multiple sclerosis, becomes pregnant with a virgin birth (her hymen is intact and Herb is repulsed by her sickness) that turns out to be the result of Yahweh--God of the old testament. Although only perhaps (like us all?) vividly dreaming, Asher accompanies his legal wife (Yah has insisted he sympathize with her by vengefully threatening to destroy his most treasured belongings, especially his tapes of Linda Fox, a galactically renowned vocalist) through quasi-fascistic interrogations and security back to Earth. There his life is reminiscent but different than on the world of methane crystals housing the dome where he "really is." As the "legal father" of God (as he explains to a police man who stops him in his fly-car) he meets his step-son, the Christ-like child who combines infinity from God (the alien who comes in half-human form to Earth) and the earthly from his human wife. Emmanuel, the God-child, is engaged in both a battle of recalling his true nature and playing with his elusive female playmate, Zina. Zina knows things about him that he doesn't. She is Shekhina, "the immanent Presence who never left the world...the female side of God" who remained with the immanent world when the Godhead split. Elias Tate, Herb Asher's best friend, is the prophet Elijah on the two-star system, but a black man who works at an audio components shop on Earth.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is Dick at his best. This book is one of the most incredible novels I have ever read. I couldn't even read too much of it at one sitting because the concepts fried my brain so much, but I couldn't stop either. Only someone who was as insane as Philip K Dick was toward the end of his life could come up with insights and concepts as brilliant and moving as those presented here. The theology was incredible and the way he dissected God's mind blew me away. A must read for anyone. I have and will continue to praise this novel and recommend it to anyone interested.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. G. Plumb on May 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Philip Dick was an immensely creative and entertaining writer - a real stylist but also a creator of wonderfully inventive plots. But he does something else, something that many of the best SF writers do - he is an educator. But where other SF writers educate their readers about the latest scientific discoveries and technological developments - and the implications of these for individuals and for the environment and society of humans - Philip Dick takes on deeper things - the nature of reality, the psychological functioning of the mind, and in this novel, God and religion. These are topics that Philip Dick certainly doesn't trivialise. He obviously spent much time researching and understanding the philosophy of these ideas in a way that enables his novels to be a foundation for readers who are interested - and his novels have a way of making you interested.
I suspect that the average reader of novels - even literary novels - would be surprised by some of the background material that Philip Dick weaves into his stories. In fact, I'm surprised myself when I realise I'm deep in some theological arguments that were probably 'lifted' from some research source and then brought to life in such an engaging way.
In this novel you, like I, might be confronted for the first time by a really tangible God, something drawn together from the ideas of generations and generations of philosophers.
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