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The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Paperback – October 18, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Really excellent entertainment' Daily Telegraph 'An elusive and incomparable artist' Ursula LeGuin 'My literary hero' Fay Weldon --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

In this wildly disorienting funhouse of a novel, populated by God-like--or perhaps Satanic--takeover artists and corporate psychics, Philip K. Dick explores mysteries that were once the property of St. Paul and Aquinas. His wit, compassion, and knife-edged irony make The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch moving as well as genuinely visionary.


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547572557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547572550
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on December 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sporting one of the neatest titles in all of literature, SF or otherwise, this novel is considered one of Dick's handful of absolute masterpieces, written during his peak in the sixties. People who saw Blade Runner, went and read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and liked it enough to want to explore Dick further and came here (remove the seeing Blade Runner part and that's me) may find this book a decidely odd experience. Not outwardly psychedelic in nature but certainly dealing with altered states of conscious and the nature of reality versus our perception of it . . . if you find yourself reading it and think you're missing something, trust me you aren't alone. Probably no one other than Dick knew exactly everything that is going on in here but for the rest of us it's an interesting dilemma trying to discern his exact meaning, or our best interpretation. In the future, the earth is unbearably warm, people are being drafted to be sent to dreary colonies and Can-D is the drug of the moment, a substance which allows people to "translate" into layouts based on a doll called Perky Pat and basically experience a life that isn't theirs. Then Palmer Eldrich returns from outside the solar system with his new drug Chew-D which he claims will deliver immortality and show the nature of God . . . and then things get funny. Dick's vision of a future world is absolutely fascinating and for us low brow folks who don't get all the wacky symbolism, makes the book worth it simply for his depiction of an overheated earth, the boring spiritual desolation of the Mars colonies, the pre-cogs who determine the latest fashions, it all feels bleak and despairing but there's a sense of humor lurking in the wings and a vague feeling that something larger is going on.Read more ›
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Randy Stafford VINE VOICE on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
One of Dick's classics with virtually all his famous motifs and themes: multiple realities, chatty robots, a scheming woman, desperate colonists on Mars, gnosticism, the machine as an emblem of death, corporate and political intrigue, time travel, and pre-cognition.

Industrialist and drug smuggler Leo Bulero has a problem. Mutilated cyborg Palmer Eldritch has returned unexpectedly after a ten year absence in space. Now he's threatening to undercut Bulero's business: providing a sort of commodified communion for colonists on Mars. With the elaborate playsets built around his Perky Pat dolls and with the aid of the narcotic Can-D, Bulero offers groups a pharmacological return to the Earth they've been exiled from and that is now burning up for unknown reasons.

But Eldritch's Chew-Z offers a different, longer lasting trip, and one more solipistically seductive. But is Eldritch a man or the spearhead of an alien invasion?

As with some of Dick's best work, the story feels oddly up to date whether it's the climatically changed Earth, the obsession with spotting commerical trends via pre-cognitives, a corrupt UN, or the talking suitcase that also happens to be a psychotherapist.

Even if you're not quite sure what to make of the ending, this is one of Dick's very best novels.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
The novel depicts colonists on the planet Mars (a thinly disguised analogue for life in 1960s suburbia) who are so bored they have to take a hallucinogenic drug called Can-D to stay sane. Can-D causes a group hallucination in which several persons can participate. However, the titular Mr Eldritch, a drug pusher from outer space, comes to Mars and offers a new and more powerful hallucinogen, Chew-Z.

Palmer Eldritch, a character based on an hallucination that Dick himself once experienced, is a wealthy industrialist with metal eyes, a metal hand and a metal jaw. In character and action he seems to this writer to resemble the "crippled man" of German expressionist movies and literature; who is himself physically crippled, but has almost a supernatural control over others. Examples of such characters in movies include the Professor in "Metropolis", the title character in "Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari", and the title character in Fritz Lang's "Dr Mabuse" films. More recent examples may include the title character in Kubrick's "Dr Strangelove", and the stammering, limping Dr Schreber in Alex Proyas' "Dark City".

The character of Eldritch is the unforgettable centre of the novel, and is truly a terrifying presence.

The effect of Eldritch's drug Chew-Z is to cause the user to enter a hallucinatory reality, apparantly of his or her own choice. However, in these realities the user is alone - no one else can enter their hallucinations except, apparantly, Palmer Eldritch. The contrast between the two drugs may be seen as an analogy of the difference between the "soft drug" marijuana and the hard drug heroin. While marijuana may be taken in company, heroin is taken alone, and the user becomes withdrawn.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By OverTheMoon on February 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dick does dual-reality, as off-world colonies within their `P. P. Layouts' are addicted to an outlawed mind-altering drug called Can-D find themselves facing a new and improved mind altering drug that appears to also alter the fabrics of the real world. Leo Bulero and Barney Mayerson who run the Can-D market are trying to save company losses by exterminating the manufacturer of Chew-Z, Palmer Eldritch, who has just returned from a mysterious excursion to the outer limits of an unknown solar system. Which world is real and which is a fantasy and is Can-D in fact just a hallucination within the Chew-C hallucination, as everybody starts to experience parts of Eldritch's consciousness blend with their own hyper-reality, or have they all taken overdoses and are dead? Future alien phantasms come to tell them the story of what happened when Eldritch brought the alien Chew-Z back, nothing is coherent, mostly subliminally implanted, and yet users find themselves waking up back in their `P. P. Layouts' going about their own business trying to keep their off-world colonies working and waiting anxiously for their next hit.Read more ›
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