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The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1980-82

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1887424264
ISBN-10: 1887424261
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Underwood Books (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887424261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887424264
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,149,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. G. Plumb on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found reading these letters (and I haven't read any of the earlier volumes) at times tedious, at times revealing, at times surprising, and at times humanising.

To me Philip Dick has been something of an icon from when I first started reading him in the 1970s - initially through the short stories (for one of the less well known that I admire so much consider 'If there were no Benny Cemoli' - which you can find in 'The Preserving Machine' amongst other places). The first of the novels that I read was 'The Man in the High Castle', and, although I don't see it as really typical PKD, it's little surprise I hungrily read them all as they became available (even the ones PKD - in these letters - disparaged, such at 'Puttering around in a Small Land' - Hollywood producers could learn a lot here). One of my favourite PKD novels - not critically admired but I think worth a fresh look, is 'The Penultimate Truth'. And, of course I have absorbed all the extras I can find - the 'Exegesis' extracts, the essays and introductions, the biographies, the film adaptations .....

I did find these letters increasingly emotional to read (when I skimmed the 'endless' speculations on the nature of reality, the structure of the Universe). What he didn't know, but what I did know, is that these were some of his last writings - he didn't know the end was so near.

Because PKD was such a diligent researcher and explorer he introduced me to many concepts, including the concept of empathy. One day I picked up a novel in a bookshop by Rabindranath Tagore and it seemed to me that this was someone PKD may have used partly as a model for a character in one of his novels - my interest was immediately stimulated and started a love of Tagore's writing. But I was mistaken!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the sixth, and probably last, volume of correspondence by the late science fiction author, Philip K. Dick. Underwood-Miller released The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick 1974 in 1991 followed by three more volumes of letters: The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick 1975-1976 in 1993; Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1977-1979 also in 1993; and The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick 1972-1973 in 1994. Underwood Books (no more Miller) published the final two volumes, The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1938-1971 in 1996 (VERY difficult to find) and 13 long years later, this volume which covers the final three years of his life. If you are lucky enough to have all six volumes (I have three) you'll be able to read letters from him starting at the age of 10 up until his death.

If you are a PKD fan, or a scholar of Dick and/or science fiction, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend purchasing this last volume as one of the few copies covering his correspondence that is a) available, and b) inexpensive (at the time of this review). Dick was apparently a pack rat when it came to keeping files of his letters, and the chance to literally see (at least a little) into the mind of this fascinating artist is ... fascinating.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this will be a future collectors item i am sure. this is a beautiful book.
as i was reading, it had stuffed in a page a card from the publisher. the card reads

"This clothbound edition of The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick 1980-82 is limited to 1365 copies, of which 150 copies are numbered, in slipcase.

"Dust jackets for this edition were printed a decade ago. In the meantime, the price and ISBN number have changed, and the information on the back jacket flap is out of date (earlier volumes in this series are sold out). Softcover editions of the entire series will become available during the next few years, in bookstores and online.

"This book was a long time coming. I hope you enjoy it.

"Sincerely,
"Tim Underwood, Publisher"

So I am excited with anticipation for the softcover re pressings, as i can not afford the high prices for used edition of previous volumes in this series. i am a recent consumer of dick's work and find these letters to be very insightful.

get em while you can,
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