- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Orion Pub Co; New Ed edition (October 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781857988536
- ISBN-13: 978-1857988536
- ASIN: 1857988531
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.7 x 5.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 475 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ubik Paperback – October, 2004
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About the Author
The most consistently brilliant SF writer in the world John Brunner Dick quietly produced serious fiction in a popular form and there can be no greater praise Michael Moorcock One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction, Philip K. Dick made most of the European avant-guarde seem navel-gazers in a cul-de-sac Sunday Times He was the funniest SF writer of his time, and perhaps the most terrifying Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
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475 customer reviews
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Starting out, I wondered why. While the plot and world building were intriguing, I found the writing a bit clunky (lots of adjectives and made-up words) and the attempt at future technology dated. (not surprising--it was written in 1969 and takes place in 1992). The style reminded me of a sci-fi version of a Phillip Marlowe detective story--a bit cliché even though it may have been the prototype for the cliché.
But as the book progressed, the mood took hold of me, an unsettling feeling like the kind you get in those seconds between dreaming and awakening, when you struggle to figure out which is which. By the end, I knew I'd been treated to a great book, a complex, well-crafted and intertwined story of multiple realities, none of which is ever grounded enough to let you sort through them. But there's something more: these realities make you question your sense of life, like The Matrix without the machines, a floating reality that is the state of being itself.
The ideas rather than the characters are central to this story. Most of the characters are pretty flat. But once you get used to the world (psychic powers, colony on the moon, dead people in half-life), the mood takes over, as what appears to be reality fluctuates and changes.
It's a slow start, but as I stuck with it, I found it well worthwhile, an original work with a deeply unsettling feel. Think Kafka plus Twilight Zone in the Matrix.
Down-to-earth folks whose world view is grounded in what they perceive to be reality should probably avoid this book. But despite some rough edges, I found it to be a great read.
I think its pretty hard to go into allot of detailed without giving it away. It deals allot with psychics etc and a process of death where people who are basically dead are put in chambers in which they have brain function and are in a dream like state. So pretty sci fi. lol
I don't think its too crazy. I guess I was a bit worried that his books would be so far out there that it would be hard to grasp. I didn't find this book to be this way. He explains everything to understand it in due time. Well maybe not everything. lol
It is a book to make you think and question existence etc. Pretty interesting all around. I plan on reading more of his works.
The world created, the characters, and the general plot seemed well thought out. It did, however, seem like the intention of the book was to keep the twists constant, which can sometimes lead to a disorganized feeling.
And the end... I think I had just been too spoiled by big plot twists that by the time I actually got around to reading this book, it was only natural for me to guess (accurately) how the book would end. Nonetheless, it's the meat in the middle that makes it worth it.
I liked Ubik, but I doubt it will be among the Phillip K Dick books that I will go back and re-read.
"He felt all at once like an ineffectual moth, fluttering at the windowpane of reality, dimly seeing it from the outside."
Dick never quite fills in the whole picture of the world he creates here, but that's part of the charm. You're struggling to find out what's going on, just as the characters are. The role of the title substance plays a role, but it's not completely clear what that role is. That doesn't prevent the story from having a satisfying arc though. You're carried from one end to the other, provoked with stimulating thoughts the whole way.