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Valis (1981)

de Philip K. Dick

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: VALIS Trilogy (1)

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  1. 10
    Briefing for a Descent into Hell de Doris Lessing (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Spiritually-oriented narratives in which sanity and reality are brought into hypothetical opposition, both with science-fictional elements.
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The word that comes to mind is "trippy", and I'm sure that's intentional. VALIS is a lot of complicated historical and philosophical references that are tangentially related, wrapped around an interesting nugget of an idea. I enjoyed the 1st person/3rd person switch-up, and the unresolved tone at the end. My first Philip K. Dick read, and I'm curious enough to read more of his, although the first half of the book feels like rambling rather than plot. ( )
  fidgetyfern | Feb 23, 2021 |
This book can be so frustrating, at ponds just feeling like a speedfreak acquaintance jabbering away. Worth it in the end,, an important touchstone. ( )
  aeceyton | Dec 26, 2020 |
In 1974, a schizophrenic drug addict named Horselover Fat attempts suicide after a close friend succeeds at it. While struggling with guilt over her loss, Horselover is struck by an enigmatic beam of pink light that he attributes to a deity known as Zebra.

Afterwards, he experiences visions of the Roman Empire and gains detailed insight into early gnostic Christianity, which he chronicles in his exegesis. Horselover also credits the light for imparting crucial medical information that saves the life of his son, Christopher. A short time later, however, his wife Beth leaves him, taking Christopher with her.

Through all of this, Horselover's friends—David, Kevin, and Phil K. Dick—believe that he is insane, until Kevin persuades the group to see an independent science fiction movie called VALIS, playing at a small theatre in town. The film, about an alien satellite called Vast Active Living Intelligence System, contains overt and subliminal messages that correspond to Horselover’s experiences after encountering the pink light. Convinced now that Horselover’s account was legitimate, the four friends take up a quest to contact the filmmakers in the hopes of learning the truth about VALIS and the information it revealed to Horselover.

It is explained at the beginning of the story that Horselover Fat might be Phil K. Dick projecting his inner turmoil into a second personality. Either way, VALIS is one of the most bizarre, engaging, imaginative, and occasionally disturbing novels I’ve ever read and could have been conjured only from the mind of Phil K. Dick. ( )
  pgiunta | Jul 1, 2020 |
Update 5/13/17:
I had to dive back into VALIS because certain tales continue to resonate with me... and this one is still one of the very most important.

Who knows? Maybe I am just a crazy as PKD because I'm obsessed with the perception of reality, holographic universes, the edict of "As Above, So Below", and the nature of consciousness.

Or maybe I'm just a naturally curious person that happens to be heavily stimulated by PKD's intelligence, his humility, his sincerity, and his travails.

Any way that I look at it, however, I am still in awe of this man's writing. This one more than all his other novels, in fact, for the way he bleeds all over the page with his personal experiences, his deep searching, and his willingness to look practically everywhere for an answer.

So beautiful. Of course, after all these years, I can now see this as the capstone to the great pyramid of his other works and words. From [b:Ubik|22590|Ubik|Philip K. Dick||62929] and the nature of reality, to [b:Galactic Pot-Healer|498123|Galactic Pot-Healer|Philip K. Dick||880753] for both the genetic regression and memory, and even to [b:The Man in the High Castle|216363|The Man in the High Castle|Philip K. Dick||2398287] for the alternate dimension mystery... for which all four of his last novels tie so well together.

I disagree with the blurb, of course. It wasn't a trilogy.

There were four, with [b:The Divine Invasion|216398|The Divine Invasion|Philip K. Dick||1399387] exploring the return of Elijiah and how Sophia and the Logos reworks reality and the Earth, [b:The Transmigration of Timothy Archer|106585|The Transmigration of Timothy Archer|Philip K. Dick||449786] for the exploration of immortality in the form of a mystical mushroom and Pike (otherwise the most down-to-earth and charming of the tied-in-books), and [b:Radio Free Albemuth|226475|Radio Free Albemuth|Philip K. Dick||762914] which has the closest ties to VALIS out of the entire bunch since it IS the story of Brady from the movie VALIS and his troubles with president Faris F. Freemont in the police state that was the Black Iron Prison. :)

All of these diverse novels sprang, fully formed, from the brainchild that was VALIS. So rich a novel!


It's easily one of my favorites of all time. :)

Old Review:

This book has everything except plot. I still love the fraking hell out of it. As a mind experiment gone horribly, horribly awry, I felt myself slipping into PKD's mindset and taking every point seriously, as you could just tell that he was. It felt like the ramblings of a man who had gone through something he couldn't explain and did his damned awful best to figure it out, but that includes religious horror, classical Greek authors, a ton of philosophy, and a life that is falling apart.
I've since read his Exegesis, or at least the edited parts of it, but I was personally horrified by his own accounting of the Exegesis that he was currently writing at the time of, and within, this novel. A million words. Ten novel's worth. All densely populated with thought experiments, rationalizations, religious thought, humor, self-deprecation, and so much more.

Knowing what I know now hasn't diminished my respect for this novel, just given it more dimension. At the time I first read it, I honestly thought that PKD had specifically picked this highly intellectual, spooky, crazy method to tell a story in a novel, while using himself as a split personality as a foil. I thought it was Brilliant. I know now that he just took out a lot of his salient points from the exegesis and made a slapped together novel. That being said, it still doesn't deplete the depth and the density of this great novel.

I shook myself after reading it the first time and sat around dazed for a day. If I'm going to rank my favorite novels by the effects they had upon me, by their lasting effects upon my life, then I'm going to slap this one up near the very top. It still gives me shivers, and it made me feel small in a huge world of thought.

I've since read all of the authors that he name-dropped, and have explored the catacombs, and can rebut and argue with PKD now; but first I had to be bitch-slapped by this great man before I could get back up and try again.

It was NOT an easy read, but it was a fairly short novel. It was also a heart-wrenching piece to get through, as well. More than all of this, it was also an extremely rewarding piece of fiction, if you're willing to put the effort into not only it, but into PKD's thoughts and your own growth as a person. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I'm not sure what I just read. I still don't know why the cat died, who made it an idiot, whether or not the three eyed beings were responsible, or whether I'm even typing this review out on my phone. It is distinctly possible I am tapping my finger against an empty water bottle in a psych ward. It is Thursday but it might be next Thursday, possibly next year.

The more I read late PKD the more I'm convinced it isn't healthful to sync up with a schizophrenic mind and yet I can't stop.

For the brave, pair this with the second part of Thomas Bernard's Gargoyles, add Foucault's Madness and Civilization and boom you've got yourself a seminar. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Dick, Philip K.autor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Louit, RobertTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Masera, RubénTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Moore, ChrisAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
North, HeidiAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pék, ZoltánTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rosvall, MattiTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Weiner, TomNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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