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Glen Runciter está muerto ¿O lo están todos los demás? Lo que es seguro es que alguien ha muerto en una explosión organizada por los competidores de Runciter De hecho, sus empleados asisten a un funeral Pero durante el duelo comienzan a recibir mensajes descorcentantes, e incluso morbosos, de su jefe Y el mundo a su alrededor comienza a desmoronarse de un modo que sugiere que a ellos tampoco les queda mucho tiempo Esta mordaz comedia metafísica de muerte y salvación que podrá llevar un cómodo envase es un tour de force de amenaza paranoica y comedia absurda, en la cual los muertos ofrecen consejos comerciales, compran su siguiente reencarnación y corren el riesgo continuo de volver a morir “He felt all at once like an ineffectual moth, fluttering at the windowpane of reality, dimly seeing it from outside.” Ubik is a fun, fascinating, and often surprisingly philosophical look at the nature of reality and the role of our perception thereof PKD also delves masterfully, cleverly, and even quite exuberantly, into some of his other favorite food for thought, which in this case includes entropy, alienation, and the question of (in)sanity, to name but a few All the while, the story playfully and persistently messes with your mind in a most enjoyable way You stray down strange, twisted corridors and arrive in ever stranger locales Or is it merely that your own perception has changed, grown subtly yet indelibly distorted, somehow become increasingly warped and askew? One is never completely certain, and therein lies much of the fun And even though the book contains a great deal of darkness and doubt, there is also quite a bit of offbeat, absurdist humor to complement (and at times even enhance) its frequently eerie, uncanny tone I won’t discuss any plot details here I went into it knowing absolutely nothing about the storyline, and found it highly satisfying to figure it out for myself as I wandered slowly yet evercuriously through this elaborately constructed labyrinthine house of mirrors I wouldn’t want to deny anyone that experience for themselves, and sometimes that carefully hidden spoiler is just begging to be clicked, isn’t it? So instead, I’ll leave you with this rather apt PKD quote I stumbled across on the Internet It touches on one of the questions explored so buoyantly yet deftly in this wonderfully bizarre little book: “Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn't we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are sometrue ( real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it's as real as our world Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can't explain his to us, and we can't explain ours to him The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication and there is the real illness.” If you ever experience the sneaking suspicion that there are multiple realities in play, if you’re unable to shake that pesky feeling of existential dread and anxiety, or aren’t totally certain whether or not reality is all in your head (and where exactly is your head, come to think of it?), you simply must give Ubik a try! Read this book foron how that handy spray can save the day! Phillip K Dick's Ubik flirts with perfection I inhaled this novel over three days when one of my kids was sick and Christmas break was ending I started the book on the couch during a Mythbusters marathon By page fifty I wanted to shut the door and leave my kids to forage in the refrigerator for Gatorade and string cheese And on Sunday night, when I closed the book, I felt satisfied and excited with a novel in a way that doesn't happen much Ubik is fun, smart, and exhilarating Ok, let me take a shot at the plot summary Joe Chip works for a team that shields organizations and the general public from illegal superpsychological activity like, for example, the unethical use of precognition I think Anyway, Mr Chip is down and out, almost too broke to pay the nickel necessary to operate his apartment door He is charged by his employer (and his employer's wife, currently in “halflife”, a finite state in which the dead and living can interact) with leading a team to Luna in search of the criminals of whom they lost track From there Ubik takes off into territory defying summarization I'd need a chart to track all the turns and potentialities The novel addresses Chip's attempt to separate multiple realities and discern exactly who he is, where he is, and when he is Somewhere in there Dick batters around the IChing and Plato's form philosophy Ubik's genius emerges in Dick's obsessive attention to detail He's a remarkably disciplined writer for a guy who sounds completely messed up ( on his biography in a second) The novel never goes dry; Dick balances the esoteric, theoretical analysis with an urgent storyline Joe Chip's inner monologue, his attempts to piece together the myriad of clues pointing to the establishment and resolution of his questions, is paranoid, desperate, and brilliant Ubik, and PKD's work in general, is a significant element of the genre's template This is the third PKD novel I've read, and although I don't want to snap them up in a rush, I'll hitthis year.Oh, I should mention that I read the Library of America edition of this novel The LOA edition (you know, those heavy black books with the nifty attached bookmark) includes three other novels, notes from Jonathan Lethem, and a detailed author timeline/biography Holy hell, PDK lived a fuckedup life, between social anxiety, industrial strength drug use, and multiple stints in psychiatric care That said, I love the fact this novel was published in 1969 Put Ubik in your summer of love pipe and smoke it, hippies I don't want to become a starwhore Over the last year I've assigned four books five stars Maybe I'm getting soft The little note over the fifth star, however, reads “It was amazing”, and those three words fit Ubik, so I'm sticking with the fifth star This novel is the poster child for the difference between workmanlike genre fiction (nothing wrong with that) and the kind that makes you want to jump and down with your hands in the air like you're a twelve year old at his first rock concert I want to hang its poster over my bed and blow kisses to Ubik before I fall asleep. I began reading some of Philip K Dick’s short stories and quickly became hooked His style and imagination have left an indelible mark on science fiction since and his influence is unmistakable His novels are genius, and Ubik may be the best one I have read yet Telling an inventive scifi tale that is entertaining on its surface, this is also a theological metaphor that keeps the reader thinking and trying to figure out what in the world PKD is getting at His brilliance is compelling and his forays into aabsurd fiction only heighten his return to substantial narrative, but all is held together by his unmistakable voice Ubik explores many of his usual themes like alienation, isolation, theological mystery and a disconnection with advancing technology PKD is one of thecerebral of the genre’s authors and if Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke are the “Big Three” of hard science fiction I would submit that Dick, Bradbury and Le Guin are the masters of the soft science fiction side of the house For a PKD fan, Ubik is a must read, but it is a fine book all by itself and would be a good introduction into his world.** 2019 addendum it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently think. “I am Ubik Before the universe was, I am Philip K Dick, UbikI made the suns I made the worlds I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there They go as I say, then do as I tell them I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows I am called Ubik, but that is not my name I am I shall always be.” ― Philip K Dick, UbikFriends, this wild review is 100% PKD approved Ubik the review is only seconds away! Ubik the review is easytoread, easytounderstand, nonflammable, and avoids directly mentioning those aspects of your existence that might make you squirm Safe when read as directed Avoid prolonged viewing Beware grammatical and typographical errors.Dick, like Pynchon, has a THING for entropy and he perfected this theme in Ubik While not a direct part of Dick's Gnostic God trilogy (VALIS, The Divine Invasion, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer), Ubik still manages to be one of Dick's minor God novels (if the Valis trilogy:Dick's trinity :: Ubik:Dick's Demiurge) Dick seemsthan willing to bend entire universes to create a world where he can ask some really BIG questions in ways that give you twolevels of uncertainty What? WHAT? My first introduction to Dick was age 19 In a SLC airport I bought a copy of Valis (cover looked cool) and figured it would be a fun book to read on a plane Hours later the plane landed and 20 years later, I don't think the Earth I landed on was the same as the one the plane left prior to me cracking open Valis Every time I read another of PKD's novels it is the exact same thing Something breaks Time freaks out or at least flips a bit Something in my brain gets frozen, something else in my head gets lost, and a memory gets replaced Each Dick novel should come with its own Ubiktype of warning: this novel will alter your reality, even when read as directed.