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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Valis

Note: This is a review I posted one night in 2003 while playing with amazon.

Philip K. Dick's Valis is at once sublime and unsettling. From the schizophrenic changes from third to first person point of view ("I am writing this in the third person to gain much-needed objectivity", the narrator reminds himself as much as the reader) through the brilliant "Tractates: Cryptica Scriptura" that comprise the appendix, we see a work that goes beyond mere science fiction and attempts to wrestle with the insane story of life itself.

This is a novel that seeks no less than the ultimate answers to life's biggest questions. Philip Dick in attempting to make sense of his own life gives us a work that is at once thrilling, empassioned, beautiful, funny, and sad.

This is truly one of the greatest (and least appreciated) works of American literature. I can't say it gave me all the answers, but it raised many questions and new ideas as well as inspiring me in my own writing. Isn't that what great literature is about? Thank you, PKD, wherever you are.

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