Monday, April 19, 2010


So, finished Ubik-- interesting. Odd book. Always nice to experience a quick read. I hadn't reading anything by Philip K. Dick before, and I guess from having seen a few movies based on his work I expected something more dystopian. I mean, there were certainly elements of it (the largely coin-operated society, the semi-conscious dead having their identities mingled in half-life moratoriums), but those elements seemed to take a back seat to a sort of odd procedural, not unlike the process by which one accepts death-- there is the incident, then the sense of futility, then a blossoming understanding as one comes to terms with a new reality. The nature of half-life in the story proposed an interesting twist-- that we not only have to accept and experience the deaths of loved ones, but we must make similar sense of our own deaths as well. In real time, no less. There is also an element of rebirth. One is forced to wonder if this is a hint at infinity; if death, death again, and rebirth are accepted facts, why fear anything that happens?

The final ten or twenty pages are excellent. Cryptic non-ending that erases all solid ground. In fact, on second thought, there is not a safe place to stand during this whole story. The final suggestion is one of endlessly nested realities; one wonders if these are nothing but the catacombs of the half-dead mind.

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