Read Le tre stimmate di Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick Carlo Pagetti Giuseppe Di Costanzo Umberto Rossi Online


Scritto nel 1964 e pubblicato nel 1965 dalla Doubleday, Le tre stimmate di Palmer Eldritch è stato osannato come un grande romanzo psichedelico, una navigazione allucinata in un mondo surreale creato dalla droga e dominato dall’inquietante figura di un mostruoso imprenditore-spacciatore, non del tutto umano e forse strumento di un’oscura divinità. Ma dietro la storia di unScritto nel 1964 e pubblicato nel 1965 dalla Doubleday, Le tre stimmate di Palmer Eldritch è stato osannato come un grande romanzo psichedelico, una navigazione allucinata in un mondo surreale creato dalla droga e dominato dall’inquietante figura di un mostruoso imprenditore-spacciatore, non del tutto umano e forse strumento di un’oscura divinità. Ma dietro la storia di una delle più originali invasioni aliene mai raccontate si nascondono diversi livelli di lettura, dove la provocatoria meditazione teologica va a braccetto con la denuncia politica e sociale. Palmer Eldritch, produttore e spacciatore del Chew-Z, è forse un abominevole Cristo negativo, forse personificazione di una Tecnica che tutto vede, afferra e mastica; ma forse è solo una povera vittima, un uomo qualunque... Droghe illegali, stimmate divine, tesi gnostiche, Barbie Dolls: Le tre stimmate di Palmer Eldritch è tutto questo e in più una grandiosa storia di invasione della Terra....

Title : Le tre stimmate di Palmer Eldritch
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ISBN : 9788834712641
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
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Le tre stimmate di Palmer Eldritch Reviews

  • Glenn Russell
    2019-06-23 03:52

    The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - A Philip K. Dick novel so crazy I found myself laughing out loud on every page. Here are a dozen key ingredients PKD mixes in his hallucinogenic science fiction roller coaster:The illegal hallucinogenic drug Can-DDrug of choice for those colonists on Mars and other remote planets, a drug enabling its chewers to inhabit the same body and mind-stream and then travel together to an appealing illusory reality in another dimension.The legal (sort of) hallucinogenic drug Chew-ZTaken solo for a solo trip to an alternate reality where, among other possibilities, one can revisit and remake the past in a way that influences the future.Leo BuleroCartoon version of a 1940s gruff, bald, cigar-chomping boss, a man who puts a high premium on maintaining control of market share and control of his sanity.Barney MayersonCartoon version of a 1950s boss want-a-be, a ‘precog’, that is, someone given, via technology, the gift of knowing certain aspects of the future.Miss Rondinella FugateCartoon version of a 1960s attractive, sexy corporate climber who is also a precog and knows exactly how to manipulate men like Barney Mayerson and Leo Bulero.Dr. SmileA psychiatrist who is an advanced computer living in a briefcase, offering advice to men like Barney Mayerson.Emily and her Ceramic PotsA potter who makes pots that have, believe it or not, a profound influence in this futuristic world of interplanetary travel.Richard HnattCurrent husband of Emily and a salesman in New York City, a most demanding and difficult job since the daytime temperature in the Big Apple runs 130 degrees.Dr. Willy Denkmal's E Therapy clinicsThat’s E Therapy as in Evolution Therapy, providing humans with accelerated mental powers. But there are some problems: the therapy distorts your features so you look like a bubble-head. Also, the therapy might backfire and instead of evolving you devolve back into a cruder, less intelligent you.Anne HawthorneAppropriate name, since Anne is a conservative Christian right out of the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Anne is less than thrilled with the drugs and other beings with God-like powers.Hovel on MarsBeing sent to a place like Mars isn’t any fun. There are some advantages, though: the colonists chew their Can-D and everyone has sex with everyone else. Ah, community.Palmer EldritchIf Philip K. Dick was paranoid, then Palmer Eldritch might be his perfect alter ego. Mr. Palmer has several super-human powers that fuel this novel right to the last sentence.Similar to PKD's Dr. Bloodmoney, the most hypercrazy novel I've ever read, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch would spin into a formless mess if it wasn’t for the author's strong sense of interweaving plots and underlying themes. What an absolutely zany, outrageous, bizarre, wild read!“The time, then, had come for him to poison himself so that an economic monopoly could be kept alive, a sprawling, interplanetary empire from which he now derived nothing.”― The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - American Science Fiction author Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982)

  • Lyn
    2019-06-19 22:56

    The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch was the kind of book that Kilgore Trout, the fictional recurring character in Kurt Vonnegut's novels (based on science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon) would have been proud of – deftly original, scathingly satirical, wildly entertaining – and funny in the kind of subtle way that would have pleased Vonnegut. It is good in many different ways, and works well on different levels. First published in 1965, this is one of Dick's earlier works that deals both directly and obliquely with religious themes.The surface story itself, if it were made into a movie, could be cast and produced in a similar fashion as the Bruce Willis film The Fifth Element – it’s over the top, bizarre, absurd, and yet all fits together. PKD’s underlying commentaries on religion and the drug culture are both erudite and socially informed. The author also applies a generous portion of irony and outrageous circumstance to an already volatile mix, like evolution of humans into a neo-bug-like thing. Critics before me have said that it is one of his best and I must wholeheartedly agree. Oddly reminiscent of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the parts left out of Bladerunner) this novel brings out some of PKD’s unique abilities to combine science fiction with theological explorations. Best line in the book: "Palmer Eldritch had gone to Prox a man and returned a god". A must read for PKD fans, SF fans, and a good introduction of his work for a new reader.

  • Darwin8u
    2019-06-12 21:05

    “It takes a certain amount of courage, he thought, to face yourself and say with candor, I'm rotten. I've done evil and I will again. It was no accident; it emanated from the true, authentic me.” ― Philip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata of Palmer EldritchEnter into PKD's drug-infused, gnostic future. All his entheogens are belong to us. PKD is at his high point when he infuses his dark futurism with his gnostic explorations and his drug-fueled moral investigations. In 'The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch', Dick entertains that funky zone between religious dogma and drug addiction, while at the same time throwing in some key ideas about evolutionary therapy, evolution, atonement, eternal life, time, God, etc.There is a large and diverse precedence in the idea of "finding God" with the assistance/facilitation of mind altering drugs. There are similarities between the euphoria of worship and the euphoria of drugs. Just look at the Dionysian & Eleusinian Mysteries with their ambrosia, the Bwitists and their root bark, the Kiowa's and their peyote. The Rastafari's smoke a bit of the cannabis, the Vedas have their Soma, the Rus' people have their mushrooms. Hell, some people in Appalachia even get close to God with a little sip of strychnine and few rattlesnakes. Who am I to judge? PKD explores the use of two different drugs: Can-D and Chew-Z to explore two dimensions of the God-inducing euphoria. One leads to a greater sense of community, the other leads to isolation. Which is Heaven and which is Hell folks? Or do they both end up being Hell? Anyway, I'm still trying to work out exactly how I feel about it all. Like most of Dick's big (BIG) idea novels they aren't easy to deconstruct and leave me churning for a few days. He drops me off the last page feeling trapped, trying to figure out where I am and who to exactly to believe. He does a fantastic job of disorienting this reader, making me feel both time scrambled and a bit paranoid. Like Ben Harper says, when it's gone: "Some drink to remember, Some to forget"I'd review more, but I'll have to wait until the drugs stop working and those voices in my head stop talking to me.

  • Apatt
    2019-06-01 22:51

    Reading this book felt a bit like dreaming, after a while it became like a dream within a dream, soon after it became full on Inception!. Without going into the synopsis in any detail, this novel features a drug induced virtual reality, initially with the aid of Ken and Barbie-like dolls in their nicely furnished dollhouse. The VR sessions are called "translations", a very popular past time in the hellish Mars colony. The drug is caled Can-D, later on a new type of drug called Chew-Z comes on the market and immediately make the Can-D drug obsolete by doing away with the dolls and other paraphernalia and allowing any fantasy world to be created by the user. Of course this being a PKD novel things are never what they seem. Brilliant digital art by SharksDen The first 50 or so pages are straight forward enough but soon things take a sharp left turn somewhere and the reader goes careening off reality and become more "Lost in Translation" than Bill Murray floundering around Tokyo. Dick is a master of this kind of mind coitus, his stories often makes you wonder where you are, who you are and why is there a fish floating above your head? Interestingly he always manages achieve this weird effect using straight forward prose without ever resorting to any kind of poetry or verbiage. His characters are seldom well rounded complex individuals but generally I can never guess what a PKD character is going to do or say next. The most interesting character in this book has to be the titular Palmer Eldritch himself. The most interesting thing about him is not so much who is Palmer Eldritch, but who isn't Palmer Eldritch? The man gives the word ubiquitous not so much a new meaning as a super literal one. If that makes no sense to you then I urge you to read the book and take the trip for yourself. Hilariously re-usedDune cover by Manor books in the 1970s (read more about this)

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-06-14 22:21

    Unfortunately this suffers from what we may call the Citizen Kane syndrome. (Someone somewhere must have given this thing a proper name.) It's when a groundbreaking original work of art gets ripped off so many times by lesser mortals (not necessarily out of malignant plagiarism, mostly because the original art introduces various techniques which become part of the lexicon) that when you actually get round to seeing/reading/hearing the original thing, your reaction is "okay, is that it?". Pity the poor film lecturer explaining to a bunch of 19 year olds about Citizen Kane's crane shots, montage, deep focus and all that stuff. The kids are going to be bored, you know they are, they've seen all these tricks a zillion times and done better than Orson could do. Philip Dick is a great sufferer from Citizen Kane syndrome. I read The Three Stigmata and I said yeah - and? In my most aggravating tone of voice. Not pleasant. And I knew I shouldn't have, but I did. PKD does in retrospect seem kind of - sorry to say this - like a one trick pony, the trick being his Total Paranoia about what actually is Reality. Yeah yeah, sometimes it's hard to tell What Reality Is, until that is you get a £400 bill from the body shop when someone stoves in your passenger side door and drives away. Do I sound bitter? Have I forgotten what I was talking about?

  • Sara
    2019-06-14 19:54

    As usual, Phillip K. Dick has left me with spirally eyes and a whirring brain. I'd like to give a plot summary, but I'll let someone else do that and egotistically save this space for my own musings: There are summaries I found that I like better, but this one provides a useful foil against which to formulate my own thoughts about this book, which rather has my mind tied in knots. To start with, I don't see the book's theme as revolving around drugs and hallucinations, cut and dry. Rather, I see it as questioning the relationship between a drug experience or hallucination and a bona fide religious experience. This reader saw Can-D as the "mere" drug, the one reliant on Perky Pat mini-worlds and the one where the drug experience is clearly demarcated from and never confused with the "real" world. In contrast, Palmer Eldritch's Chew-Z provides a fundamentally different experience. Takers of Chew-Z (and Dick's readers, once the substance has been taken by two main characters, Leo Bulero and Barney Mayerson) cannot separate the drug experience from reality. They do not simply wake up from their trip (or "translation" as Dick has it) and leave it behind. The drug punches a hole in the usually non-permeable layer between hallucination and reality. In the end this confusion of hallucination and reality only poses the question of whether what we call hallucination is not true reality, and sobriety (or "reality") the veil we cast over it so that we don't go bonkers by embracing the truth, the *really* real. Leo's and Barney's Chew-Z experiences are hellish, and other users describe their experiences the same way because in each case, for each person, Palmer Eldritch seems to be in control of their hallucination, in control of the world in which they find themselves. And when they think they've awoken from the trip, it is only to have friends or coworkers suddenly morph into Eldritch (they appear with Eldritch's prostheses, his three distinctive physical, and nonbiological traits - his three stigmata), demonstrating that users are still in the thrall of Chew-Z...and of Eldritch who, we grow to understand, is not the man who left earth 10 years ago, but some entity controlling his body and perpetuating itself through the use of Chew-Z. As Barney Mayerson comes to understand (or believe he understands - and I'm inclined to agree with him), the thing occupying Eldritch is outside of time and indescribably ancient. It falls so beyond human understanding that the closest way Barney, an atheist, can describe it is through reference to God. I wish I had the book here in front of me and I'd quote, but I have to paraphrase - humans call it God, because they need something to call it, but it's beyond understanding simply on the merit of being so damned old, so damned different from humans. This is also the reason Eldritch and the Chew-Z "translations" come across as hellish - they are simply so alien from humanity as to feel palpably "other", positively ahuman - and part of their alien-ness is a kind of amorality, which is not to be confused with immorality. The Eldritch-creature wishes no harm (no spiritual harm, physical harm is another matter), but perhaps doesn't know how to do good, in our common human sense of the word. The final fascinating thoughts on this topic go to Anne Hathaway, a neo-Christian colonist on Mars, who instructs Barney about ontology - you must not confuse the pot with the potter, she warns him. Do not confuse the creation with the creator, the matter with the substance, the vessel with the contents. And I suppose that's all meant to imply that even the stigmata of Palmer Eldritch are just vessels in that metaphor, containing something we really can't describe or ever know. Even when we've brushed right up against it and are only separated from it by the thinnest of membranes.

  • Stuart
    2019-06-03 21:00

    The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch: What if god were a lonely drug-pushing alien?Originally posted at Fantasy LiteratureThis was the 10th and final PKD book I read last year after 40 years without reading any. I always felt as a teenager that I would get more from his books as an adult, and I think I was right. This one is a real mind-bending experience, deliciously strange and tantalizing with its ideas.The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965) is one of the earliest PKD novels that deals overtly with drug use, hallucinations, and his thoughts on religion and the divine in our mundane lives. As usual, his near-future world is fairly dystopian, and his characters are everyday people trying to muddle through life. There are no superheroes, and his characters are filled with flaws. PKD was a champion of the downtrodden everyman, which makes sense since he himself was always struggling with poverty, mental illness, multiple divorces, and pervasive paranoia. He also had a religious experience in Feb 1974 with a mysterious girl with a fish-shaped gold pendant, from which a pink beam of light went straight into his mind. He attributed it to a communication from a completely rational alien mind that imparted a series of hallucinations and visions of early Rome and Christians. These experiences led him to write the VALIS trilogy (1978-82), which really dives deep down the rabbit hole of his religious explorations.Three Stigmata came before this stage of his life, and the book evokes the usual Dickian paranoia, disorientation, and melancholy that infuses all his best works, and done with very simple, unadorned prose. In fact, the book defines the Three Stigmata as alienation, blurred reality, and despair, symbolized by a mechanical arm, artificial eyes, and steel teeth.In his story, Barney Mayerson is a precog who works for Perky Pat Layouts. His job is to use precognition to predict which accessories will become popular for users of the illegal drug Can-D, which allows users to escape into the world of Perky Pat and Walt, two Barbie and Ken-like characters who live an easy and bourgeois existence. The drug is used pervasively by off-world colonists, who live grim and miserable lives trying half-heartedly to establish human settlements, since the Earth is suffering from severe global warming. What’s interesting is that users of Can-D think of the drug as a religious experience, and argue whether the “translation”, which lasts only a short time, is an actual physical transportation to another world, or merely an illusion. It’s also strange that the actual activities of Pat and Walt are fairly prosaic and superficial, like going to the beach, shopping, having casual sex, etc. The unique aspect of Can-D is that multiple users can occupy the person of Pat (women only) and Walt (men only), so the drug does serve as a shared communal experience, whether or not the experience is “real”.Meanwhile, Barney’s boss Leo Bulero, a gruff and arrogant man, learns that Palmer Eldritch, a man who left the solar system 10 years ago to explore the Prox System, is coming back with a mysterious lichen that will allow him to produce a new and more insidious drug named Chew-Z. Although the details are initially not clear, it turns out that Chew-Z allows the user to be transported to an entirely different universe, one which the user himself can control and shape.Leo Bulero, threated by this new rival drug to Can-D, decides to visit Palmer Eldritch where he is recuperating from the crash of his ship in an off-world hospital. Leo has been told by Barney and another precog that he will eventually kill Eldritch, but he decides to confront Eldritch anyway. Upon meeting him, Eldritch kidnaps Leo and forces him to try Chew-Z, and Leo discovers that Eldritch can control every aspect of the experience, even to the point of seemingly allowing Barney to go back to Earth. The illusion of reality in Chew-Z is exponentially more powerful than the brief and tawdry experience of Can-D, so Leo quickly recognizes that his business empire will be crushed if Chew-Z takes over on the off-world colonies.Back on Earth, Barney Mayerson refuses to help Leo out when he is kidnapped by Eldritch, and as a result Leo fires him. Barney has also been romantically involved with his assistant and fellow precog Rondinella, but begins to regret separating from his former wife, who now designs pottery and has a new boyfriend. As his life on Earth deteriorates, Barney decides that he needs to do penance for past wrongs and volunteers to be sent to the Mars colony by the UN (most people do everything possible to avoid this fate).Here Barney encounters other colonists using Can-D, but cannot bring himself to use it. Instead, he is there when Palmer Eldritch’s pushers come and try to get the colonists to switch to Chew-Z. In the meantime Leo Bulero has convinced him to serve as a double-agent and wants him to try Chew-Z, then develop a medical condition (epilepsy) as a result of the drug, thereby discouraging others from switching.At this point the plot gets extremely convoluted (yes, more so!) as several characters get caught up in Chew-Z hallucinations, during which they frequently encounter the ominous Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, the mechanical arm, artificial eyes, and steel teeth. Both Barney and Leo start to travel in time and space and it’s not clear what is real and what is induced by Chew-Z.In the middle of it all, the mysterious figure of Palmer Eldritch continues to manifest himself in the characters lives, seemingly all-powerful and yet trapped within the confines of his fate. It seems that Palmer Eldritch is no longer human, but instead may have become a god in the Prox system, or been taken over by something alien and powerful. Palmer’s motivations for spreading the use of Chew-Z in the solar system are unclear. In many ways, his existence seems a lonely one, and he actually tries through elaborate means to switch bodies with Barney to avoid his predestined death at the hands of Leo Bulero in the future. Why would this powerful alien being, perhaps a manifestation of a much greater and more inscrutable god-like figure, need to avoid a death it can already foresee, and would prefer to have the dreary existence of Barney on Mars? PDK never answers this question, but instead throws out the sacrilegious idea that god may not be all-powerful, may indeed be lonely and lacking in purpose, but is still driven to manifest himself in the lives of humans, even if they do not want his intrusions. The way that PKD parallels drug-induced hallucinations with religious experiences is also quite bold, but would have found a ready audience in the tumultuous social upheavals and iconoclasm of the 1960s.In the end, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is a very strange reality-bending book that spins off more ideas in 240 pages than many novelists conceive of in their entire careers. And while the reader is not spoon-fed any answers in the end, he is given plenty of food for thought, which makes this an excellent introduction to one of SF’s greatest minds.

  • Joe Valdez
    2019-06-02 03:02

    My first encounter with the fiction of Philip K. Dick is his 1964 novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. I was looking for something a bit challenging to read that wouldn't give me an ice cream headache. At my library, found a beautiful, barely read edition of this novel printed in 2011. PKD fans might fault my decision to make this title my introduction to the man's mind-bending tales of technological perversion, ecological disaster and the search for identity. I understand that he's written more palatable books. But I was hungry for his brand of science fiction and decided to feed the beast.Set in the year 2016, the story begins with a precog named Barney Mayerson as he wakes up with a strange woman. Unable to remember last night (in spite of his precognitive abilities, what?), Mayerson consults a briefcase which links him to an artificial intelligence psychiatrist called Dr. Smile. He learns that the woman is named Roni Fugate, another precog, his new assistant at the firm he works for in New York, P.P. Layouts, Inc. Mayerson is consulting Dr. Smile in an attempt to beat his appointment with the United Nations, which has instituted a planetary draft exiling unlucky citizens to any of two planets or six moons that have been colonized throughout the solar system.Life on Earth is no picnic anymore--with high temperatures in the 180s and cooling units mandated for anyone venturing out in daylight--while life on the colonies is so despairing that the only means of survival is an illegal hallucinogen called CAN-D, which in concert with set decor known as "layouts" briefly whisk the colonist to virtual reality Earth. The precog's job is to predict which decor pieces in development will become "fash." Mayerson, who seems to be a mediocre psychic, rates a Class A prick, having divorced his sculptor wife Emily after she became pregnant, violating their building code and putting his cushy apartment at risk. He takes a meeting with Emily's new husband but rejects the pots she's crafted out of his bitterness toward her.Mayerson's boss Leo Bulero has paid top dollar to undergo E therapy treatment and become what's known as an evolved human, accepting some physical side effects (the evolved humans are referred to as "bubbleheads") for next level cognitive abilities. Bulero is anxious about a crash landing on Pluto. The crew is believed to be Palmer Eldritch, a huckster who departed for the Prox system ten years ago looking for new business ventures. Bulero believes that Palmer found a drug even more powerful than CAN-D and he intends to wipe out the drug trade P.P. Layouts monopolizes in the colonies. Using his UN connections to determine Eldritch's location on Ganymede, Bulero heads there, in spite of Mayerson's warning that he will be indicted for Palmer Eldritch's murder.Bulero is put under the spell of Chew-Z, the hallucinogen that Eldritch intends to replace CAN-D with on the colonies. Chew-Z drops the user into a reality of their own design where Palmer Eldritch, or some entity pretending to be Palmer Eldritch, can hop in and out, tormenting the user for an eternity, while their physical body remains in repose for what passes for seconds or minutes. Bulero is released from his hell, uncertain whether he's back in reality or not. Returning to Earth, he fires Mayerson for refusing to rescue him. Feeling sorry for about himself, Mayerson volunteers for resettlement and arrives on Mars, where he encounters Palmer Eldritch on the first stop in the being's magical mystery tour to conquer mankind.Keeping with the mind-bending nature of Philip K. Dick's work, I'm going to write the rest of this review from two different time periods simultaneously.1964 Joe: Far out, man. I dug a lot of the stuff going on at the periphery of this novel. Flying taxi cabs and a personal computer that fits into a suitcase. Some of it was hard to picture, you know, like radical gene therapy treatment that gives people bubble heads, but I like what PKD is saying about higher consciousness in the 21st century being available only to the super-rich.2016 Joe: Come on, man. I've seen this story a dozen times or more. PKD actually begins with his main character waking up in bed with a strange woman and no idea of how he got there. I not only found that cliched but inconsistent. Wouldn't a precog wouldn't know where he was? Unlike Minority Report, the precog and the unique nature of their abilities even wasn't a major part of the story.1964 Joe: I felt my brain expanding a bit while reading this, which is what I'd hoped for. I hope I don't turn into a bubblehead, but I liked how PKD begins to question the structure of reality. The reader is never entirely sure what is going on once the drug fueled trips begin and I liked that!2016 Joe: I felt the characters were bland. PKD cannot write women--which seems to be a common failing in the '50s and '60s science fiction--but it was hard for me to care what became of Barney Mayerson. For a precog, he doesn't seem to be good at his job.1964 Joe: The book gets damn readable when the precogs predict Leo Bulero will kill Palmer Eldritch, but the executive takes off in search of Eldritch anyway. Pacing lags a bit but picks up when Mayerson is exiled to Mars.2016 Joe: PKD doesn't offer the reader anything in the way of memorable dialogue or bold prose that prompted me to stop and make note. When I can race through a novel at 55 mph without seeing anything that makes me want to pull over and smell the roses, something's not right.1964 Joe: PKD communicates his ideas pretty effectively with a bare minimum of head scratching, but I do think the more time the reader has to chew on some of his concepts and speculations, the better his writing gets. I walked out of Blade Runner the first time I saw it.2016 Joe: Where are my flying taxis? Where are my colonies on Luna? Precogs? As a work of speculation, this one fails pretty dramatically. It's probably never a good idea for a science fiction author to give the reader a year the story is taking place in. 1964 Joe: I really hope that mankind gets it together when it comes to overpopulating and poisoning the planet. NASA will probably have colonies on the moon and Mars pretty soon but I'm not volunteering to move up there. PKD's empathy for the planet and his warnings should be heeded.2016 Joe: I don't feel the need to run out and devour everything PKD has ever written, but considering this is one of his books that actually hasn't been adapted into a movie (Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly), it was a good place to start.1964 Joe: I don't feel the need to run out and devour everything PKD has ever written, but am intrigued by what the author will come up with next.

  • Nate D
    2019-06-22 04:01

    Searching for meaning in drugs, god, corporate culture, human evolution. And then searching for meaning directly from and of a god -- of sorts. Completely berserk in terms of pacing and plotting, and borders on incoherency in the second half, but totally worth it anyway. Dick's conceptual reach exceeds his grasp by a decent margin but the reach is broad and esoteric and stimulating nonetheless.Incidentally, the covers for the old editions of his are so much better than the one I've got:I mean, it's practically enough to make me want to start collecting old PKD editions. (Except I won't because books are for reading, not piling up on shelves).

  • Eirini Proikaki
    2019-06-13 02:07

    Είναι το τρίτο βιβλίο του Ντικ που διαβάζω και νομίζω οτι θα γίνω φαν.Ψάχνοντας πληροφορίες στο διαδίκτυο είδα οτι ήταν ιδιαίτερος άνθρωπος με βαθιές κοινωνικές και θρησκευτικές ανησυχίες και πολυτάραχη προσωπική ζωή.Μια δίδυμη αδερφή που πέθανε πολύ νωρίς στους πρώτους μήνες της ζωής τους,γονείς που χώρισαν οταν ήταν πέντε χρονών,πέντε γάμοι,τρία παιδιά,φτώχεια σε σημείο να τρώει σκυλοτροφή για να ζήσει,ναρκωτικά,ερωτικές απογοητεύσεις ,κατάθλιψη,απόπειρες αυτοκτονίας και έντονο φλερτ με την τρέλα προς το τέλος της ζωής του.Έγραψε "Tα τρία στίγματα του Πάλμερ Έλντριτς" μετά απο μια μεταφυσική εμπειρία που είχε όταν "είδε" στον ουρανό ένα μοχθηρό πρόσωπο με σχιστά μάτια και θεώρησε οτι είδε το πρόσωπο του κακού που κυβερνάει τον κόσμο.Το βιβλίο μου άρεσε πολύ και μου θύμισε λίγο Inception,"a dream within a dream".Σε έναν κόσμο οπου πολλοί χρησιμοποιούν τα ναρκωτικά για να ξεφύγουν απο τη μιζερια μέσα στην οποία ζουν,ποτέ δεν καταλαβαίνεις πού σταματάει η παραίσθηση και που ξεκινάει η πραγματικότητα.Είναι όμως παραίσθηση;Και ποιά είναι η πραγματικότητα τελικά;Ποιος είναι ο Πάλμερ Έλντριτς και τι σκοπούς έχει;

  • Maria
    2019-06-14 03:00

    Uneori, cărțile lui Philip K. Dick îmi par a fi scoase dintr-un vis: întreaga lume își pierde substanța, trecutul, prezentul și zeci de variante ale viitorului se contopesc, cauzalitatea este doar o amintire, iar mintea nu poate să distingă adevărul de halucinație...

  • R.
    2019-05-27 21:52

    An incredibly prescient satire on multimedia* addiction - losing oneself in artificial environments to escape (or at least muffle) an undesirable reality. The picture PKD paints of the sad Martian colonists taking drugs and playing with dolls (becoming one with the dolls) reminds me of the...stereotypical...image the world has of the American nerd stuffing himself with junkfood and playing Sims, losing track of the time, of the day while living a better - or at least dynamic - life on a more vibrant earth....ultimately a mind-blowing foray into Gnostic theology; also, the bit about the telepathic Martian jackal was hilarious.*Keep in mind that in PKD's time, multimedia was...the telephone, the television and the radio. Though, sure...there were pirate radio broadcasts and TV broadcasts, and the telephone lines were open to hackers seeking free long distance calls - no doubt PKD's milieu incorporated a phreaker or two among the freaks - but, still, credit where credit is due. And credit is due.

  • Matthew
    2019-06-04 01:03

    I'm a fan of Philip K. Dick, but I read his stuff years ago. I eagerly sought this book out because I heard from a couple of people that this one was one of his best. Maybe I merely disagree, maybe my affection for PKD has waned, maybe I need more now than he can give.Dick is famous for his drug use and for taking speed before cranking out an entire novel in fifteen hours flat. This book, to me, feels like his most drug-influenced book. Not because of his crazy ideas, those are to be expected. It's because you get the feeling that he throws things into the story as they occur to him and made no effort to smooth things over in a subsequent draft. He switches gears on a whim and those whims come at the rate of about fifteen to twenty per scene.If you're a big fan of PKD, go ahead and check this out. If not, you'll probably want to avoid it.

  • Brian
    2019-06-24 04:03

    I didn't like this at first, because I couldn't make sense of where Dick was taking it. At the end, I loved it. He created a myth, based on religious beliefs. Brilliant. Some of it scared me. This guy took Chew-Z, rather than Can-D, a powerful hallucinogen which makes your hallucination a simulacra of alternate reality. It goes deep into plot revelations. The kind of stuff I love, mind stuff, like The Matrix movie (which I can't watch anymore because I novelized it scene by scene and don't enjoy it anymore). Dick puts all his craziness, literally, into his pages, as Kafka does, another favorite. Also, and not to give a SPOILER... [...the book made me wonder at an alternate ending for the Matrix trilogy. Neo wakes up at the end after he killed off the viruses through his own death. He sits in that chair where Morpheus gave him the red pill. He has been out for two minutes and lived another reality of life for years, where he became a hero. Morpheus says, "What did you think? Can you help us market this stuff? The Matrix is actually a hallucinogenic drug that gives you another chance at life, to be who you really want to be, down in your unconscious mind. Neo, you wanted to be a hero, because you wrap your true identity in your hacker world"]Maybe cheesy, but ideas come in various ways.Loved it. Read it!

  • Manny
    2019-06-11 23:09

    Celebrity Death Match Special: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch versus The Tale of Two Bad Mice"You see them often?" asked Hunca. Her tone was casual, but Tom immediately caught the edge in her voice."Who do you mean?" he said, pretending not to understand. It was a strategy that had worked before.Hunca moved a step closer to the layout. "The Chinese," she breathed, unable to contain her excitement any longer as she gazed at the doll's-house. Her ample breasts rose and fell under the thin synthasilk sweater. "I know you meet them all the time. You must have some."Tom calculated rapidly: none of the other colonists would be back for at least an hour. That should be enough. He reached into his pouch and pulled out the sticks of MAO-Z."Jesus Christ!" Hunca's eyes shone as she grabbed one of the sticks for herself. "You bastard! Six whole units!" She avidly unwapped the foil and popped the stick into her mouth. Tom did the same. For a few seconds, they both said nothing, chewing as quickly as they could. Then the change operated, and they were inside the layout.Tom looked at Hunca; even in her rodent body, she was still very attractive. He put a clawed hand on her haunch, but she pushed him away."Food first," she said, her eyes fixed on the table. "It looks good, doesn't it?" Tom had to agree. The sight of the glazed ham made his mouth water, and the lobsters were if anything even more appetizing. Why not? They had plenty of time. He seized a knife and started to carve the ham.The knife buckled in his hand; the meat was rock hard. Hunca stared at him, appalled. Tom tried the lobsters, but he already knew what he would find. They had also petrified. Evidently, Palmer Eldritch's power now extended even into the layouts."Oh no!" sobbed Hunca as mouse-tears trickled down her cheeks, moving with exaggerated slowness in the Martian gravity. "What are we going to do?"

  • Carmine
    2019-06-26 04:15

    Invasione interna "Dio ha promesso la vita eterna; io posso metterla in commercio."Lettura dalle molteplici interpretazioni, a tratti straripante per il devastante contenuto. La cinica visione dell'autore mette alla berlina le nostre contraddizioni e insoddisfazioni: l'umanità tratteggiata è totalmente allo sbando, in perenne ricerca di sicurezza.Il disperato bisogno d'evadere -vedi gli inquietanti modellini di Perkie Pat e Walt - si concretizza in un tremendo distacco dalla realtà, mentre i punti di riferimento diventano qualcosa di aleatorio e sfuggente.Dio non c'è, forse non è mai esistito e ci siamo illusi per tutto questo tempo.L'assenza totale del divino porta l'umanità a sostituire l'indispensabile figura in qualcos'altro: che sia Leo Bulero, Palmer Eldtrich, oppure noi stessi che ci confortiamo in una dimensione tutta nostra, non ha importanza; il punto è che necessitiamo di certezze e chiunque coglie tale malessere può fare il bello ed il cattivo tempo a spese nostre.

  • Mark
    2019-06-19 01:05

    I tell myself lies everyday. Because when things aren't the way you want them, it's nice to have a little white lie to live within. Makes things, tolerable. Makes you wake up in the morning and think, Oh yeah, there's that to look forward to. In the back of your mind there's a voice reminding you, that's a lie, that's a lie, that's a lie...but you go along with it because. Because. Palmer Eldritch is the lie I tell myself. The embodiment. The giver of the lie. The one who perpetuates it. Who says that living within the lie will help. Who provides the materials to build the lie to great proportions. To the point you come to believe the lie. Are happy within it, however false. Til one day the edges blur. And you see the lie for what it is. You tell yourself, this is not the lie, the lie is reality itself. And you see Palmer Eldrtich in everyone you meet.

  • mark monday
    2019-05-31 03:15

    "Three's my lucky number And fortune comes in threes But I wish I knew that number That even little children seem to see Oh, I'm missing everything I knew It's just so hard to be a child Oh, i'm missing all the things i knew Yet whinge i knew nothing at all I whinge i knew nothing at all"

  • David
    2019-05-29 01:21

    A klutzy, embarrassingly spiritual book—but enjoyable in a pulpy kind of way, nevertheless.

  • Tristram
    2019-06-05 04:05

    ”What If God Was One of Us? […] Trying to Make His Way Home …”I cannot say that I enjoyed reading The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch quite the way I enjoyed reading The Man in the High Castle or most of the short stories I read by PKD, because, all in all, it was very zany – and that in an especially zany kind of way. Not annoyingly zany but still … uh, you know what I mean.It is quite difficult to summarize the story told in this novel but the main conflict is between the big businessman Leo Bulero, who illegally sells a drug called Can-D with the help of which settlers on Mars and other planets – in the future described in the book people can be drafted as compulsory space settlers by the UN, and they have hardly any chance avoiding the call to the plough – beguile their hapless lot, and (let’s hereby get back to the main clause) the mysterious Palmer Eldritch, who has developed another drug called Chew-Z and who is about to establish it on the market. Whereas Can-D only works in conjunction with two little dolls (Perky Pat and her boyfriend) and all sorts of minimized equipment – producing and selling these is Bulero’s official business –, Chew-Z allows its consumers to create a world of their own and be anything they like in it. Or so Palmer Eldritch says. It soon becomes clear that Eldritch has the power to appear in any of these various, Chew-Z-induced dream worlds, where he is generally recognizable by his false iron teeth, his mechanical arm and his dead artificial Jensen eyes, the three stigmata referred to in the title, and that, once you have taken the drug, you are completely under Eldritch’s spell and never know for sure whether you have actually left the world of hallucinations. As the story proceeds, even people who have never actually tasted the drug fall prey to Eldritch’s mind-bending power, and one source the novel derives its appeal through is the fact that after a while even the reader does not know whether the events he witnesses are real or drug-based deceptions. Obviously, Dick wants his readers to ask themselves the question of whether reality can be distinguished from imagination / deception at all.The story also centres on Barney Mayerson, an over-ambitious and opportunistic employee, who once sacrificed private happiness and bliss for social status and job prospects by obtaining a divorce from the woman he still loves, and who is working as a double agent for Bulero helping his boss to thwart Eldritch’s plans of taking over the market and, what’s more, control of reality. He is not much of a stalwart or even likable protagonist, and most of his actions are as crude and inconsistent as those of most real-life people you may meet, but then the book does not really captivate its readers through its plot-line mainly. There are simply too many characters popping up here and there and then fading out of the story again.But then the book may make you think quite a lot about the quality of what we are used to seeing as reality, and about religion. Palmer Eldritch spent ten years travelling space, to be more precise, the area of Proxima Centauri, i.e. the farthest man can travel in that story, and we are invited to conjecture of what might have happened to him out there. Has he found God there eventually? Or has he even become some sort of god? Or have the mysterious Proxima creatures taken possession of him and are using him now as a means of conquering Terra? Is he a godlike creature now that tries to gain eternal life by controlling the fantasies people are developing under the influence of Chew-Z? Is God necessarily good? Or is He even ultimately powerless, watching man, as Barney puts it, with empty hands and without an idea? Can a drug-induced trip be seen as an equivalent to an experience of epiphany? Is Palmer Eldritch (a) God in the same way as H.G. Wells’s Dr. Moreau is?It was questions like these that I started asking myself when reading this novel, and so I didn’t really care a lot about its sometimes threadbare plot. All in all, reading this was quite a challenging trip.

  • notgettingenough
    2019-06-02 04:07

    What I would give for a dick I don't know, but I'm perfectly willing to pay 2 pounds a piece for them. Review of 'Saint Maybe' and 'Stigmata'There were clues in the titles, I realise retrospectively, that these were both books about God: ‘Saint’ in one, ‘Stigmata’ in the other…a complete coincidence that I read them back to back.But what different takes – well, they would be different, wouldn’t they? Tyler and Dick. Not two authors one would typically mention in the same breath.Saint Maybe deals with a person who needs God. He has planned a hot date with his girlfriend, when suddenly he is asked to babysit his brother’s children – two older step, one just born, arguably not his brother’s either. His brother’s at a bucks night, his wife has supposedly gone out with a friend, but he knows better. His brother’s wife is cheating on him. He has put all the evidence together over a period of time, it is circumstantial, but. So, when his brother turns up drunk he insists on his driving him to his girlfriend’s place and tells him along the way what he thinks about the wife. His brother drops him off and drives into a wall, killing himself. Then the wife goes downhill and dies soon after as well. He finds out that the wife wasn’t two-timing his brother, but it is all too late. He has created this situation and it determines the rest of his life. God, in the form of the pastor of a very odd little church, the kind that are dotted all over the US, saves him. He seeks God and God comes to him.The Three Stigmata also deals with people who need God, but they take drugs instead. In a complete turnabout of how we usually see the Human-God relationship, typified by Tyler, Dick considers the notion that God’s been on his own since the beginning of – well, you know, the beginning of whatever he created – and he’s sick of being a lonely fucker. So he seeks others, in a radical role-reversal. The stigmata show that a person is inhabited by God….Of course these books are about other things, the things that preoccupy each author’s work. Tyler writes again of ordinary lives, ordinary events – and she does make what happens in this book utterly ordinary, there is nothing the least melodramatic about it. Dick is again concerned with the nature of reality. Again he makes a future world setting incredibly believable, not least because although written in the early sixties, this one describes an Earth in its last throes due to global warming. The physical setting, the socio-economic setting, rich people getting to spend time in the coolest places on Earth, rich people getting to speed up evolution so that they create physical defences to the impact of life in a place that is too hot. It isn’t just believable, it is real.Rich people go to Antarctica as a sanctuary, of course. Rushes off to check – thank heavens Australia owns a big chunk of it. English friends who wish to prevail upon my generous nature, please drop me a line. I expect there’ll be a queue soon enough.Meanwhile, there is a draft system to force humans to live on Mars, a desolate life made bearable by drugtaking, a substitute for God. Rich people can be drafted too, but they are more likely to have ways to dodge it. Nothing changes.But the backdrop to both is always there. God and his relationship to humankind. Tyler does one of those jobs – not prosletysing, she never does that – that make you see what can be good and necessary about God. Dick opens up your eyes to an incredible vision of a God which could not be more different to Tyler’s. I read them in that order, Tyler and then Dick. I recommend that, but would be curious in the impressions of anybody who did the opposite. One might ask who on earth WOULD be reading these chalk and cheese authors? But maybe they aren’t. Maybe for both of them the really big preoccupation is ordinary people struggling through life. Maybe it is only the settings of Dick that obscure this. Maybe they are more alike than one might first think….

  • Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ
    2019-06-18 01:05Ομολογώ, όταν πρόκειται για τον Φίλιπ Ντικ δεν μπορώ να είμαι αντικειμενική, έχω οξύτατη έξη από την γραφή του, δεν μπορώ να διαβάσω κανένα από τα βιβλία του χωρίς να θαυμάσω τη φαντασία και την ικανότητά του να στήνει πολλαπλούς κόσμους και αντικατοπτρισμούς της πραγματικότητας, χωρίς πουθενά να κουράζει ή να μπερδεύει τον αναγνώστη. Καλά, ίσως μόνο στο Valis, όπου o εθισμός του από τις αμφεταμίνες, τη θρησκεία και τα αντικαταθλιπτικά είχε φτάσει πια σε δυσθεώρατα ύψη. Εδώ όμως, στα «Τρία Στίγματα του Πάλμερ Έλντριτς» είναι πραγματικά εντυπωσιακός. Η ιστορία διαδραματίζεται στο μακρινό 2016, η γη βρίσκεται σε κατάσταση ακραίας υπερθέρμανσης, τόσο που κινδυνεύεις να γίνεις ψητός βγαίνοντας έξω. Πάντως εκεί είναι πολύ καλύτερα από το να σε επιστρατεύσουν να πας άποικος στη Σελήνη ή στον Άρη, όπου η ζωή είναι φρικτή, μέσα σε τρώγλες. Το μόνο που σώζει τους αποίκους είναι το Καν-ντι, ένα ναρκωτικό που δουλεύει μαζί με μια μακέτα και μια κούκλα, την Πέρκι Πατ, δίνοντάς τους την ψευδαίσθηση για λίγες ώρες, πως ζουν ακόμα στη γη και πάνε για shopping. Ο απόλυτος κυριάρχος της αγοράς Καν-ντι είναι ο κατασκευαστής της μακέτας της Πέρκι Πατ, ο Λιο Μπουλέρο, και κοντά του μεσουρανεί το δεξί του χέρι, ο Μπάρνι Μάγιερσον, που έχει την ικανότητα της πρόγνωσης, μπορεί να δει δηλαδή τα γεγονότα πριν συμβούν. Ο Λίο ακολουθεί θεραπείες Ε, Εξέλιξης, για να μετατραπεί σε ένα καινούργιο ανθρώπινο είδος που θα αντέχει στη ζέστη και θα έχει εξαιρετικές ικανότητες. Όλα πάνε καλά, ως να εμφανιστεί ξανά στο ηλιακό σύστημα ο Πάλμερ Έλντριτς, ανταγωνιστής του Λίο, που φέρνει ένα νέο, διαφορετικό ναρκωτικό, το Τσου-Ζέντ. Και τότε αρχίζει το πανηγύρι: παράλληλες πραγματικότητες, προβολές στο παρόν, το παρελθόν, το μέλλον. Στο κόλπο μπαίνει κι ο Θεός, ένας θεός με ατσάλινα δόντια, στραβό σαγόνι, τεχνητό χέρι και τεχνητά μάτια χωρίς κόρες. Ο Φίλιπ Ντικ είναι μάγος της αφήγησης. Καταφέρνει να σε βάλει στο σύμπαν του, να μην αφήσει τίποτα ξεκρέμαστο, ενώ ταυτόχρονα λέει σημαντικές ιστορίες- πραγματεύεται τον χρόνο, τον τόπο, τους ανθρώπους και φυσικά τον θεό. Οι δυνατότητές του είναι μοναδικές, τα βιβλία του τα καταβροχθίζεις κυριολεκτικά, δεν βλέπεις την ώρα να γυρίσεις σπίτι για να συνεχίσεις το διάβασμα. Για καλή μου τύχη, ήταν τόσο πολυγραφότατος που ήταν καν εγώ δεν τον έχω εξαντλήσει ακόμα.

  • Katy
    2019-06-24 04:01

    Please note: Originally read and reviewed in 2007, just copying my review over from Amazon.My synopsis: Working through the nature of reality and illusion, this story is set in a future that is anything but Utopian. Earth is going through a "fire" age and a human can not survive more than a few seconds outside during daylight; this has forced humanity to spend all daylight hours in a warren of buildings and tunnels. Additionally, a draft is set up to send humans out to the colonies on Mars and various asteroids. These colonies are living at subsistence level and the colonists there are invariably hooked on a drug called Can-D, that allows them to live in an illusory world populated by Perky Pat and her boyfriend Walt. They use miniature items to create these worlds; these "mins" are provided by the same company that supplies the illegal Can-D, which is run by Leo Bulero.However when the famous explorer Palmer Eldritch returns from his trip to Proxa, he brings with him some lichen, with which he creates a product called Chew-Z - a legal alternative to Can-D. This is a more potent drug that allows people to create their own universes, without needing the mins. However, what most do not know is that all these universes are controlled by Eldritch. Is Palmer still human, or did something else come back in his place?My Thoughts: Playing onto our worst nightmares - namely those in which we continually think we've awakened, only to find we're still inside the nightmare - this story keeps you guessing as to what is real and what is hallucination. It is difficult to explain too much of the plot without giving away key elements that will spoil the story, which is why I've stuck mainly to what is given in the editorial review or on the book cover. However, I found the story to be very much in the lines of a typical Philip K. Dick story - twisted and convoluted. Well worth the read, however. My copy of the story is part of am omnibus, Counterfeit Unrealities (contains Ubik, A Scanner Darkly, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep [aka Blade Runner], The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch), which title describes the overall topic of this story, at least, very well. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

  • Erik
    2019-06-07 20:59

    I wonder what it is about dream sequences in stories that makes them so dissatisfying. There is the obvious sense of feeling cheated; the reader/viewer builds up a relationship with a character. If it turns out that relationship was built on false premises, on nonsense, we feel conned, mocked even. Our trust in the author was broken.Yet at the same time, what does it matter? The story within a book or a film is more or less just a higher level dream sequence, isn't it?The Three Stigmata is full of PKD hallmarks. Sentient appliances. Precogs. And the blurring of the line between reality and fantasy, hallucination and sense. Yet while the other PKDs I've read managed to maintain a life-line back to reality, The Three Stigmata sets us adrift.The major gist of the Three Stigmata is this: the Earth is a harsh place to live. In his own act of precognition, PKD foresaw the global warming epidemic that we would face. It's so hot that you can't go outside without a proper suit. As such, the UN (implied to be the only government left standing) has begun drafting citizens to become colonists on other planets, notably Mars.Mars sucks. Nothing grows. Telepathic jackals feed on colonists. In order to combat this dreariness, colonists use a dollhouse and a drug called Can-D (get it?) to transport themselves into the better life of Perky Pat, the doll of the dollhouse. If that sounds a little trippy, it is. But it's not all that much of a stretch. Don't we do the same thing with television today? Live vicariously through others?But then Palmer Eldritch arrives with an alternative to Can-D, a drug he's calling Chew-Z, and that's when the reader is shortly set adrift.There comes a point, about mid-way, that we can no longer be sure what is, or is not, reality. You read on, thinking it to be clarified, but it never is, not quite. What is real, what is fiction? We don't know.That was PKD's point and it was aptly done.Yet when I open a book, I am not seeking an open-ended experience. What I like most about books is that they end. No matter what horrible things might happen to our protagonists, we know that it will be over for us. Even the happiness we might feel when trapped within the pages will eventually go away. It's not like life. It doesn't keep going on and on. Our happinesses don't grow wearied and atrophied. We don't have to replace them with new ones. A book is a self-contained unit, a story with a clear beginning and a clear end. It always begins on page 1 and always ends on page X.So I take issue with the blurring of reality in Three Stigmata. It was not satisfying to me. I don't need a book to tell me how subjective consciousness and reality is. Every single day of my life tells me that.It was a good book, for all of that, but I'd take PKD's Ubik over Three Stigmata any day o' the week.

  • Joe
    2019-06-07 21:14

    The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick is a Science Fiction novel about a new hallucinogenic drug and it’s very unusual and weird consequences.In the future the world has become greatly overpopulated and even the offworld colonies are cramped and unpleasant. An illegal drug which a large proportion of the population take, called Can-D, takes users into an hallucinogenic state which can be shared with friends. Palmer Eldritch, missing and thought possibly dead, returns to the solar system. He brings a new drug called Chew-Z with him which is far more powerful than Can-D. He controls it all however and what happens is very weird and very interesting.Due to the use of the drugs the characters are seen in an unusual but very curious manner. The hallucinogenic state they enter and can share with others makes the psychological development of the characters confusing but very in-depth. Palmer Eldritch himself is a very odd character due to seeing him in different lights, both physical and in a drugged, surreal manner.The society and worlds in the book have an interesting view to them. This is a tired world, weary from overpopulation and lack of resources. Wars are uncommon due to the resource problem and the very environment itself; the ozone layer is far more worn out and it’s unhealthy to simply stay outside for long periods. This tired world and society is an interesting one to my mind as many books have broken societies due to wars or apocalyptic events. This is not the case here, it’s just over-developed.I found this book very confusing and hard to understand. There were many times when I had to stop and try to work out, for quite some time, exactly what was happening or what PKD meant during certain sections. I think this will greatly benefit from a reread in a year or two’s time. The surreal aspect to parts of it, not all of them related to the drugged hallucinogenic state, wasn't always easy to decipher but well worth it in the end.In Summary: A really interesting book with surreal, out of this world elements. A curiously developed world with ideas that really make you think. I’d recommend this to SF fans as well as anyone wanting a very thoughtful yet surreal experience.

  • John
    2019-06-27 23:01

    This is a terrible novel.Dick's prose is the worst prose I have ever read in a professionally published work. It is beyond bland, beyond clunky, well into painful. The novel is essentially all dialog. The worldbuilding is perfunctory and amateurish. There is no sense of place and no atmosphere. Everything takes place as if in a white room.All the characters are cardboard, and they are all the same character. They all talk the same way, in a dull 1960's casual style with occasional 1960s slang. They are completely interchangeable, and I kept forgetting who was who, right up to the end. They are all mild sociopaths, who think nothing of cheating and betraying each other, and occasionally killing each other. There isn't a sympathetic character in the book, or a charismatic villain. Characters rarely have emotions. When they do, one feels that Dick has just realized, "Gee, no one has had an emotion is the last twenty pages, I should do something," dipped a brush into a pot of some random emotion and slapped it over whatever character is at hand.The plot makes no sense at all. It wanders here and there randomly, and ends up nowhere. Dick literally brings in a deus ex machina at the end, apparently because he can't think what else to do. The science is laughable. Relativistic effects of space travel and communication are simply ignored.I keep seeing recommendations to read Philip K. Dick, so I read this novel, to find out what all the shouting was about. I've read another Dick novel, The Man in the High Castle, long ago, when I was in my 20s, and I remember little of it, except that it wasn't very interesting. I thought maybe my tastes had evolved, and I'd enjoy Dick by now. No, my tastes have evolved so that I hate Dick even worse.I cannot understand what readers find in the writing of Philip K. Dick.

  • Alejandro De Luca
    2019-06-18 20:51

    Un traficante de drogas interplanetario ve amenazado su negocio en Marte debido a la reaparición de un excéntrico millonario industrial que acaba de regresar de un viaje interestelar.En esta novela el autor presenta a uno de los mejores personajes creados en la ciencia ficción, Palmer Eldritch. Un personaje cuyo origen e identidad son misteriosos. Y cuyos objetivos parecen siniestros.Uno de los libros donde Philip K. Dick lleva más a fondo su planteo sobre la realidad. ¿Qué es real y qué no? ¿Cómo podemos distinguir si lo que vivimos es un sueño, una ilusión o la verdadera realidad? ¿Hay una verdadera realidad? ¿Estamos atrapados en ella?Difícil leer la novela y no pensar en todas las obras que ha inspirado tanto literarias como cinematográficas.

  • Ray
    2019-06-12 02:20

    This book left me cold. The plot was all over the place and the characters unformed. Yet there were passages which promised better. Overall a chore to read rather than a delight.I am still trying to work out if Dick is a genius or the Barbara Cartland of sci fi. Perhaps its me. Hey ho.

  • Michael
    2019-05-30 03:10

    This complicated and rambling little tale by science fiction guru Philip K. Dick put forth some fascinating ideas and had some very interesting things to say on a number of topics. However, the main plotline left only a vague impression on me by the end, and I was bothered by some of its strangely short-sighted social observations throughout.For a speculative novel, this book packs the ideas together like sardines. Scattered among its pages are developments in global warming, colonization, drug trafficking and drug customization, precognition, interstellar travel, aliens, psychotherapy, and cybernetics. And those are just the ones I remember! I can see why Philip K. Dick is such an influence in the science fiction community.I also found the characters and character interactions to be very engrossing, and lively. There were a lot of different voices represented here, which gave it a well-rounded feel. The point of view makes a number of shifts in the book, and although this was sometimes confusing, it was always done to add depth to the context, and I felt it helped to maintain a feeling of movement within/between the scenes. My only complaint along those lines is that a lot of the female characters were underutilized, one in particular whose larger role was hinted at, but ultimately discarded.Despite its strengths, I had two major complaints with the book. First, the story was rambling in the sense that it went all over the place, both in topics and in context, and at times lost continuity altogether. Granted, much of this was on purpose to create a desired effect, but you can consider me not a fan of that desired effect. Also, it was clear once you finally made it to the end of the piece, that only two of the many sci-fi topics were relevant to the main thesis. There was something very distracting about all of the other topics; it made me feel like there were a dozen red herrings amongst one or two sardines. Perhaps the problem was the main topic was so convoluted, that I used up all my energy following it. I do see that the richness of ideas here all went to creating a vivid and well-developed futuristic world, and I would hate to have given that up entirely.My second main complaint was the decidedly unprogressive observations in a novel of otherwise very progressive ideas. The main characters express various views that are sexist, racist, xenophobic, and homophobic, and although I admit the book was written 50 years ago, I was particularly bothered, because one, it is in the supposedly progressive genre of science fiction, and two, it was written while Philip K. Dick lived in California in the 1960's! Although I have seen this before in his novels, the broadness of it caught me off guard. For example: here is a world where people take shuttles to the moon and use precognition to develop fashion, and yet women still make up all of the secretary pools, having "kept women" is standard practice, and men are the voice of the family. Another example: the U.N. is seen as a naive and perhaps malicious nemesis, a sentiment motivated by racism and xenophobia, while the reality, ironically, is that the cooperative venture of the U.N. is part of the reason our current world has treaties to avert global warming, which it appears this fictional world could use in large supply. I found the shortsightedness a bit grating.Despite its positives, it is hard to recommend the book personally, but hopefully my notes here will help you make the decision for yourself, or at least act as a platform for further discussion. It is certainly a unique book, and I predict that many of its ideas will stay with me for some time to come, which says a lot.

  • Gray
    2019-06-19 03:53

    “It takes a certain amount of courage, he thought, to face yourself and say with candor, I'm rotten. I've done evil and I will again. It was no accident; it emanated from the true, authentic me.”-Philip K. Dickeldritch adj. – unearthly; weird; strangeOkay, I’m halfway through my Exegesis-plus-12-novels PKD read along, so to celebrate I want to start this review with a bit of research. As any fan will probably tell you, Philip K. Dick wrote a lot. And by “a lot”, I mean 48 novels*, and 121 short stories. That is a staggering output of work for any artist, especially considering Dick died aged only 53. *(Sadly, three of those novels’ manuscripts have been lost.)The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is the thirtieth (30th!) novel Dick wrote, reportedly written between Clans of the Alphane Moon and The Zap Gun. (Publishing dates are different.) It was one of two books by Dick nominated for the 1966 Nebula Award. The other book was Doctor Bloodmoney, but they both lost out to Frank Herbert’s Dune.Three Stigmata is a typically weird Dickian tale involving the fragile nature of reality, drug use, the plight of the “little man”, planetary colonization, and malign alien invasion. Presciently, Dick envisages 21st Century Earth as an overpopulated planet with a dangerously high daytime temperature, as well as a populace addicted to consumerism. This extreme weather and overpopulation has forced the United Nations to issue a draft for colonizing Mars and other nearby planets and moons.“He paid the cab, hopped from it, and scuttled across a short open space for a ramp; briefly, naked sunlight touched him and he felt – or imagined – himself sizzle.” (p.16)The book opens with Barney Mayerson receiving his draft notice. Barney is a “precog consultant” with P.P. Layouts', a company that makes miniature accessories for the best-selling doll “Perky Pat”, a kind of alternate Barbie popular with adults. Through ingestion of the illegal drug Can-D, people can experience Perky Pat and her accessory-filled fantasy world as reality. (Is this what happens when you cross The Matrix with Ken & Barbie?..)“The doll, he reflected, which had conquered man as man at the same time had conquered the planets of the Sol system. Perky Pat, the obsession of the colonists. What a commentary on colonial life.” (p.13)The mysterious Palmer Eldritch enters the story on his return from a distant galaxy. There are rumours he has brought something back with him, a challenge to the reality-altering Can-D. Eldritch is offering a better, more intense and realistic experience with his product Chew-Z. But at what cost to its consumers?...This is a book that often left me questioning what just happened, causing me to reread earlier parts of the story. I don’t mind doing this, especially if the story is worth it, but I struggled with this one. It feels like Dick tried to fit too many ideas into the 207 pages of the book. Some of these ideas are brilliant but they’re not developed enough to create a truly satisfying PKD story. At times, the story made me think of the attention span of a child riding a sugar-high.I realize how highly Three Stigmata is rated by fans, and I also realize that I’m setting myself up for a lot of criticism, but I wanted to give my honest opinion about it. It could simply be too smart for me? I wanted to love it but I didn’t.Dick had this to say about the novel’s genesis:“… The Palmer Eldritch novel came out of an actual mystical experience, lasting almost a month, in which I saw the face of evil hovering over the landscape, and the three stigmata were aspects of him that I saw – I mean, objectively, literally – in particular the slotted, empty eyes.”https://biginjapangrayman.wordpress.c...