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Time Out Of Joint (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Philip K. Dick
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Sep 2003 S.F. MASTERWORKS
Ragle Gumm is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life, except that he makes his living by entering a newspaper contest every day -- and winning, every day. But he gradually begins to suspect that his life -- indeed his whole world -- is an illusion, constructed around him for the express purpose of keeping him docile and happy. But if that is the case, what is his real world like, and what is he actually doing every day when he thinks he is guessing 'Where Will The Little Green Man Be Next?'

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Time Out Of Joint (S.F. MASTERWORKS) + Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS) + Valis (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (11 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575074582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575074583
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

An idea that predates both THE TRUMAN SHOW and THE MATRIX from one of SF's greats.

About the Author

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical-music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, 'Beyond Lies the Wub' in 1952. Among his many fine novels are THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, TIME OUT OF JOINT, DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? and FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID. For more information visit www.philipkdick.com

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting One, This 23 Nov 2004
By A Customer
Although the other reviewers are correct in observing that the ending lurches unsatisfyingly into a very different (and blurred and hackneyed) ending, this is nevertheless an interesting and illumintaing book for PKD fans to look at. The Afterword says it all. Dick, stuck in the rut of hammering out pot-boiling pap for his pulpy SF publisher (he hadn't yet quite found his voice, nor harnessed his full force) was at this time trying to broaden out into the mainstream. Books like The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike, and Confessions Of A Crap Artist, were where Dick really wanted to be heading - exploring alternative realities in hum-drum, down home, small town settings. His publisher was having none of it. So here we have a wonderful dose of Dick's realism with a lurid SF ending tacked on by an impatient editor eager to satisfy the huge SF market of the time. It represents the crossover between Dick's mainstream and SF writing, and shows the author grappling with his Big Theme while struggling to find the right form. Only later did he achieve true greatness. In a way this book can be seen as a turning point, a fulcrum, in Dick's writing - and as such I found it an interesting (if ultimately flawed) novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves 2 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In short this book starts off with mystery surrounding a man's seemingly mundane life and builds intrigue about the man's odd situation very well, but the ultimate payoff when the author reveals what is actually going on is a little disappointing. It's hard to say anything else or draw similarities without totally giving away the plot.

Philip K Dick has written better books than this but that is not to say that you should avoid reading this one - just don't expect to be blown away. The 'Afterword' by Lou Stathis goes some way in explaining why the book itself seems out of joint and implies that Dick rewrote it following feedback from the publisher.

This is labelled as Book 55 in the great 'SF MASTERWORKS' series out of which Dick has at least eight entries including 'The Penultimate Truth', 'The Simulcra', 'The Three Stigmata of palmer Eldritch', Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said', 'Valis', 'Now Wait for Last Year', and 'Martian Time Slip'... I would suggest that most of these are superior to this book and all are well worth a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book won't in many ways seem original,this is beacause in the fifty years since the Prisoner,Ashes to Ashes and various other programmes and books have come along which draw from this.It is a concise,fast paced , thought provacing adventure all in only 212 pages. A must.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great. 13 July 2004
The concept of this novel, like pretty much every Phillip K Dick book, is a wonderful one. A man finds out that his entire life is a construct and that most of the people around him are not who he thinks they are. He is convinced that they are trying to keep him where he is for an important purpose which he tries to work out during the course of the story. Unfortunately, unlike most Phillip K Dick books, this one does not fulfill its potential. The most disappointing aspect is the ending which doesn't seem to be part of the rest of the novel at all. I don't believe it explained itself very well either and should have gone into more depth. That said though it has enough redeeming moments in it to make it worth reading. It includes lots of examples of Dick's usual themes of paranoia and the mistrust of the people in control. Overall, an interesting read. Just a shame about that ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top quality sci-fi 22 April 2010
I agree with most of the other reviews. This is classic Philip K Dick, drawing you in and building slowly but steadily to a climax, and also superb sci-fi - full of rich invention, clever twists and thought-provoking themes. I've read it twice and will return to it again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Inner Space Fiction 16 Oct 2008
PKD's fiction can be pretty much broken down into two styles, as the afterword indicates, pulpy hamburger mass production sci fi and more introspective "inner space" fiction examining human dilemmas or dillusional states.

This book is sort of a combination of the two, PKD creates this amazing narrative which builds and builds, weaving in simple things which everyone's experienced, a sense of de ja vu or reaching for a light cord that's not there but was in another setting or at another time and remains with the individual as a subconscious memory.

However just before the finish the book takes a strange turn for the pulp sci fi which disappoints but not too much, its still seriously superior to the genuine article pulp like Heinlein and the afterword explains all.

This would be an excellent place to begin with PKD's books and the afterword will help you decide if reading any of the rest of his books is worthwhile (I did read a lot of his other books, a collection of his letters and writing and a biography).

Fans of this book will also like The Cosmic Puppets which is on a similar theme, very similar but a little more fantastical than science fictional, fans of psychological or psycho-analytical fiction like Irvin D. Yalom or One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest should like this too if they can transcend the genre bar. Incidentially the cover art is absolutely brilliant and makes a lot of sense once you've finished the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars !!!
everything perfect!!
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Even his ideas have ideas
Even his ideas have ideas. Flows quite well for a pkd novel. Am working through his books at the moment. Would put this in my top 5 PKDs.
Published 3 months ago by Lord Agrostis
4.0 out of 5 stars early,ground-breaking earthshaker of what was to come.
An early masterpiece that saw the maturing of "the Wizard" of speculative literature's brilliant talent.This was the template for the fantastic works to come. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Richard Fahey
1.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend anyone else, but Amazon EU S.a.r.L.
Three times in a row I was sent the wrong edition of this book, even after explaining that both editions have the same ISBN number and asking to not send me the new one. Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. Hadzhitodorov
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable in a very PKDickian manner
I should not have started to read this book when I had a nearing deadline. Admittedly I donor find PKD easy to put down but my first reaction to the first couple of chapters was... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ariadne
4.0 out of 5 stars Poor Ending, Otherwise Perfect
This is my first PKD book and by no means will be my last. The plot is highly original and even though it is not very exciting, PKD's fabulous writing style keeps you turning the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Killian Beashel
1.0 out of 5 stars Slow and, at best, dull.
The book is grindingly slow to begin, speeds up slightly towards the middle then, for some unknown reason, becomes the ending to a completely different story. Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2012 by Rubyjen
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Early Dick Novel
"Ragle Gumm is an ordinary man leading an ordinary suburban life, except that he makes his living by entering a newspaper contest every day -- and winning, every day. Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2011 by M Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic science fiction
This is a brilliant read. It has all the characterisitcs of a Philip K Dick novel - the books starts off a slow pace, slowly building the tension until breakin point. Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2009 by Mr. David J. Watson
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