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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew my mind...
After Reading "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", I must admit that I was concerned that I would not be able to top that. Fortunately, Ubik surpassed all my expectations. Other reviewers here have detailed the plot, which I think is unfair, since Ubik is a constant page-turner and fascinator. So I will not give anything away.
Fortunately, Minority Report touches...
Published on 13 Aug 2002 by Mr. A. B. Nathan

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical of this author but not one of his best
Ubik is a curate's egg of a novel: it encapsulates Philip K. Dick's strengths and weaknesses as a writer. On the plus side, it bursts with ideas and pushes the boundaries of the late-60s science fiction genre - one can see how many of Dick's preoccupations have influenced later writers and film-makers - and creates from the start the characteristic Dickian atmosphere of...
Published on 12 July 2010 by Paul Bowes


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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew my mind..., 13 Aug 2002
By 
Mr. A. B. Nathan "ascher" (london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
After Reading "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", I must admit that I was concerned that I would not be able to top that. Fortunately, Ubik surpassed all my expectations. Other reviewers here have detailed the plot, which I think is unfair, since Ubik is a constant page-turner and fascinator. So I will not give anything away.
Fortunately, Minority Report touches upon many of the major themes within Ubik, espcially the industry grown out of Pre-cognition and Psionic ability. It is therefore timely to read this now, and hopefully this will spur on others to take an interest in this most fascinating of authors.
Ubik touches upon many of Dick's core themes (a true Auteur): psychic ability (and its power), faith and religion, regression and postmodernity, death, insanity, drugs, experience etc. etc. However, it truly excels as a narrative, and I completely disagree with those critics who merely saw the characters within this book.
Some points within in are beyond imagination, and will simply blow your mind. The vertigo within this surpasses any other SF I have read. Added to this is some excellent characterisation and social commentary (for example, Runciter vs. Joe Chip, both attempting to save the company, but both representing the dichotomies within capitalism), and some crazy philosophy.
Anyway, before I drool too much, and contemplate starting it again, I shall leave you with my strongest urges to read this book! Forget the rubbish about "well, its not technologically accurate", because that is to lose the point with Dick; unlike other SF writes (most notably Asimov, who likes to portray a history of the future), Dick merely expresses possible worlds (very dark and crazy worlds). Yes, themes do exist, such as 'papes and hovercars and vidphones, but ignore this and concetrate on Dick's stiringly accurate imagination. Sit back and realise that the future is now, in the most unbelievable way imaginable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philip K. Dick's masterpiece, 31 Mar 2010
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Ubik is my all-time favourite novel - and that is a considered view, not an idle claim. SF writers are sometimes said to be ahead of their time. In many cases, though, these writers are prescient not through some special gift of foresight but because they take the trouble to inform themselves about leading edge discoveries and theories. Jules Verne, for example, visited every famous scientist in Paris, as a journalist, and asked them what were currently the hot topics. Similarly, H G Wells attended what is today Imperial College where he was fortunate to study science under Thomas Huxley - one of the sharpest scientific minds of the nineteenth century. The genius of these writers lay in them seeing the potential of new developments.

Philip K Dick, in my view, was genuinely ahead of his time not because he made himself privy to the latest discoveries but because he was truly gifted with an extraordinary ability to perceive, as long ago as the 1950s, where scientific trends were taking western society. Ubik, on the surface is an SF tale involving some far-out ideas (many of which have since come true and some of which are currently hovering on the edge of reality). But beneath the surface of futurology, it is the most perfect exploration and the most economical explanation of the central problem that attracts every intelligent person, that of solipsism. What is outside and what is inside? What is the connection between coincidence and the `reality' of everyday life. Are we asleep, dreaming of butterflies or are we butterflies dreaming of being human? In this novel, Dick provides answers so frightening that most people would prefer not to know them.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great place to start, 21 Mar 2006
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This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This was the second book of Philip K. Dick's I read and one of the few that I regularly return to. Ignore its cheesy cover (which seems to be going for the single male market, since it has nothing to do with the story) and just absorb all the weird concepts and twists and turns PKD has to offer. It's a superb thriller, where you can't take anything for granted, and shot through with his superb humour. What other author would envision a corporate world where you have to pay a toll to use doors, and where psychic powers are so commonplace that those with telepathy are treated like common neighbourhood pests?
Above all, Ubik is very very accessible. It's not cluttered with the messed-up amphetamine-fuelled oddness of his later novels, and there's less techno babble than usual. Even if you're not into science fiction, it's well worth a look if only to show you that just because a novel is set in the future, doesn't mean it has to be full of ridiculous overblown theatrics and weird aliens.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious story. Thoroughly absorbing and an good read., 17 Aug 2001
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I found this book when I was searching for "..Androids.." in my campus library- I failed to pick out Androids, so I went for Ubik, and the rest, as they say, is history. I was aware that Dick had written the novel that had become "Bladerunner", but until reading Ubik, I had no idea that he was such an influence on sci-fi (and more besides). For the Dick beginner (as I was), Ubik was an excellent, fulfilling read, and now that I've really got into Dick (impossible not to!) I can see how reading more of his stories only adds to his power, and indeed to the satisfaction for the reader. Even though I'm not huge on sci-fi, Ubik had everyting I wanted: a great plot; an absorbing vision of the future; mystery; abstraction (eg. being sued by a door!); and it's so easy to want to read it again and again. Definitely a book to build your own library around.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmer shifting reality , super science fiction ideas., 28 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Philip K. Dick wrote "A Maze of Death" in which the bizzare lives of the individuals in the book turn out not to be what you , or they , think. In the end they are able , if they so wish , to be reedemed by the intercessor. It is not a well written or readable book ( and I am a life long PKD fan).
In contrast we have a better written and very readable 'Ubik'. 'Ubik' has similar themes and visions of a future to place them against. Once again a disparate band are thrown together and , as one by one they are eliminated , struggle to make sense of their changing world and the circumstances they find themselves in. Of course reality is not what it seems , but in the end they , with some intercession ,strive struggle and endure. Maybe.
Philip K.Dick was praised and feted for 'The Man in the High Castle' and 'The Martian Time-slip' and these are fine and dandy. Several of his ideas have been 'translated' into films such as 'Blade Runner' and others. However I feel that , after 'A Scanner Darkly' and 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' 'Ubik' is one of his better works focused on one of his more interesting writing themes.
RECCOMMENDATION Try 3 of them , they are short and read ( the first time ) quite quickly - 'Ubik' first then 'Do Andriods dream of Electric Sheep and finally 'A scanner darkly'. Then go away and read everthing else he ever wrote.
Later books by the author decline into navel gazing introspective and personal vision stuff which is not , unless you have the same vision , easy to read or get much from. If you have started with one of those , give him one more go read 'Ubik'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puzzling and strange, 31 Dec 2003
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
For me, this is Philip K Dick as his most strange. The book covers the usual territory of peoples perceptions, what is reality, strange extra perceptory messages etc.. But in Dick's usual inventive and humorous way. I have to say it is not his most entertaining work, but at the same time it is one of his most original. I would have to say that 'A scanner darkly' covers the same territory a lot better. Having said that, this is still a good SF book, but not as accessible as some of his other work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply K.Dick, 28 Aug 2002
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
When I first read that book, it was in his french translation, more than twenty years ago. It left me shaking for a while. I had already read some others pieces from K.Dick (the Eye in the Sky and so on, and all of them are basic pillars of literature, although they are supposed to belong to a despised gender - Sci-Fi).
I have now read it in his original version, and the impact remains.
Ubik is simply K.Dick, and it is a masterpiece, however you look at it. Just a comment though : if you are not familiar with the K.Dick universe, I would strongly recommend you not to start with Ubik. It is a little bit hard to enter UBik without any previous training. Maybe start with, for instance The eye in the Sky, more clasical plot and writing, but a good introduction to the K.Dick universe.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute mind-screw of a book...., 18 Feb 2004
By 
Mr. A. J. Whiteway "andy-ru" (Londinium, uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
If you've never read a Dick book before, read 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' because it's a lot mroe accessible as a piece of fiction.
This on the other hand is something entirely different, a glorious combination of strange SF paradies and the genuine paranoia that seems to flow through most all of Dick's work. The hero of the book, Joe Chip, is well, anything but a Hero, in keeping with Dicks desire to reprsent the lesser man. As we follow Joe's world we see it is one filled with paraonia, created by people's new found ability to use ESP (ie telepathy) to a variety of means. Joe works for Glen Runciter, head of a company that is in charge of trying to combat and cancel out the effects these people are having. Add to this the fact that Glen Runciter often visits his dead wife, who is stuck somewhere between heaven and hell and you have so many realities for Dick to play with that boy does he have some fun.
The trademark Dick humour is here in abundance, like the reviewer says, the scene with the door and Joe is hilarious, plus there are many other moments that I won't spoil. The ending is a masterstroke - though you'll probably love or hate it, there's no denying it leaves all sorts of questions and late nights spent scratching your head. And if that isn't the definition of a good Sci-Fi novel, I'll eat my hat.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up with the top!!!, 8 April 2013
This review is from: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
The theme of adventuring in metaphysical dimensions is relatively common, but for sure one of the most difficult to tackle in a credible way.

While this book looks like science fiction, it is actually more a phylosophical / metaphysical book (like most Philip K. Dick production) that explains itself through adventure and action (after all, Death is considered to be the Ultimate Adventure, by someone...). Don't look at it through the eyes of science or you will be disappointed! all the sci-fi features are just a plot escamotage, not a scientific point of view or prediction (and in fact time demonstrated that the predictions in the book areoften flawed and critical analysis of the setail presented highlighted several contradictions): the value of this book is just literary!

This is up in the top tier of the Olympus of literature!!!

WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

This book is the story of a group of people with psionic powers that is killed and is projected in a strange and confused dimension that they'll realize is death. This metaphysical dimension is plagued by a kind of powerful "soul eater" that can be kept at bay with "Ubik" (a metaphysical counter measure, of course! and there is an "organization" of dead souls that fights this battle and if they "survive" the soul eater they can finally reincarnate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain-burstingly imaginative, 4 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Ubik (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
This was only the third PKD book I read, (the others being Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Martian Timeslip) but I found it to be one of the most amazingly imaginative, bizarre and thought-provoking stories I've ever read. It seemed a little hard to get into at first but after a while the story takes off and gets progressively stranger and intriguing. You can never predict where the story is going and the whole concept of 'UBIK' is absolutely fascinating. PKD has a very unique writing style and a great sense of humour. Science Fiction doesn't come much better than this and Ubik is easily one of Dick's greatest novels. it requires a bit of effort and concentration (even I'm not quite sure what happened at the end) but it's immensley rewarding. Recommended for anyone with a brain if they don't mind their head spinning afterwards and the result of reading this book will make you look slightly differently at the world afterwards - I did. Amazing.
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Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) by Philip K. Dick (Paperback - 10 Feb 2000)
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