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We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick) Paperback – 11 May 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)
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  • Second Variety: Volume Two Of The Collected Stories (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)
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  • The Father-Thing: Volume Three Of The Collected Stories
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (11 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857989481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857989489
  • Product Dimensions: 34.8 x 2.7 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

The final volume in the definitive collection of stories by the greatest science fiction writer of the twentieth century

From the Back Cover

"A fitting tribute to a great philosophical writer who found science fiction the ideal form for the expression of his ideas"
THE INDEPENDENT

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of the work of Philip K Dick (1928-1982), I love this complete collection of his short stories (of which this is the fifth of 5 volumes).

The stories in this volume were written between 1963 and 1981 (shortly before his death). As with any collection of this kind, where all an authors short stories are collected, you get something of a mixed bag. However, to my mind even when PKD is not at his best he is still well worth a read (and at his best he is among the very best). As well as the stories you get some interesting introductory material and some helpful notes.

The stories contained in this volume are:

"The Little Black Box"
"The War with the Fnools"
"A Game of Unchance"
"Precious Artifact"
"Retreat Syndrome"
"A Terran Odyssey"
"Your Appointment Will Be Yesterday"
"Holy Quarrel"
"We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" (which the movie Total Recall was based on)
"Not By Its Cover"
"Return Match"
"Faith of Our Fathers"
"The Story to End All Stories for Harlan Ellison's Anthology Dangerous Visions"
"The Electric Ant"
"Cadbury, the Beaver Who Lacked"
"A Little Something for Us Tempunauts"
"The Pre-Persons"
"The Eye of the Sibyl"
"The Day Mr. Computer Fell out of its Tree"
"The Exit Door Leads In"
"Chains of Air, Web of Aether"
"Strange Memories of Death"
"I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon"
"Rautavaara's Case"
"The Alien Mind"

'...fitting tribute to a great philosophical writer who found science fiction the ideal form for the expression of his ideas' -- The Independent

'No other writer of his generation has had such a powerful intellectual presence.
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Format: Paperback
I must admit I only bought this book for the title story "We Can Remmber It For You Wholesale" as this was the story which became the film "Total Recall". This is a great short story and is as different from the book as is "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep" to the film "Blade Runner". If you have never considered reading any of Dick's novels then I would recommend starting with one of his short story compendiums (of which this is one). His writing style is simply fantastic... Some of the reading is heavy going but is well worth reading. (I remember reading "Do Androids..." for the first time and having to re-read several pages as I thought i'd missed something). This can still happen but once you have read several of his stories you become accustomed to his style and even look forward to having you mind messed with! Overall I would say that this is a great compendium of short stories and should be a part of your collection.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
His ideas resonate so much in the present time when we are questioning wether what we are living through is a simulation or even how would we ever know. No writer, not just sc-fi, has ever got so close to the Matrix concept that people like David Icke are now elaborating on.
Not all these stories are superb but as the germs for Ubik, Do Androids..., etc, you will get where he was coming from.
But I've loved him since I was 16, so perhaps you won't agree. But I hope you will.
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Format: Paperback
These were not the first Philip K Dick stories that I had read (the first was the rather amazing "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep") but were the first book of his short stories that I had read.

Something that occurred to me when reading this book was truly imaginative you could be when writing a story; I never really enjoyed the idea of a short story before reading this book. What occured to me whilst reading them was the entire point of them being short; the story is kept fresh and interesting and ideas can be explored that would quickly run out of steam if they were stretched further.

Within these hallowed pages you will find a great variety of different stories ranging from the oft-quoted title story (that was vastly expanded into Total Recall), right through to "The War With Fnools"; a crazy tale of an attempt by aliens to take over the Earth by disguising themselves as tiny real-estate salesmen.

There is such great depth of imagination and variety; yet some of the stories have a touch of the absurd about them (such as the aforementioned "The War With Fnools") and it is this that makes the book such a compelling read.

On a seperate note, the notes at the back of the book (some of which are made by the author) really flesh out the different backstories (and the mindset) of the author and are worth reading in themselves.
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I haven't read all of the stories in this collection but the ones that I have read are just brilliantly imaginitive and hillarious. Philip K. Dick felt that he was possessed by an angel or some other kind of higher intelligence, (see Colin Wilson's "The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Unsolved Mysteries"), and this is not entirely un-evident in Dick's writings. One of my favourite stories in this volume is "War with the fnools", which is about three foot businessmen haunting the Earth with their strangeness. (The following may spoil the story a little...): the problem is that if one of the fnools eats a certain piece of food or something, all of the fnools in existence will double in size. This happens once and the fnools are exactly the same size as humans, and are indistinguishable, ... but what could happen if they doubled in size again?! The story on which the film "Total Recall" was based is very fast and difficult to follow, and is called "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". I would recommend this collection of short stories to anyone with an active imagination and with an absurd sense of humour. Not all of Dick's stories are intended to be humourous though, and some are perhaps even deeply philosophical, and can be quite haunting. I would not only recommend these short stories, but also the accompanying volume of short stories: "Beyond Lies the Wub".
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