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Transmigration of Timothy Archer Paperback – 24 Nov 1983

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Paperback, 24 Nov 1983
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Distribution Services; New edition edition (24 Nov. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586058869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586058862
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,179,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The final work of a master of SF. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

The final book in Philip K. Dick s VALIS trilogy, "The Transmigration of Timothy Archer" brings the author s search for the identity and nature of God to a close. The novel follows Bishop Timothy Archer as he travels to Israel, ostensibly to examine ancient scrolls bearing the words of Christ. But, more importantly, this leads him to examine the decisions he made during his life and how they may have contributed to the suicide of his mistress and son.
This introspective book is one of Dick s most philosophical and literary, delving into the mysteries of religion and of faith itself. As one of Dick s final works, it also provides unique insight into the mind of a genius, whose work was still in the process of maturing at the time of his death.
Over a career that spanned three decades, Philip K. Dick (1928 1982) wrote 121 short stories and 45 novels, establishing himself as one of the most visionary authors of the twentieth century. His work is included in the Library of America and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Eleven works have been adapted to film, including "Blade Runner" (based on "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"), "Total Recall," "Minority Report," and "A Scanner Darkly."
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
PKD's final three books, VALIS, The Divine Invasion and, of course, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer were all greatly influenced by his breakdown/revelation in 1974. This is the final book in the sequence, and is perhaps the most beautiful of the three. Breaking away from his more traditionally SF ideals it is a story of a search for faith and meaning that manages to be both literary and gripping (the two seldom go together in my experience). PKD's philosophical powers have reach their height and it is a mark of his storytelling ability that he breaks the mould of his reputation as a pure SF writer to tell this tale.
PKD spent much of his life trying to break away from his reputation as an SF writer and write more mainstream literature. This represented his first real success and shows that - despite his depth of imagination and talent as an SF writer - he was a master storyteller and philosopher no matter the genre in which he wrote.
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Format: Paperback
Bishop Timothy Archer is haunted by the suicides of his son and mistress. He must also deal with the theological and philosophical implications of the newly-discovered Gnostic Zadokite scroll fragments. These events drive him into a quest for the identity of Christ.

The character of Bishop Archer is loosely based on the controversial Episcopalian Bishop James Pike whose outspoken views on many theological and social issues made him one of the most controversial public figures of his time. In 1969 Pike died of exposure while exploring the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea in the West Bank. Dick and Pike were friends, and Pike officiated at Dick's wedding to his forth wife Nancy Hackett 1966.

Philip K Dick's thirty-fifth published novel, written in 1981 and published in 1982. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is the third of Dick's final three novels (along with VALIS and The Divine Invasion) which are often referred to as the VALIS trilogy. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer was not originally intended as the final work of the trilogy. The final novel was originally going to be called Fawn, Look Back, then The Owl in Daylight. However, this novel had not been written by the time of Dick's death and as such, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer was substituted for the unwritten final volume. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer does however fit comfortably with the two finished volumes and Dick himself called the three novels a trilogy, saying "the three do form a trilogy constellating around a basic theme.
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Format: Paperback
"The Transmigration of Timothy Archer" was Philip K Dick's final work. It was published shortly after his untimely death in March 1982 from a series of strokes. It is one of his most overtly philosophical and intellectual works. It is narrated throughout by Angela Archer, unusual in Dick's work as he usually employed multiple narrators. It is a very questioning and occasionally despairing work, but ultimately life affirming. The subtlety of the plot development, the intellectual rigour of the discussions that take place, both conversational and interior monologue and most of all the wonderfully expressed character of Angela Archer make this, to me, his most rewarding work, a fact that makes his death shortly before publication all the greater loss. Philip K Dick is often cited as the main influence on the Cyberpunk movement led by William Gibson, but as this work, and titles as diverse as the inventive "Eye in the Sky" and "Martian Time Slip", the moving "Galactic Pot Healer", the complex and yet delicate "The Man in His High Castle" and the chilling yet deeply moving "A Scanner Darkly" show, there was so much more to his genius than just influence.
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Philip K Dick was one of the greatest science fiction writers, and like many in the genre was interested in using it to explore philosophical matters. This one is the last of what is sometimes considered loosely as a trilogy which included Valis (S.F. MASTERWORKS) and The Divine Invasion. All explore aspects of a mystical philosophy in some ways based on the Gnostics. Of the three, the Divine Invasion is the one that is most science fiction proper, and more immediately accessible than Valis (though many PKD fans consider that his masterpiece).

This volume of the three, despite the marking on the back, is the work that is perhaps least well described as science fiction. It's events take place in the nineteen seventies at around the time of the death of John Lennon which is mentioned several times in the text. Unusually for Dick the story is told in first person and by a woman who is the daughter-in-law of an episcopalian (British readers read as Anglican) bishop of California, Timothy Archer. The events are probably more day to day for most readers than in PKD's science fiction, centring around the way the bishop's faith is challenged by the discovery of historical texts and the suicide of his son and mistress.

Yet for all the events being more quotidian there is also Dick's familiar interest in philosophical questions about the nature of reality and how we and beliefs relate to this.
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