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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Time Out Of Joint (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
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on 19 April 2017
Read this for book club and initially I thought it was going to be 'Matrixesque' in its story. But realising this was written in 1959 I was intrigued by the twists of the story. Creating a constructed reality for a person to live is cruel.
Realising that people can retreat into their own fantasy reality to protect themselves shows how amazing the human brain is.
Reminded me of the movie the Truman show.
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on 27 September 2017
Book provided with dust jacket, and that gives a genuine feeling of the time of when it was issued. Wonderful bought ‼
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on 23 November 2004
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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on 4 March 2011
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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on 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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on 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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on 4 February 2014
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.Tense,subtle and blinding in it's concepts,it offered something totally new when published in 1959.

If reading for the first time,it might unsettle you as to the everyday life of your own boring existence,although it's more than an anagram of ordinary reality.The suburban world of Ragel Gumm,whose livelihood depends on winning a boring competition in a newspaper,is gradually found to be something more deeply unsettling.It seems our own mundane lifes contain more stranger aspects,but Dick displays some metaphysical happenings that he would become famous for,as the world around him gradually dissolves,revealing reality itself as something rather very weird instead.

The author would write even better books,but this could be a good book to begin with if you haven't read him before,and still stands up well today.
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on 8 November 2009
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. Unlike a lot of his works, this book has not been made into a film (as far as I know) but I believe (-SPOILER ALERT- ............................................................) that this film may have influenced the writers of "The Matrix" trilogy. Very interesting read.
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VINE VOICEon 2 October 2010
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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on 13 March 2011
"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. But he gradually begins to suspect that his world is an illusion, constructed around him for the express purpose of keeping him docile and happy. But if he is right, 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?'"
-- from the back cover

Written in 1958 and published in 1959, Time Out of Joint (Dick's sixth published novel) explores a number of themes Dick had an abiding interest in, most specifically the nature of reality and the impact on people when reality as they understand it starts to unravel around them.

As with all PKD's works this novel makes you marvel at his imagination but also (if you are of a philosophical turn of mind) brings you to question and consider the themes he raises for yourself. PKD also creates characters that I at least find believable.

"[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from."
--Paul Williams, Rolling Stone

"The most consistently brilliant SF writer in the world"
--John Brunner

"Dick quietly produced serious fiction in a popular form and there can be no greater praise"
--Michael Moorcock

"One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction, Philip K. Dick made most of the European avant-guarde seem navel-gazers in a cul-de-sac"
--Sunday Times

If you are new to Philip K Dick's work I would also recommend the following novels (which generally seem to be regarded as among his best):

The Man In The High Castle (S.F. Masterworks)
Ubik (S.F. Masterworks)
A Scanner Darkly (S.F. Masterworks)
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (S.F. Masterworks)

That said, though some of PKD's works are better than others, to my mind they are all well worth reading. I would also recommend his short story collections:

Beyond Lies The Wub: Volume One Of The Collected Short Stories
Second Variety: Volume Two Of The Collected Short Stories
The Father-Thing: Volume Three Of The Collected Short Stories
Minority Report: Volume Four Of The Collected Short Stories
We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: Volume Five of The Collected Short Stories

Also of interest may be the fine biography of Philip K Dick by Lawrence Sutin Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick (Gollancz S.F.)
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