Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 30 May 2012
This is a great collection of fast-paced engaging stories from Philip K Dick that I chose for my first Kindle purchase. It's a shame that this Kindle edition is riddled with single-letter spelling mistakes that seem to have resulted from an automated text scan of the original and were not corrected.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 August 2017
I do not want to denigrate this work but I completely lost the thread and gave up. Maybe it's a marvellous read but alas not for me.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 September 2014
Another inspiring collection which is a fitting tribute to the breathtaking eclecticism that is the mind of PKD. The philosophical diversity of the material is impressive with themes covered ranging from: justice, thought control, xenophobia, celebrity culture, megalomania and the power of the media.

The culture of celebrity is tellingly explored in ‘The Mold of Yancy’ and ‘Novelty Act’. Dick hilariously indulges in some navel gazing in ‘Waterspider’ paying homage to some of the greats of the genre. Whilst in ‘Orpheus with Clay Feet’ he explores the difficulties of the science fiction writer to be taken seriously from the perspective of time travel.

Justice – its determination and administration- is thoughtfully explored in the eponymous ‘The Minority Report’ and the Unreconstructed M’.A recurrent theme is the misuse and abuse of the media to produce an anodyne civilian population or to misrepresent history e.g. ‘If There Were No Benny Cemoli’. Cold war McCarthyism is clearly present in ‘Explorers We’ and the ‘Days of Perky Pat’ which both examine the theme of us and them and what it means to belong.

Personal favourites are ‘Captive Market’ in which an enterprising time traveller is able to take lucrative advantage of a parallel universe and ‘Service Call’ in which a passive humanity voluntarily opts for the comfort of thought modification.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 July 2014
Instead of receiving the volume 4 of the short collected stories, I've been sent a different book, with 10 short stories already available in the others volumes of the collected short stories!!
Very disappointed!!
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 June 2016
4th volume of a 5 volume set of Dick's collected stories. This has 23 stories covering the years 1954 to 1963 when he began writing novels prolifically and his short story output lessened. The movie "Minority Report" is based on his short story in this book but all his stories are a tribute to his vivid imagination and well worth reading.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 May 2013
I spent most of Sunday reading this extraordinarily absorbing tome, and found myself in equal measures, both bewildered, beguiled, assaulted, distressed, and freaked-out by the man's prodigious talent to zealously probe at the moist, jell-like folds of my mind, playing merry hell with all the giddy synapses therein. Even today my blurred, harried cerebellum remains ablaze with PKD's Gnostic 'other-ness'.

I genuinely adore short stories (my favorite literary medium): Poe, Bloch, Howard, Blackwood, Matheson, Leiber, Sheckley, Sturgeon, Lovecraft, Bradbury, Doyle, Carver, Ballard, Ashton-Smith, Asimov (the list is vast)...but something about these specific explorations into the maudlin weird, REALLY struck a deep, emotional chord with me; I found them to be truly inspirational works, replete with breath-taking vision, and fearsome originality.

I haven't been so wholly absorbed by another human's intellectual musings since Hubert Selby's Jr's coruscating exegesis 'The Room' which unsettled me for a good few weeks after reading it. PKD's limber, effervescent tales are incredibly taut, potent affairs; many of these righteous yarns expose the soft, pallid underbelly of the human condition; painfully tweaking at the oh-so fragile membranes of our psychic inner sanctum with great wit, sensitivity, and unerring prescience.

His word play is so utterly assured and rigorous, that I genuinely began to mourn for the myriad misfortunes of his desperate, beleaguered characters; empathizing fully with their grim, scrabbling half-lives upon a barren, apocalyptic earth; whose ignominious, inevitable collapse into miserable entropy made for truly harrowing reading. (Which, paradoxically, made them utterly spellbinding, and impossible to put down)

'Oh, to be a Blobel!' is a bravura piece of satire. I can't think of any other author that could get me to feel so much empathy for this poor sod's cruel, intra-species malaise. It is also extremely rare indeed that I enjoy every story in an author's collection, and that, of itself, made this magnificent tome that more special to me. (and definitely one too cherish!)

Almost as if responding to the eerie, plaintive, precognitive bidding of some ancient oracle, I immediately added his remaining collected short stories to my ever-burgeoning Amazon list, and I plan consume them all with equal alacrity. Ye gods! I'm positively insensate with psychotronic anticipation!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 1 October 2002
I think it is a crying shame that Philip K Dick did not live to see just what an impact his stories have made - we all know about 'Androids ..' becoming the Bladerunner classic sci-fi film that has in my opinion never been beaten. What this collection of stories contains is no less than three stories that have been made into films - and successful ones at that
The obvious one is Minority Report, but We Can Remember It Whole Sale' which was made into 'Total Recall' and another one that was made into 'Screamers'. These stories pack a punch that many, more ponderous, sci-fi stories cannot match, summoning up a vision of a world where fascist type government bodies control, or attempt to control the population. And when you look at the discussion on privacy laws, email snooping today you see the beginnings of a similar type of society. I recommend the audio book version of this book as Keir Duller brings a gravity to the stories, especially if you contrast the bleakness of the vision of Dick against the optimisism of Clark in 2001
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 July 2014
Perfect Dick - why did they make the dopey film that they did, instead of a film of this story? Interesting that the vision of the future is so dystopian (and not because of the precogs) and how much Dick has thought about the rivalry between the different state agencies.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 July 2005
Some of Dick's novels are my favourite books, but short stories were where he truly excelled. The whole five-part series of his Collected Short Series is brilliant, and this fourth installment doesn't disappoint. You can really see a progression between the short stories and some of his later novels that drew inspiration from them.
The neat freak in me is slightly annoyed that the cover is completely different to the others in the series though, especially when it's only been done to tie in with the film.
A great book to dip into now and then when your brain is too tired to digest an entire novel!
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 February 2003
Let's get one thing straight first of all - the only reason that this book is awarded four and not five stars is because of the misleading nature of its cover design. If, like me, you are investing in this because you thoroughly enjoyed the film and want to check out the author, you will be in for a bit of a shock - Minority Report is actually a SHORT story and the movie bears little or no resemblance to it. Anyone expecting a novel-sized read mirroring the plot and suspense of the Tom Cruise blockbuster will initially be disappointed.
However the disappointment won't be for long. This book is in fact a collection of nine Philip K Dick short stories, every one of them supremely imaginative, thought provoking and utterly engrossing futuristic fantasies. As well as Minority Report - ironically, possibly the weakest of the nine - there is "The Electric Ant", about a man discovering he is in fact a robot; "Oh! To Be A Blobel", a heartbreaking tale of inter-alien relationships; and "War Game", chartering the children's toy market sometime in the distant future. Also included is "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", "The Impostor" and "Second Variety" which were made into the films "Total Recall", "The Impostor" and "Screamers" respectively.
What made the late Philip K Dick such a genius is not just the unique, Earth-shattering situations in which he places his characters, but the characters themselves. Despite being aliens, or on other planets, or in the future, they encounter the same passions, problems and emotional traumas that we do here in the early 21st Century. A perfect introduction to the world of Dick, ignore the fact that this is not 'the book of the film' and prepare to be immersed in the best science fiction writing of all time.
11 Comment| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse