9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Madness on Mars,
This review is from: Martian Time-Slip (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Arnie Kott (the head of the plumbing union), Jack Bohlen (the schizoid repairman), Manfred (the autistic child), Norbert Steiner (the black market goodies man), and Doreen (Arnie's mistress) are just some of the people who inhabit PKD's dystopian vision of Mars, where economic stagnation is complemented by the spiritual stagnation of the residents, who shun and marginalize the native population - the Bleekmen.
Martian time - slip is relatively slow moving compared to 'Ubik' for example, but there is perhaps more rich symbolism here as PKD explores the issue of the fallen state of schizophrenia in his own inimitable fashion. Overall the tone of the novel is one of reflection and comprehension, even sadness at times.
I particularly enjoyed Jacks encounter with the malfunctioning teaching machines (Kindly Dad is especially humorous). This moment is full of humour and fear and is typical PKD. The 'Jack' character is complicated and full of pathos having more in common with the autistic Manfred (gubble, gubble) at times as he attempts to contain the madness inside himself.
On the downside is that PKD employs some dubious 'Sci-fi' ideas, including the canal-network (in which futuristic Mars is criss-crossed with a network of water-bearing canals), and the slow motion chamber (which is supposed to help the autistic Manfred, who 'only' suffers from an accelerated sense of time). The existence of highly evolved life on Mars could also be criticised, but one should not let these minor points stop you enjoying one of PKD's best works.