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If you can listen to books then you might find this interesting. The thought of listening to over 50 hours of someone droning on about the ravings of a madman was too much for me, even though I am a huge fan of Dick's writings. I couldn't get past 5 hours. I might be better off reading a book than listening to any book being read to me by anyone. Gaak!
5.0 out of 5 starsA very strange but brilliant book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2017
The thing about this book is you never quite know whether you are reading the ravings of a lunatic or a work of sheer genius - perhaps it's both? Who was it that said there's a hair's breadth between a genius and a madman?
Let's not forget, this is the writing of someone who was not a well man. Mentally ill, on anti-psychotics, mega-dosing vitamins, taking amphetamines and occasionally dropping acid, you get the feeling that, at times, here is someone who has lost all touch with reality. But then as PKD would say - what is reality?
And yet the thing is you do see these sparkles of sheer genius in amongst ramblings that seem to have lost all cogency, and those often startling insights will keep you turning page after page after page, night after night after night.
It is great to be able, at last, to read this abridged selection from the voluminous collection of papers which constitute Dick's Exegesis. I have been a fan of Dick's work for many years and have long hoped that the Exegesis would be made available, even if in an abridged form.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who isn't already familiar with Dick's life and work. In fact I would recommend at the least having read the biography Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick to situate and contextualize The Exegesis and Dick's major works, which are referenced throughout (Ubik;Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said;A Maze of Death;The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch;A Scanner Darkly and the "VALIS Trilogy", which essentially grew out of The Exegesis (Valis;The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer)). Other Of Dick's works are referred to (and it would be helpful to be familiar with them too) but these are the ones that appear most often.
The editors of this work have,as far as I can tell, done a great job. They certainly seem to have taken a great deal of effort over this work. They have provided a helpful Introduction and plenty of Endnotes, Footnotes, Indexes and a Glossary, all of which guide the reader through this fascinating work.
For fans of Dick's work to whom the speculative religio-philosophical aspects are of interest (as in the "VALIS Trilogy") I recommend this volume.
This book is beyond words. It is astonishingly good.
I am a fan of PKD and his philosophy of life and here is the full unabridged version, around 1000 pages of every metaphysical truth (subjective, for what is truth anyhow?) there is and has ever been, all of which whizzed around PKD's mind since his awakening on 2-3-74.
The book is not a story in the conventional sense, those looking for a entertaining read on a Sunday afternoon will be missing the point. Yes, the book is entertaining, but it is more autobiographical thesis, like most of the later novels, Valis, Maze of Death, Radio Free Albemuth and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.
If you haven't read those later novels, do it, do it now! Otherwise the Exegesis will seem confused, hysterical and paranoid (staple PKD themes) If you however open your eyes, forget what you think you know, and take the time with it, you'll be rewarded with not only a vision of how the World actually is, but also experience insight into our true form, that of pure consciousness.
I’ll begin by stating, I’ve loved Dick for years. To be transparent; Dick has been a huge part of the way I view the world for a long time. When I watch films I’m always keeping an eye out for a trace of Dick. And believe me, it’s always there. I knew Dick could go deep, but for any true Dick fans, this is as deep as Dick gets. This is a work of truly life changing Dick that helps you to understand Dick by really letting Dick inside you. A masterpiece.
3.0 out of 5 starsEIther a work of genius or a random collection of arcane ramblings...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2014
This is a book for diehard Philip K Dick fans only and it really helps to have read his novels, especially 'Valis' and his other later works. The title of 'Exegesis' accurately describes this collection of writing as it is not a novel and without the excellent edited it has received, it would be almost unreadable. I can well understand if people find this impossible to read and I am struggling but I will persevere as there are sparkles of genius hidden amongst the ramblings...
5.0 out of 5 starsA modern-day prophet's attempt at an explanation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2013
Philip K. Dick had a number of unusual semi-religious experiences, mentioned elsewhere. Whether these were brought on by a medical condition, vitamins or any other explanation has been suggested is largely irrelevant. This books only deals with these in passing, and is a wonderful compilation of Dick's own attempts to make sense of them; a great mind trying to analyze itself. As such, it offers an often surprising view of his preoccupations, feelings and worries. Some may think him crazy; to me, this book made him all the more human and interesting.
It should be noted that the Exegesis (Greek for "explanation") is not a story or a novel. The editors have done a valiant and largely successful effort to compile random thoughts and notes into a coherent narrative that reads more like a diary of half-baked philosophical and religious thoughts than a treaty on such matters. They should be congratulated, but be warned: don't read it to find out a definitive answer. Dick changes his mind constantly as he attempts to chart his own mind and any meaning readers may decipher from his thoughts will be on a personal level.
Dick obviously believed in the objective nature of his experiences, however what intrigued me the most was a unique opportunity to explore his deeply subjective and personal viewpoint. This alone, made the book worth every penny I spent, although I realize it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is a book containing the published selections of a journal kept by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, documenting and exploring his religious and visionary experiences. Dick's wealth of knowledge on the subjects of philosophy, religion, and science inform the work throughout.
Firstly, this book is not going to make any sense to you at all unless you are a fan of Philip K Dick and have read his fiction works which explore the strange experiences he had in 1974 (VALIS, Radio Free Albemuth, The Divine Invasion, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer). If you have read these and other books by PKD then you may find the Exegesis of interest.
This is 900 pages of small font text in which have been collected letters and other writings where PKD tries to makes sense of the 'spiritual' experience he had in 1974. There is a lot of repetition, and you are probably not going to want a sit down and try and read this from cover to cover in one hit.
The source material, by the editors own admission, is so vast that the content of this book can only give a flavour of PKD's prodigious writings on and around the subject of his gnosis.
This book will appeal to PKD fans who wish to take a peek behind the curtain. However, be aware that you are following Dorothy down the rabbit hole!