Item description for Ubik (Spanish Edition) by Philip K. Dick...
Glen Runciter is dead. Or is he? Someone died in the explosion orchestrated by his business rivals, but even as his funeral is scheduled, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping and regressing in ways which suggest that their own time is running out. If it hasn't already.
Outline Nobody but Philip K. Dick could so successfully combine SF comedy with the unease of reality gone wrong, shifting underfoot like quicksand. Besides grisly ideas like funeral parlors where you swap gossip for the advice of the frozen dead, Ubik (1969) offers such deadpan farce as a moneyless character's attack on the robot apartment door that demands a five-cent toll:
"I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out.
Joe Chip said, "I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it."
Chip works for Glen Runciter's anti-psi security agency, which hires out its talents to block telepathic snooping and paranormal dirty tricks. When its special team tackles a big job on the Moon, something goes terribly wrong. Runciter is killed, it seems--but messages from him now appear on toilet walls, traffic tickets, or product labels. Meanwhile, fragments of reality are timeslipping into past versions: Joe Chip's beloved stereo system reverts to a hand-cranked 78 player with bamboo needles. Why does Runciter's face appear on U.S. coins? Why the repeated ads for a hard-to-find universal panacea called Ubik ("safe when taken as directed")?
The true, chilling state of affairs slowly becomes clear, though the villain isn't who Joe Chip thinks. And this is Dick country, where final truths are never quite final and--with the help of Ubik--the reality/illusion balance can still be tilted the other way. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Nov 10, 2004
Publisher Ediciones Urano
ISBN 8498000831 ISBN13 9788498000832
Availability 0 units.
More About Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick's stories have been adapted often for the screen, including the classic film, Blade Runner. Prior to his death in 1982, Dick lived in California.
Philip K. Dick lived in Chicago, in the state of Illinois. Philip K. Dick was born in 1928 and died in 1982.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ubik (Spanish Edition)?
Crazy, dark, explosive, suspenseful, and still very funny Jul 7, 2008
In this futuristic sci-fi tale of life and death and cold-sleep, Glen Runciter (with the counsel of his quick-frozen wife Ella) runs a company that supplies `inertials', people whose proximity suppresses the psychic powers of others, ensuring their clients' right to privacy in a world where telepaths and pre-cognitives can too easily violate it. After Runciter is murdered, Joe Chip (the best tester in the business) and his counter-psionic companions struggle to survive in a world where time seems to have drifted backwards and death is striking out of nowhere. Is their dreaded nemesis the telepath Hollis trying to destroy them? Or is Joe's beautiful and dangerous wife Pat behind it all? Or could there be some still darker force at work? Their only hope lies with the fragmentary messages they receive from the absent Runciter, and the promise of the all-pervasive but ever-elusive product known as `Ubik'.
As the above summary may suggest, this is not your usual sci-fi adventure, even granting that it's from the inventive mind of Philip K. Dick. Not atypically, this book is crazy, dark, explosive, suspenseful, and yet still manages to be very funny. After the frantic pace of the first few dozen pages, the second half of this novel may seem to drag a bit, but the book is short enough that most readers will simply race through Dick's unpretentious prose until they get to the stunning conclusion, which, as always, will not please everyone. But then, life doesn't always come doled out in neat little (spray-can) packages.
Interesting take on psychic warfare Jun 23, 2008
Ubik presents an interesting twist on psychics in the future. They not only exist, but they are highly organized and aggressive. At the same time, there are individuals known as inertials who have the ability to counteract both telepaths and precogs. The intertials are also organized and most work for "prudence organizations" that hire out to counteract spy work that the psychics undertake and the conflicts can escalate to lethal levels. The story hits a major turning point when the largest prudence organization takes on a job that sends 12 people into a trap that literally explodes in their faces. In the aftermath, reality starts to unravel and the group of inertials races against time to put things right before it's too late.
This book sets up an interesting scenario of espionage and counter-espionage with various types of psychic phenomena as the tools of the trade. Some aspects of the world are set up with a very clear logic that largely stays consistent throughout the story. Other elements aren't defined as well, and some seem to shift a bit depending on where we are in the story.
Characterization is also a bit of a mixed bag. The owner of the company seems larger than life, and one of his aides is pretty well fleshed out in an interesting way. Unfortunately, the remaining cast is pretty sketchy and doesn't get much attention. This lack of depth includes a prime suspect for the cause of their troubles, which was a lost opportunity.
Overall, I liked Ubik and found it interesting, but couldn't help feeling that it could have been even stronger still. I would have liked either another 50 pages or so to flesh out the characters and add more personal drama. As others have pointed out, there are also plot developments that appear to contradict what has already happened in the story and a better job could have been done to edit these out or explain them. Ubik is still worth reading, but feels more like a missed opportunity than a treasured classic.
reality in a can May 1, 2008
If you're new to Philip K. Dick, then I can't recommend UBIK as a place to get to know him. Start with one of his inventive SciFi operas (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? or The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch), his psychological conundrums (Confessions of a Crap Artist or A SCANNER DARKLY), his cold-war farces (The Zap Gun or The Simulacrum), or any of his fun short story collections.
If you're familiar with Dick, you'll find that UBIK displays all of his hallmarks. 1) A what-if concept that is too simple for any other author to invent: in this case a corp of anti-psi characters who are in high demand because their ultra-mundane presence blocks psychic interference. 2) Hapless male protagonists controlled by feminine mystique. 3) Thurber-style humor, such as talking coin-op household appliances. And 4) exploration of the borderline personality. In this case, the borderline personality takes over the book as each character fades to a figment of another's imagination and reality itself is revealed to be the product of a spray can.
Safe if taken as directed..... Apr 3, 2008
Not my usual reading fare, thus I was a bit lost for the first few chapters.
Then the pace changed and the novel morphed and emerged with humor, wit, and surprises that were quite brilliant.
Sci-Fi aficionados will be highly entertained!
Take only as directed....
Claustrophobic Nightmare Mar 18, 2008
Ubik is a tremendous read. Dick is capable of terrifying the reader in one moment and producing laughter in the next. I have read this book over ten times, never failing to react to the characters, never failing to enjoy it. Of the many utterly brilliant books that Dick had produced this is both brilliant, moving and exciting. It sits easily among his best.