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review 2014-12-21 21:55
Book Review: Dr. Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick
Dr. Bloodmoney - Philip K. Dick

The Basics

Through the course of this story, we follow the beginning of the end of the world, then the progress of those who manage to survive it. At the center of a post-apocalyptic community is Hoppy Harrington, a physically handicapped young man with psychic powers. In this new world, he sees his chance to hold what is left of humanity under his power.

My Thoughts

That summary really only covers a portion of the story, but it’s also the most solid center of it. There are other characters we follow, but Hoppy brings everything together with his megalomaniacal schemes. Typical of PKD’s characters in this vein, Hoppy ranges between being pitiful to earning your dislike.

The same goes for Dr. Bluthgeld, the man whose nickname brings us our title of Dr. Bloodmoney. He sees himself as being the cause of the end of the world. Yes, he may well be, but in his mind, it has nothing to do with the experiments he conducted in the past and everything to do with a power he holds to think disasters upon the world, bordering on an OCD level of belief in himself as a catalyst.

I’m going on about these two characters so much because they represent something that PKD does a lot. He creates characters with a very fragile psyche, presents their world and their thoughts as if they are reality, because it is real to them. I don’t think I can emphasize that enough. Bluthgeld doesn’t have powers, or at least it seems very unlikely, but to him that is reality. Hoppy could get along in the world just fine, but he insists on being godlike to these people. PKD was always writing about reality being subjective, and most times he did that with plot. Here, he does it with characters by manipulating their circumstances.

The plot itself can be a little confusing, though not nearly as confusing as he does sometimes get. He jumps back and forth through time, from the moment of the initial event and forward to the survivors and their community. There were times he didn’t make it totally clear he was doing that, but it’s not hard to catch up with him. The strength here is more in the characters and their development and journeys.

For my part, I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories, so this was wonderful for me. If you feel the same way, this is a great one to check out.

Final Rating



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review 2014-09-23 04:29
First Entry!
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick,Robert Zelazny

I think I finally understand the difference between literature and popular fiction. This book really makes you think. Attempting to understand it was like walking through an intellectual maze but not agony inducing kind like you remember it back in school. 


I picked this book up when my bro (who is in the aforementioned school place) started commenting on it and referencing it in his jokes. I was incredulous! (For a bro who hates history and lit, you can see why I was so surprised.) So, I picked it up to read and I found it to be an amazingly quick read. (Though deciphering the deeper levels of meaning is another matter.) I read it in a couple of days. Now I get all his jokes and throw some quips back at him. Oh, the joy! :D


PKD (the author as bro references it) is really as good as described in Roger Zelazny's introduction. The writing really shows the different personalities and characteristics of each character and he makes his world feel believable even though you are baffled by all the psychological underpinnings---which makes for a good second or third or even "nth" read. PKD is a master of masters!


I also recommend this for aspiring writers because to dissect the way he sets mood of the scene or how he distinguishes androids from humans through the tone of words is art in itself. (Now I understand what that mind-boggling nonsense thing of "textual analysis" they were trying to teach us in school.) 


I've been told that this book sets up the basis for the movie Blade Runner. I shall be borrowing it from the library some time soon. ^_^


Next up on his list: Jane Eyre (oh my!)


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review 2013-08-24 00:00
Minority Report and Other Stories - Keir Dullea,Philip K. Dick

Narrated by Keir Dullea


3.1 out of 5 stars


Read in August 2013


Once again I find myself loving and hating PKD's writing. He created and imagined very intriguing stories and ideas. I just don't always agree with his buried (sometimes not so subtly) political ramblings. I liked the title story, but not nearly as well as I liked the movie (even with Cruise starring in it). I should have waited and read the story first, I suppose.


I found the gem in this collection to be the one called "Second Variety." I wanted more, much more, from that dimension. I did think the protagonist was a bit slow on the uptake, though, as I thought the actions of the undercover antagonists to be obvious and telegraphed (pardon the pun).


The following are my very brief thoughts on each of the short stories included in this audiobook anthology:


The Minority Report (3 stars) A bit of a let down, especially since I watched the movie before reading the book. I'm beginning to think that PKD had great ideas but wasn't the best at fleshing them out.


We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (3.5 stars) I liked this one quite a bit. I've seen both Total Recall movies and I still liked the story (and the first movie).


Paycheck (2.5 stars) I did not care for this story, especially the ending.


Second Variety (4 stars) Reminded me a bit of Skynet from Terminator, but without the time travel subplot.


The Eyes Have It (2.5 stars) Very short and probably reads better than listening to it.


Note on the narrator: I did not realize while listening to this audiobook anthology that the narrator was none other than the actor who portrayed David Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey! I guess since that movie lacks in dialog (barring the iconic "Good morning, Dave" from HAL) and the fact that I was not even in the first grade when that movie was released, but still. I've watched that movie many, many times. Just goes to show me that my photographic memory doesn't help much with my audio one.


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