WordPress 016 – Book Experience 008 – UBIK by Philip K. Dick (Spoilers)

Hi everyone.  It’s Memorial Day over here, so hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.  Other than that, I hope you’re having a wonderful Monday all the same.

This week, as promised, I’m going to be doing my Book Experience on UBIK by Philip K. Dick.  WARNING: There will be spoilers, more likely than not.

UBIK

I was recommended to read UBIK after I finished A Scanner Darkly by one of my penpals, Ken, so this would be rather familiar to him.  I wrote my entire experience to him already in a letter, so this will be like a repeat of that.  He mentioned to me that it might take a little bit to really get into any of PKD’s books, but for me, I think I was hooked by the second chapter when Runciter had to go visit his wife, who is suspended in half-life.  From there, it was like a rollercoaster of a ride.  Here’s my book experience that I’ve written out before (with like… really visceral reactions, so pardon the language in some places *will try to clean it up*):

First of all, I thought the entire concept of having psychic spies and anti-psychics to go after them was rather brilliant.  I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that PKD thought this up back then because it feels so modern, like such a modern concept you know?  How in the world did you do that, oh my god man.  It certainly feels like the next step when it comes to spying, that people aren’t just going to follow you around physically, but they will be able to get at you mentally as well.  Scary thought.

Then I got more into it with the concept of half-life, that burial is considered barbaric, and half-life is the way to go, prolonging the consciousness even after your body ceased working/living.  Then when do you actually die?  What did the concept of death changed to?  I had such a creepy feeling about Jory in the beginning because what the h—, the man is just trying to talk to his deceased wife, and suddenly this other guy pops up and wanting someone to talk to him?  Go away!  That was so creepy.

And Pat.  I thought the whole psychics/anti-psychics was impressive, and I remember the whole concept of precogs from Minority Report, those who can foresee something happening but can’t do anything about it, and then this woman Pat coming out and saying how she wasn’t really impressed by it, and I’m like, “Whaaat?  How can you not be impressed?”  Then she comes out to say that she CAN alter the past by just… not making something happen, and I think my mind got blown then.  It got even more chilling to me the first time Pat did something and Joe Chip and Runciter didn’t even realize at first, and oh my god, that’s so scary.  That someone can change the entire reality, and you wouldn’t even know it?  What the… jesus.

I must admit that the whole explosion on Luna wasn’t something I expected, but at the same time, it was something I was at least familiar with, so I didn’t think much on it.  Like, oh no, an ambush, and Runciter got killed with an explosion.  That kind of scenario is something that is “normal,” but of course, everything after that is anything but normal, and it was quite a rollercoaster ride just reading through it.  I didn’t sense anything wrong with the cream incident, but as more and more suspicious events started popping up everywhere, I think I was like Joe, just piecing it all together.  I was so hooked by then, just wondering, “What the h— is going on!?”

The whole regression and time going backwards was insane, so insane. It was really interesting when Joe wondered why the electronics reverted to something more antiquated, an earlier version of itself rather than back to their raw materials?  I liked that, which added to the whole mystery of it all.  Why indeed? And people dying here and there, and then you first think it was Pat causing all of this because she must be the one god d— it!, and nooo, Joe, oh my god, stay alive please!  Then you find out that Runciter was the one who was alive, while everyone else was in half-life, and my brain just popped.  (I am going to just be incoherent forever here.)

I was even suspicious over Runciter because everything is so suspicious, goodness, someone tell me what is going on!  Then, it was that little… b—— Jory. Oh my god, I don’t think I wanted to tear into a character more than him, and the whole remark about Pat “enjoying” what she was doing, like pulling wings of a fly like some sick maniacal child, and then you find out that Jory has been behind it all and sucking down half-lifers to prolong himself, especially when he needs more of them sooner, and then you find out that nothing can even be done on the outside because people pay money to keep him there, oh my god screw him and his family!  And that there are more out there because they’re all greedy b——s who want to prolong their life, even in half-life (reminds me of the movie In Time, THOSE SELFISH PEOPLE!)  I don’t know how I feel about Ella though because she was helping yes but also going to be passing on the torch to Joe Chip and was going to be reborn anyway… so she was on her way out of half-life, and therefore, away from Jory.  Sigh.

And it was so so so SO not fair that there was a final twist at the end, and ugh, it’s not over yet?  My mind can’t handle it.  I thought Inception was something you know, but this sort of blew Inception out of the water.  Here, just take all of my melted brain matter.  I didn’t need it anyhow.

I was also going to go back and try and see if the order of the people who got killed mattered or something but… that might be overthinking it.  That’s something I tend to do, oh well!

Alright, so that’s my very incoherent, yet visceral Book Experience on UBIK.  If you have your own Book Experience or thoughts on this, I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care!

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