The Broken Bubble
By Philip K. Dick
Four people's lives intertwine and collide in this early novel from one of the SF greats.
Four people's lives intertwine and collide in this early novel from one of the SF greats
San Francisco in the 1950s, a turning point in American culture: the rise of rock and roll and the teenage lifestyle. Jim Briskin is a disc jockey on radio KOIF. He's still in love with his ex-wife, Pat - even though she's about to marry someone else at the station - and she's vacillating between them. But when he takes her to visit the desperate household of two of his teenage fans, she seduces the boy into abandoning his pregnant wife - who then claims Jim as her protector and support.
And all around them the cultural upheaval of postwar American society is manifest, by teenage outcasts who have a remote-controlled Nazi automobile they use to bump into the rich kids' cars; by Thisbe Holt, the dancer who performs for conventioneers by stuffing herself inside a clear plastic bubble; by blaring used-car ads and the conflict between generations.
Dick gives us a vision of redemption tempered with layered ironies and a lot of real humour.
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, BEYOND LIES THE WUB in 1952. Among his many fine novels are THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, TIME OUT OF JOINT, DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? and FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID.
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- Publication date:
12 Jun 2014
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"The fascination of the novel lies in spotting the themes that Dick would later develop and make his own: the malleability of perceived reality, the imposition of the fake on the real and the struggle between good and evil. The Cosmic Puppets may be a minor work, but is nevertheless interesting." — THE GUARDIAN