posted on May, 11 2004 @ 02:41 PM
I have read tons of Dick. My favorites are, in this order:
The Divine Invasion
Confessions of a Crap Artist (non sci-fi)
Radio Free Albemuth
Flow My Tears The Policeman Said
The first Dick I read was VALIS. Talk about trial by fire. It was very absorbing, very maddening, frustrating. The last 4 books Dick wrote
(Transmigration of Timothy Archer, VALIS, Divine Invasion, Radio Free Albemuth) all revolved around his belief that he was in contact with a stream of
intelligence called VALIS: Vast Active Living Intelligence System. (I think) He believed that the Earth has been orbited since time immemorial by a
satellite that beamed this stream of intelligence to our famous artists, scientists and politcal thinkers. You can either take this that he was
insane, or pulling one over on us, or he really was. (The whole madman/liar/truth argument so often put forth by Christian apologeticists to validate
the claims of Jesus) To me, it doesn't matter. He brings up really interesting things, really good ripping yarns that make me think.
I have found with Dick that some books are actively bad. Galactic Pot Healer, for instance: I thought it stunk. But when he is brilliant, he is
amazing. His worlds are almost always dark. His characters are almost always damaged. But they all are seeking the truth, and most of them mean well.
Except his women: Dick must have had terrible relationships with women, because his female characters are often emasculating shrews. BUT all this is
worth overlooking, I think, to get a glimpse into his darkly brilliant mind.