Simon Vozick-Levinson
October 01, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Philip K. Dick
publisher
Tor
genre
Fiction, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it an A

Written around 1960, Humpty Dumpty in Oakland is a grim portrait of a luckless used-car salesman and his bigoted landlord in Oakland that seems at first to share little with the hallucinatory sci-fi works for which Phillip K. Dick is best known. But both men slip into paranoid spirals that will be familiar to any fan of Dick’s later masterpieces. Is the slick acquaintance offering them financial advice a well-meaning entrepreneur, an opportunistic con man — or the head of an all-powerful conspiracy? The characters’ descent into madness offers a fascinating glimpse into how Dick’s uniquely warped perspective evolved. A

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