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humpty dumpty in oakland

Phillip K. Dick lived from 1928 to 1982. During his almost 54 years, he wrote 44 novels that have been published, mostly science fiction. All of Dick’s books that I’ve read are concerned with the nature of reality, how we know what reality is, and being manipulated to believe in false realities. Frequently there are more-or-less secret realities underneath or parallel to the surface reality that his books’ characters and readers take for granted.

Humpty Dumpty in Oakland was published in 1986 by the estate of Phillip K. Dick. The writing is dry. It’s one of the more matter of fact, plain spoken novels I’ve read. Its non-directed story seems to be going nowhere in a mundane, regular life kind of way. And then, near the end, our understanding of the story is severely questioned; I was left uncertain about what was true and what was fantasy, which I think is exactly what Dick wanted.

Read this book if you are a serious Dick fans or if you are from the Bay Area and enjoy recognizing your home in stories.

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