Voices from the Street

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  1. KIRKUS REVIEW
  2. Book Review – Voices from the Street by Philip K Dick | Guy Salvidge
  3. Voices from the Street Speakers Bureau
  4. Voices from the Street

Stick to your early sci fi, Mr. Dick, because that stuff is brilliant. Another thing about this novel is its overt racism. I'm convinced Dick was a closet racist, although I've never seen it mentioned anywhere. In my review of Flow My Tears, I wrote the following: In this novel, black people are being sterilized out of existence and Jason seems to be glad of it. Dick also treats blacks oddly in The Crack in Space and there are pissed off, drugged out black people in Counter-Clock World.

In this novel, what do we see? Frankly, the book is antisemitic. I don't know if this represents Dick's own thoughts or just were part of the times, but it's pretty repulsive and I could do without reading about "niggers" and the like in Dick's books. In other reviews, I read the last part of the book picks up as Stuart sinks into madness.


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However, I just can't bring myself to read it. I just can't do it. I tell ya, I'm going to stop reading lengthy portions of books hoping for something interesting to happen. I'm going to give a book something like 30 or 40 pages and if it hasn't hooked me by then, I'm dumping it.

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I'm sick of reading utter crap just to get through a book. Fortunately, there are still many Philip K. Dick books I have yet to read, many of them allegedly good, so I'll look forward to reading those. This book is not recommended and I'm being kind in giving it two stars. Mar 14, Jack Stovold rated it really liked it.

This is written from my perspective as a newcomer to PKD. This is my first novel, all I have read is the first volume of the short stories. And now for something completely different. This was quite a surprise after having read the first volume of the short stories. Dick initially aspired to be a mainstream literary author, publishing his SF short stories to suppor This is written from my perspective as a newcomer to PKD. Dick initially aspired to be a mainstream literary author, publishing his SF short stories to support himself.

However, most of these novels, including Voices on the Street, were rejected. One wonders how his career would have differed had this been published in Certainly this is much darker than most of the trippy little SF stories in Volume 1 of the Collected Stories. The structure of the book is a little loose. Characters show up and disappear, or they reappear without serving any real purpose. Some of the dialogue is a little ridiculous. The main character, Stuart Hadley, is interesting. Dick pulls off the feat of having a frankly unlikable protagonist who you can still sympathize with, at least until he goes off the deep end and does some pretty horrible things.

His wife is really a saint for putting up with his bullshit the way she does. But I at least could identify with Stuart while still wanting to slap him in the face. Egotistical and narcissistic, idealistic and well-meaning. He embodies all the contradictions we all live with but keep hidden to ourselves.

He thinks he is destined for greatness and so grates under the soul-crushing repetition of electronic sales. Stuart is looking for someone he can trust completely, and it might as well be Beckheim. A lot of the plotting and characterization is scattershot, but Dick succeeds in bringing to vivid life a sleepy California town in the 50s. I really felt like I was there. In that respect, at least, the book is a fascinating time capsule of a specific time and place. When Dick wrote it, he was just writing the time and place he knew, but now, sixty years later it is one of the most compelling aspects of the book.

An interesting contrast to his sci-fi shorts. Like all of my other reviews of Dick's main stream fiction - he really was a head of his time, but it is easy to see why it didn't get published. It is not comfortable reading and would have been even less so in This book is particularly raw in its disregard for the wider public of the days sensibilities. Predating the publishing of both "On the Road" and "The Catcher in the Rye" it takes us through similar territories; mental breakdown and a raw glimpse probably scource from life of the Like all of my other reviews of Dick's main stream fiction - he really was a head of his time, but it is easy to see why it didn't get published.

Predating the publishing of both "On the Road" and "The Catcher in the Rye" it takes us through similar territories; mental breakdown and a raw glimpse probably scource from life of the early beatnik culture. Hadley even takes on the phoneys during his depressive bender as well as a halucinatory encouter with fairys at an all night bar. However, this book could never have got up there like those 2 books despite the excellent prose.

Dick couldn't hold back from the pulp literary tradition he had grown up in - the 3rd section reads like a Chandler scene except the with the violence and explicit sexuality of James Elroy whom I consider to be a modern extension of the Chandler. Too literate and introspective for pulp, but violent and explicit for the mainstream - this book could not have been published until the mainstream changed. That everyone is bending over backward to help him is not feasible.

In a way it is one of the earliest books I have read that focuses on a central antagonist with no protagonists - the guy just lets things happen to him then attempts to destroy himself and everyone around him. I spent the first third of this book struggling to get through because I really didn't want to spend time with this unpleasant, incestuous "hero". Where Salinger was able to succeed was that he doesn't try to make you like his protagonist and the protagonist doesn't really do anyone any harm.

Hadley's association with freeloaders, bums and new age kooks ellicted the same distaste I had for Kerouac and his "friends". Having read biographical books about PKD, you can see elements of his personal circumstance loosely fictionalised - another ploy I react against in both PKD and Kerouac.

KIRKUS REVIEW

Read back to back with "Confessions of a Crap Artist" it does not paint a happy picture of his second marriage. It is very interesting to get raw contemporary takes on the Korean War, the beginning of the Cold War M-A-D mutually assured destruction era and its effect on the psyche of people living through it. The treatment as blacks and the lack of civil rights is also of historical interest.

In some ways it was good that this book was never published, as Dick went back and plunder almost all of the elements in other more enjoyable works - "Dr Bloodmoney", "Mary and the Giant", "Galatic Pot Healer", "The Man in the High Caste" are the ones that immediately come to mind. It is not a book I would recomment to most people, but for fans and students of PKD it is a must - an early, previously missing keystone to themes style of his later works. Jan 31, Levent Mollamustafaoglu rated it really liked it. This is one of the first books Philip K.

Dick wrote in the 50's, but he was never able to publish it. His early novels were all mainstream, he had not started his famous run of SF novels he produced in the 60's and 70's. However, his early mainstream books show the signs of his future obsession: He frequently ends in conclusions that bring him to the brink of insanity and he has freely discussed the possibility that he is insane in his Exegesis , among other publications.

He's constantly worried about the job he is doing, he can not assign much meaning to his life. Although he is married and his wife is expecting their first child, he can not use this event to have more positive thoughts about his life and his future. The novel follows Stuart in his descent to his private Hell, slowly self-destructing. Some of the passages in the book have the style of existential crisis his protagonists have in his SF novels, but instead of having supernatural or extraterrestrial causes, his angst is just the result of his ill-behaved existence in this post-war era and the lack of any values his life can bring him to enjoy.

Book Review – Voices from the Street by Philip K Dick | Guy Salvidge

With the portrayal of life in California in the 50's, the religious sects, McCarhtyism and other evils of the era, Dick has created a grim environment and is obviously getting ready to launch his wide imagination to cover the only theme in his multiple novels over 30 years: Jun 27, Leigh-ann rated it liked it. This is probably one of PKD's best-written books I know some people enjoy reading about angst, but I'm not one of them. It was hard to decide how to rate this book -- I settled on 3 stars because I can tell it's impressive work, but I can't give it any more stars because of the violence, the racism, etc.

I've complai This is probably one of PKD's best-written books I've complained in the past about how one-dimensional PDK's female characters usually are, and although he remedied that in "Voices From the Street", the women were, ultimately, still needy nags, shrews, whiners, etc. Didn't care for his brief portrayal of mincing, girly, gay men at the San Francisco bar, either.

I wish I knew if Dick was writing to mock other people's stereotypes or if he really held these beliefs himself, because when you look at his entire body of work, his most "complete" characters are always white males. Was this because he could only write from his own perspective, and did he inevitably include his own prejudices when he put words into the mouths of people like Stuart Hadley?

I've pretty much exhausted my local library's PDK inventory with the exception of "Radio Free Albemuth", which I'll be getting this week. My love of his short-stories has kept me reading, but if I was going to recommend his work to anyone, I'd tell them to read one or two specific titles and then to walk away. Feb 11, James added it.

Everybody's wagging their tails about how this is "Philip K. Dick writing straight fiction," not science fiction in other words. Yet, to me, it retained a slightly fabulist or science fictional flavor the whole way through, especially in the scenes that have to do with Theodore Beckheim and his cult. I think it's just Dick's way of looking at things, at finding the strangely epic little details in everyday life and them somehow bringing those to the center of the story.

I think that's most of hi Everybody's wagging their tails about how this is "Philip K. I think that's most of his SF novels are about, too. Or, to say it another way, part of what's science-fictional in Philip K. Dick is how far people are willing to go to get a certain result. Many people live with very limited contact with animals in our world, for instance, especially wild animals, yet in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep , people are willing to sacrifice everything to afford an artificial snake or owl.

It's a similar conceit here. Many of us are freaking out do the petty compromises and disappointments of everyday life. But I feel like it's uncommon to fight it in the way that Stuart Hadley does. And that's what gives this book an uncanny feeling of unity with the larger Dick ouevre, even though there are no pre-cogs or bubbleheads or confabs to be seen. As others have pointed out, this is a book you will probably edit with your eyes as you're reading it. Adverbs in particular, are everywhere and rarely make the sentences stronger. But, occasionally they do.

And the book includes many gorgeous and painterly descriptions of the California landscape that many tighter authors couldn't pull off on their best days. Not a perfect book, but recommended nonetheless. Apr 18, Edward rated it liked it Recommends it for: Frustrated minimum wage slaves as a cautionary tale.

Voices from the Street Speakers Bureau

The situation of the main character should be recognizable to many in our service-based economy. He is a salesman in a small TV shop in southern California in the early s. Like so many of our minimum wage, or slightly higher paid, store employees today, he is barely scrapping by. His wife is pregnant, he has no car, and he feels he has lost his opportunity to make something of himself. His father is a doctor. He is a talented artist. The war everyone worries about is in Korea. A nuclear holo The situation of the main character should be recognizable to many in our service-based economy.

A nuclear holocaust seems inevitable. A religious sect offers some answers. His frustration and rage vent in an almost acceptable manner for the time; he often leaves home, goes to bars, and comes back drunk with the occasional fight or trip to the drunk tank thrown in. His boss and coworkers deride him yet care about him. He's smart, good looking, and teems with ideas for success.

He just never quite gets his act together. I was fascinated by the social similarities and differences with today. Life was less impersonal then. He gets an opportunity for greater pay and responsibility. Will he succeed or succumb to his faults? The author paints many vivid scenes which stay in my mind. Here he is on an equal footing with his later works. I feel there needed to be more connection and flow between them though. Some were powerful, some were awkward, and some were just good stories.

They lack of flow was most noticeable at the ending where, after a digression or two, the plot slammed to a halt leaving me wondering what had just happened. The author is dead so I can't ask him. Given the erratic life of the protagonist maybe an unexpected ending is appropriate.

Voices from the Street

Feb 21, Travis rated it really liked it. I've seen a lot of people on here bashing this book but it seems that a lot of them are bashing it by comparing it to later PKD novels. I have not yet read any other PKD novels and I do expect some of his other ones to be great but you have to read a book for itself; it's not fair to rate it based on how good the author's other books are. I thought the writing style was enjoyable the story was well put together.

As someone who grew up in the 80s, I certainly can't speak to how realistic his char I've seen a lot of people on here bashing this book but it seems that a lot of them are bashing it by comparing it to later PKD novels. As someone who grew up in the 80s, I certainly can't speak to how realistic his characters were for that time in history but they sure felt real to me. There was one time in the book when I laughed to the point of tears and there were several times when I was very angry with decisions made by characters. I was never bored and although I sometimes questioned how realistic the decisions made by characters were, I then stepped back and realized that I have almost nothing in common with these people so their choices which seem unbelievable to me shouldn't seem so ridiculous when compared with the fact that some of my co-workers and friends also make decisions that are unbelievable.

What I'm driving at here as that I can still relate to the characters even if I don't identify with them. Overall, a good book and definitely worth the read. Sep 09, Fiona Robson rated it really liked it Shelves: One of the earliest books that Dick ever wrote, and the only novel that has never been published, Voices from the Street is the story of Hadley's descent into depression and madness, and out the other side.

Sep 19, This is Me Equivocally rated it did not like it. May 23, Claire rated it liked it. I am most fond of science fiction, and Philip K. Dick does not fail to disappoint with Voices From the Street. It is not the kind of sci-fi set in outer space, but rather the kind of sci-fi that is Other. This is a period piece, of the 's. One can clearly tell this through the gender and racial relations depicted throughout the novel. I liked the portrayal for its honesty.

What should I say about Communism and the Succubus magazine? I remarked as reading that I thought this probably should I am most fond of science fiction, and Philip K. I remarked as reading that I thought this probably should be on the CPUSA's summer reading list, but now that I've finished this book, I conclude what Dick discusses is not so much the militant socialist ideal as the McCarthyist-era fright over this magical political idealism that no one really knows anything regarding except it's the other.

Then, regarding the word succubus, I had grown up so confused about why I shouldn't know about it. I thought it was a feminine fourth declension noun, so I shouldn't know about it since I'm not at that level yet. But no, that is not the case, I was told I shouldn't know about it due to the sexual connotations. I'd discuss this book a bit more but I've got to be going now! Dec 21, Karla Huebner added it Shelves: One of the author's non-science fiction titles, and one of his first, which presumably explains why it remained unpublished until well after his death.

Set in the Bay Area during the early s the Korean War is underway , its protagonist is a dissatisfied young TV and radio salesman. Stuart Hadley in some ways catches the reader's sympathy--he's intelligent and wanted to be an artist but feels trapped in his job and marriage while feeling there must be more to life--but we soon see that he's One of the author's non-science fiction titles, and one of his first, which presumably explains why it remained unpublished until well after his death.

Stuart Hadley in some ways catches the reader's sympathy--he's intelligent and wanted to be an artist but feels trapped in his job and marriage while feeling there must be more to life--but we soon see that he's not really a very pleasant person. He has Jewish friends, but has racist feelings about them we see, incidentally, how commonplace various racist attitudes were then , and by the end of the book we've seen just how rage-filled, mean, and out of control he can be. The book jacket suggests that he is redeemed in the end; perhaps so, but I'm skeptical.

In any case, here we have a dark and gritty look at postwar America, where cults and consumerism flourish. It's a good book, but I kept feeling that the reason various characters kept giving Hadley known to some as Stumblebum a chance was just that he was a handsome Aryan type with a knack for elegant dress. Aug 06, Eric Secrist rated it it was ok Shelves: I had high expectations for this book, simply because of the author. I really like PKD, but you can tell this was only his second book.

The book has a couple of sections which feature the main character Stuart Hadley interacting with Marsha, his mistress, that are really quite base and leave you feeling like you need to take a shower. It's these sections that were probably the reason that this book wasn't published until , though the book was actually written in , a period of 55 years.

The sections are extreme, even in In , they would have likely been shocking. Marsha and Stuart don't define the book, there are other relationships and situations which arise, but all in all, the book is pretty boring, until near the end when Stuart basically falls into a state of madness.

I had to force my way through some parts because I don't like to start a book and not finish it. Voices From the Street is weak in comparison, too vulgar and lacking substance like some of his other books. Feb 09, Gerald Kinro rated it liked it. Dick sets his one in his familiar territory—East Bay, California. This is, however, Stuart Hadley is and electronics salesman, a decent job with a future, has a lovely wife and seems to have a lot going for him. However, he is unfulfilled and seeks to satisfy himself with alcohol and sex and then religious fanaticism.

Nothing works, and his life spirals out of control. Now he must work his way back. According to his publisher, this is one of his earlier works that was not published until 2 Dick sets his one in his familiar territory—East Bay, California. According to his publisher, this is one of his earlier works that was not published until Societal dropping out and cult following became much more popular, not only to Californians, but to the American mainstream. This is a prophetic fiction of ideas. The pace of the book was a bit slow for me, as the first two thirds of the story was moved with simple dialog that I felt was trite at times.

It is a decent read. I must add that much of the material has been used in his later works. Jun 01, Chris Morton rated it liked it. There were times when I liked it, times when I didn't. The way Hadley was drawn to the religious cult, to fill the emptiness in his life, the search for a purpose and all that: The stale life of his boss, Fergusson, was also cleverly drawn.

And there's a real bastard of a character in there in the form of Hadley's brother-in-law. So yeah, parts were good. But there's a lot wrong with it too. It could do with a bit of tightening up for a start. Long paragraphs of nothing make this a lot of work to read. Repetitions of Hadley's complaints filling pages and pages, and few pages later he's off on one again, usually about the same thing. Then he changes his mind and he's all right. Except he isn't because he's just gone off on one again. The story as a whole is a little cobbled together, with parts that are rather fantastical, or even just strange.

I enjoyed the sense of time and place however; in this respect it was interesting to read this sixty years on. But I was happy to finish it, and rather unsatisfied with the grim ending. Feb 05, Sean rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Very hardcore PKD fans. This isn't one of PKD's best. It's a book he wrote in the s, ahead of his pulp sci-fi, and while it deals with many of the same themes he explores in his speculative fiction it does it in a rather ham-handed way. Some of the scenes are straight out of B-movie dramas, women wringing their hands while the man stands threateningly above them.

Others are very strong and are such surprises that they kept me reading. In short, this reads like an early novel of a man of ideas unsure of how to say w This isn't one of PKD's best. In short, this reads like an early novel of a man of ideas unsure of how to say what he feels compelled to say. PKD's standard issues of disillusionment, isolation, and attempts to define humanity fill the book.

If you look past some weak writing you'll find an interesting literary exploration. It's also surprisingly long for a PKD novel nearly pages in the hardcover, and their tightly packed pages at that. There are parts of the book that you can see the writer PKD would become shining through, but those parts are buried beneath some pretty terrible writing. Jul 20, Luis Guillermo rated it liked it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.


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Dick was born in Chicago in and lived most of his life in California. In , he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. Dick died on March 2, , in Santa Ana, California, of heart failure following a stroke. In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. In , Time magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since In , Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

Books by Philip K. See All Goodreads Deals…. Trivia About Voices From the S Shallow characterization and crude dialogue show a young novelist groping for style. Apart from creating an ambience that complements the novel, he provides a veritable literary museum of the early s, replete with the period's social and political attitudes and dozens of references to everyday items, commonplace practices that underscore and illuminate this significant transitional period in American culture.

Literary critics will have a field day; Dick fans will be in rapture. View Full Version of PW. Voices from the Street Philip K. More By and About This Author. Discover what to read next. Books of the Week.