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A book review by Steven Wu
September 06, 2001
|Rating: 6 (of 10)|
The combination of Penny's talents with an unusually ineffective bomb leads Joe's world to progressively degenerate into one of the strangest, most confusing narratives I have ever read. It's tough, even frustrating at first, to slog through the increasing levels of hallucinogenic complexity that Dick subjects his characters. But gradually, as more and more mysteries keep popping up, I became enthralled by Joe's predicament. What was happening? Why was it happening? What did it all mean? These questions drove me to read the tortuous narrative with increasing anticipation.
But the ending was terrible. God, was it terrible. The explanation for all the weirdness surrounding Joe--all of that wonderful, fascinating, mysterious weirdness--came out of nowhere. I almost wished that I had just stopped reading and left the ending to my imagination instead.
So, there you are. For the first nine-tenths of the book, Ubik is a fascinating if sometimes confusing read. The conclusion sucks. I would still recommend reading it, but don't expect to finish the book happy.
Steven Wu's Book Reviews