I read this book for book club. I ordered a copy through inter-library loan and received a 1975 edition paperback.
Synopsis: Jason Travener wakes up forgotten, and without ID in a futuristic police state. He journeys through two spectacular days searching for explanations of his existence and identity.
Cover: 5/5 The cover was the best part of the book. It captured the drug-induced spirit of the book. I was delighted when I found the whole image of the book online since my copy was covered with an ILL sticker.
Review: 3/5. Readers of Science Fiction would enjoy this work. I really hate dystopian novels that occupy the space between reality and what could possibly be true next week. Due to my deep-seated hatred, I could not truly enjoy this book, if enjoyment is the goal. Stepping away from my personal feelings, Dick has created a fantastical story that questions identity, society, and relationships. One scene that will live forever in my memory is when Jason meets a Cheerful Charlie, a talking toy, which I have incidentally pictured as a cross between Teddy Ruckspin and Chucky, two 80s icons which were not invented when Dick penned the novel. Cheerful Charlie recognizes Jason at a time when no human knows him, by sharing knowledge about Jason that only a select few people would know. Cheerful Charlie’s recognition provides a strange commentary on the relationship between humans and technology now that we are fully in the digital age. Perhaps today, as we daily log our existence in the digital realm, machines-as the keepers of our memories-recognize us more fully than our fellow humans.
Quote Worth Noting: “Love isn’t just wanting another person the way you want to own an object you see in a store. That’s just desire. You want to have it around, take it home, and set it up somewhere in the apartment like a lamp. Love is… like a father saving his children from a burning house, getting them out and dying himself. When you love you cease to live for yourself; you live for another person.” (Chapter Eleven)