Philip K Dick is perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi writer of his time. His novels usually cover combination of humanity subjects such as sociology, psychology and philosophy; Valis is no different.
Dick is traumatised by the death of a close friend. Since then he sought out for answers through religious ideologies together with a group of friends in the world of hippies and drugs.
To say this is Dick’s masterwork is no understatement. This was his last novel before he ended his writing career and it portrays some of his deep, complex philosophies. The narration reads so real, it feels as if Dick is writing about his own struggles in life.
Throughout the protagonist’s journey for answers, he visits philosophies from various religions as well as cynical perspectives through the eyes of his fictional companions.
The most brilliant element in this story however, is probably the ‘compartmentalisation’ of the protagonist (think split personality but the split out personalities still interacts with each other). From the very beginning the narrator introduced himself having went through too much and had to ‘compartmentalise’ himself to save his own sanity yet somewhere in-between, the compartmentalised ‘self’ blended in so well it felt like a living person on his own.
Confusing perhaps perhaps but brilliant at the same time.