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Humpty Dumpty in Oakland by Philip K. Dick

“Philip K Dick is perhaps the most brilliant Sci-Fi writer of his time”

That is, perhaps, the most common phrase you’d see in the cover of his novels. This however, is one of the few pulp fiction works that he authored. Sadly, this book was only published after his death.


Jim Fergesson, the owner of a garage in Oakland, decides to sell his business off for retirement as his age caught on. Al Miller, who rents a lot from Fergesson to sell used cars that he fixed, had to relocate his business.

In between he met Chris Harmon, an entrepreneur with a crooked reputation, advises Jim to invest in a business out of town without any proper legal advise. Convinced that Chris is a crook, Al was out to stop the old man from being conned of his retirement fund but the old man is convinced Al was just being anal about having the garage sold without his acknowledgement.


I’m not a fan of this sort of fiction, having delved in Fantasy and Sci-Fi for years, this book lost my attention along the way but I finished it off eventually anyway.

As the story is told in Jim and Al’s perspective, readers explore both sides of the coin of their decisions. Along the way however, when the conflict of interest arises, it was almost impossible to judge who is right and who is delusional until the very end.

The story moves somewhat slowly but it delves deep into the characters’ lives and thoughts and reflects strongly on how people act in real life even thought the setting was back in the sixties.

Unless you need a break from sci fi and fantasy, I wouldn’t really recommend this book if you’re looking for more futuristic action and plot. Nonetheless, Philip K Dick redefined ‘humpty dumpty’ from the fairy tale we know into real life people.


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