Review: Lies, Inc.

Lies, Inc.
Lies, Inc. by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

For fans of Philip K. Dick, this posthumously compiled novel, works with many of the themes common to most of Dick’s work. Reality, para-worlds, paranoia, and government conspiracy all manifest themselves in the final published novel, but unlike other more recognized titles, fails to draw these themes together coherently enough to make for a pleasurable reading experience. More than half of the text is devoted to discerning the variety of different para-worlds that characters perceive, reaching no consensus as to which para-world, if any, represents a structured reality that can be agreed upon. Add on top of that several overlapping conspiracies, an underdeveloped plot-line concerning time travel, and a disjointed storyline that feels as mismashed as this books amalgamation apparently was (according to the afterward by Paul Williams), and you have one of the least readable books in the PKD library.

Much of PKD’s fiction lends to an acquired taste, the language often being reinvented on the fly to fit the bizarre worlds laid out before the reader. Lies. Inc‘s language requires more patience than many of PKD’s meta-psychedelic masterpieces (Ubik). But the utter travesty of this novel is its inability to move the plot along to a reasonable conclusion, as characters grapple with meta-realities and Dick struggles to find the language to convey what seems to be the unconveyable. And that is a shame because this novel seemed to have promise, a solid PKDesque foundation which soon became obliterated by campy psychedelic imagery and an unexplained time shift in the storyline.

As this was touted as the final, correct and unmolested version of The Unteleported Man, readers might expect one last mind bending tale from the Sci-Fi giant. Yet, as with most posthumously published novels, Lies, Inc. is a blemish rather than a shining jewel in the complete works of Philip K. Dick.

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