One of Dick’s earliest books but his last to be published, this is the story of one man’s descent into depression and madness – and his escape to the other side
Stuart Hadley is a young radio electronics salesman in early 1950s Oakland, California. He has what many would consider the ideal life. He has a nice house, a pretty wife, a decent job with prospects for advancement – but he still feels unfulfilled. Something is missing from his life.
Hadley is also an angry young man – an artist, a dreamer, a screw-up. He tries to fill his void first with drinking, then sex, and then with religious fanaticism, but nothing seems to be working and it is driving him crazy. He reacts to the love of his wife and the kindness of his employer with anxiety and fear.
Is there anything that can bring him back to the world?
Winner of both the HUGO and JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARDs for BEST NOVEL, Philip K. Dick is widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day. The object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, he has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.
"The fascination of the novel lies in spotting the themes that Dick would later develop and make his own: the malleability of perceived reality, the imposition of the fake on the real and the struggle between good and evil. The Cosmic Puppets may be a minor work, but is nevertheless interesting."