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Download I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick epub

by Emmanuel Carrère,Timothy Bent

For his many devoted readers, Philip K. Dick is not only one of the "one of the most valiant psychological explorers of the 20th century" (The New York Times) but a source of divine revelation. In the riveting style that won accolades for The Adversary, Emmanuel Carrère's I Am Alive and You Are Dead, follows Dick's strange odyssey from his traumatic beginnings in 1928, when his twin sister died in infancy, to his lonely end in 1982, beset by mystical visions of swirling pink light, three-eyed invaders, and messages from the Roman Empire. Drawing on interviews as well as unpublished sources, he vividly conjures the spirit of this restless observer of American postwar malaise who subverted the materials of science fiction--parallel universes, intricate time loops, collective delusions--to create classic works of contemporary anxiety.
Download I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick epub
ISBN: 0312424515
ISBN13: 978-0312424510
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History & Criticism
Author: Emmanuel Carrère,Timothy Bent
Language: English
Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (June 1, 2005)
Pages: 336 pages
ePUB size: 1293 kb
FB2 size: 1332 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 444
Other Formats: lrf doc lrf azw

I'm a Russian Occupant
There is a sense in which this is a strange book about a very strange man.It's basically a biography but it's a biography by a novelist and at times reads like a pretty good novel.I'd have to say Dick lends himself to that approach.He wasn't exactly Mr.Mainstream.Undeniably bright , talented and extremely imaginative , Dick was a self destructive mess.I'd say as he got older it sounds like he was completely loosing it.Harlan Ellison had promoted the myth of Dick as groovy counter cultural guy and eventually Dick - embarrassingly tried to live the myth.Dick had little higher education .This is sometimes a strength particularly when it frees you from academic pretension but it can be a disadvantage.It was for Dick.A little organized learning and academic discipline would have done him a world of good.It might have freed him from a tendency to wander off in a thousand disorganized directions at once.I almost hate to do it but I feel compelled to compare him to Ursula LeGuin in this context.My point is not that she is a better writer - perse- (although she is a much better literary stylist)-but in part because of her more academic, intellectual background LeGuin comes across as more grounded and lucid than Dick.Still , Dick wins the mad genius award!I tend to like him best at his craziest-UBIK ,VALIS ,THE DIVINE INVASION, PALMER ELDRITCH.Finally, my favorite anecdote, Dick convincing himself that Stanislaw Lem was trying to lure him to Warsaw so the KGB could take control of him.
Wow! What can you say about Philip K. Dick and this biography? I mean, I knew Philip K. Dick was a paranoid, but I had no idea to what degree he was. Stunning. I’m surprised he didn’t die from a stroke much earlier in his short life. This book also confirmed for me that many of Dick’s books were written in a drug addled state, although he only took LSD once — everything else was uppers, for the most part. It’s how he churned out his novels so fast.

It seemed to me that Dick had a miserable, tortured life, and I left the book feeling quite sorry for him. His interactions with women played a significant role in his life — he was married five times. We can see elements of these women in some of his works. However, I thought the biographer kind of glossed over some really critical information about these relationships for several of the marriages. I think more could have been learned about Dick if more were put into that area.

I always wondered if Dick was writing from his life, if he was as paranoid as his characters, as caught up with alternative worlds and realms of being. This book seems to answer those questions with a resounding yes, I was right! He really did seem to write from his life. Clearly, he was one messed up dude. However, his literary gems wouldn’t exist today without his tortured life to serve as an example for him. On the whole, it was a pretty sound book, and I don’t know how Carrere pulled off such a comprehensive work.
My readings of Philip K. Dick's fiction spans 40+ years. I am one of the dedicated science fiction readers that Carrere views with some derision in this book. Even though he is not complimentary of the genre, he accepts the fact that Dick could not have been published as a mainstream author. I would go further to say that most "mainstream" readers would not have understood any of Dick's ideas. This expressed, "I Am Alive and You Are Dead" is an amazing achievement. I am not sure if it is not in part a fictional biography in that there are thought processes and conversations Carrere had to have created rather than documented. But... the picture of Dick's mind holds together so amazingly well and Carrere's exceptional command of facts and language makes the biography transcend any that I have read before. Carrere's treatise follows events in Dick's life chronologically and is easy to follow. What is not so easy to follow are the amazing machinations of Dick's brilliant and disturbed mind. But I feel I know Philip K. Dick much better for having read Carrere's probing and insightful biography. And reading this biography makes me want to read Dick's works again because I believe wholeheartedly that now I might delve deeper and understand more for having read Carrere's work. There is nothing superficial about this book. It is quite obviously a labor of love and the subject a man of deepest interest to the author. He has done the subject proud, in my estimation. Now, I am off to read "VALIS" for the second time feeling that what was obscure will now be revealed. Highly recommended.