The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

  • by Philip K. Dick, Pamela Jackson (editor), Jonathan Lethem (editor)
  • Narrated by Fred Stella
  • 52 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this is the definitive presentation of Dick’s brilliant, and epic, work.
In the Exegesis, Dick documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called “2-3-74”, a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe “transformed into information”. In entries that sometimes ran to hundreds of pages, in a freewheeling voice that ranges through personal confession, esoteric scholarship, dream accounts, and fictional fugues, Dick tried to write his way into the heart of a cosmic mystery that tested his powers of imagination and invention to the limit.
This volume, the culmination of many years of transcription and archival research, has been annotated by the editors and by a unique group of writers and scholars chosen to offer a range of views into one of the most improbable and mind-altering manuscripts ever brought to light.

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What the Critics Say

“A great and calamitous sequence of arguments with the universe: poignant, terrifying, ludicrous, and brilliant. The Exegesis is the sort of book associated with legends and madmen, but Dick wasn’t a legend and he wasn’t mad. He lived among us, and was a genius.” (Jonathan Lethem)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

See, It's complicated...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, as someone who has read over thirty of Dick's novels, I can honestly say that this book offers insights into not only The Valis Trilogy, and Radio Free Albemuth, but his earlier works as well.
Some may say that Dick is not only playing at being a prophet, but that he is actively revising the scope and the ideas that made his late work in the 60's - inducing such novels as Ubik, and the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - so accessible and popular. There was always an element of Judea-Christian guilt present in his earlier novels, and anyone who has read his stories from the 1950's knows that he blended a sort of


Who was your favorite character and why?

Dick himself. In many ways this is a solipsistic journey, something that Dick readily admits to in the Exegesis.


What does Fred Stella bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is able to capture the tone of Dick's thoughts, and reads them with aplomb. He does well in switching from the narrative, to the editors note - here his tone is mostly academic, but at times irreverent.


What else would you have wanted to know about the authors’s life?

This is not a biography so much as look into a specific, and ever more increasing single aspect of Dick's life. I think the editors do well to include certain indispensable biographical details, but this really is not the focus of the work.


Any additional comments?

If you are a true fan, read it.

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- Jonathan

Fascinating Journals of a Garage Philosopher

What is a garage philosopher? That label comes from one of the editors of the fascinating if quirky musings of Philip K. Dick. Known to readers and movie goers as a science fiction writer, this long and winding tome follows a different road. A dropout from UC Berkeley, Dick pursued his own independent studies in philosophy and religion. His Exegesis begins in the mid-1970s following a mystical experience that refocused the author's life. The journals follow his attempts to not only chronicle that life-changing event but make sense of what appears to be nonsensical. Seeking answers that may not be there to find, he reads the Jerusalem Bible and the philosophical histories of Will Durant. His interests range from the Jesus Freak Christianity of the 1970s to the Buddhist and Vedanta philosophies that were popularized in his native California. Slowly he develops his own theological viewpoint that informs the novels he wrote shortly before his death, which came ironically just months before the movie Blade Runner made him famous. The editors, who distilled stacks and stacks of handwritten journal entries into this book, readily admit that some of Dick's insights are screwy but others are profound and almost every entry is compelling if for no other reason than the passion the writer puts into his work. I have listened to this wonderful reading by Fred Stella over and over for more than a year and am still amazed to find new insights. Philip K. Dick may sometimes seem to be from another planet but he is never boring.
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- Richard Seeley "Rich Seeley"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-03-2011
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio