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The beginning of Dick's later God novels, but still predating his 2-3-74 pink beam episode and his later VALIS Trilogy (Gnostic Trilogy [God Trilogy]), 'A Maze of Death' is a philosophical SF novel that explores the nature of God, religion, and the way we as both individuals and a society try to deal with the various levels of reality and the inevitability of death.
Reading this, it was hard not to see huge chunks of this novel that were cribbed by LOST (good tv borrows, great tv steals). The marooned crew, experiments, theological mash-ups, insanity, dream-like fugues, paranoia, etc., all float around in the same dreamy, frenzied universe as LOST. JJ Abrams you are a book thief.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful
Welcome to planet Delmak-O where danger and confusion lurk
behind every corner and reality is constantly shifting out from under you! Science Fiction Grand Master Philip K. Dick guides you on a surreal trip down the rabbit hole as 14 eccentric characters find themselves the sole colonists assigned to a fledgling outpost on Delmak-O, a strange and hostile planet inhabited by mechanical bugs, gelatinous tenches that answer questions based on the I Ching, and a sinister building which appears different to everyone who approaches. Offbeat god-figures manifest at various times to help and advise to the settlers. Death stalks the colonists as one by one they are killed off by each other or mysterious unknown forces. By way of a forward to the book, PKD acknowledges that this work found inspiration in LSD experiments and his interest in Eastern religion. This is an enjoyable listen for those who appreciate science fiction which explores metaphysical and surreal themes. The narrator does a good job with the various voices, male and female alike.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Don't get me wrong, this is an interesting read (listen). The plot is quirky and unpredictable and attempts to address some interesting topics. I found the characters a little shallow and superficial and found that I didn't really care if they lived or died. Narration is good. I could see this translating well into film - in fact it probably has. I suspect Red Dwarf (UK TV SCI-FI sir com) may have drawn inspiration from here too. On the whole a recommended read but could be a bit better.