THE BROKEN BUBBLE
From the back of the Arbor House edition
"The Broken Bubble is at once terrifying, hilarious, and compassionate. Patricia Gray's breakdown reads like fingernails on a chalkboard, and the convention of wild optometrists is about as nervouslsy funny a scene as has ever been written. As for the adventure if the remote-controlled Horch-I can;t begin to explain; no writer but Phil Dick could have writtem it. It's a novel of evident (astonishing, wild) talent and originality by a writer who has both of these articles to spare." James P. Baylock
"His stories take place not in the depth, where monsters dwell, but on the surface, where they feed" Terry Bisson
"As far as I can tell, the Broken Bubble fell across the invisible membrane that separates our universe from one that is similar but not identical to ours. In that other universe, Jack Kerouac is still alive. And in that universe there was a similar program called KOIF in San Francisco. That letter show was based on a novel by Jack Kerouac, called the Broken Bubble. And Jack Kerouac was not Jack Kerouac at all, but a brilliant novelist named Philip K. Dick, who started his career as a science fiction writer but switched to mainstream in the early 1960's and went on to become world famous and appalingly wealthy.
"If all of this seems the figment of a surrealist's dream- well, that is entirely appropriate, isn't it? Remember whom we're talking about!
"Any fan of Phil Dick's work will place The Broken Bubble on the highest Shelf!"
From the inside flap of the Arbor House Edition
"The Broken Bubble will provide further evidence that Philip K. Dick is one of our genuine greats, the kind of writer who comes along once every three or four generations (if that often), someone who can write about a specific period of time and give us insights and truths that remain valid in all times." -PAT CADIGAN
"Fifty or a hundred years from now, Dick may very well be recognized in retrospect as the greatest American novelist of the second halt of the twentieth century.... " -NORMAN SPINRAD
Philip K. Dick, the world-famous science fiction writer who died in 1982, was unable to obtain publication for the body of his fiction outside the genre. Since his death, however, a number of small presses have printed and sold out various of his unpublished works. Then Arbor House released his novel Mary and the Giant in 1987, and garnered such comments as "Philip K. Dick's magic time machine ride into the 1950s is just as amazing as his science fiction excursions into the future" (Ed Bryant); and "As enigmatic as a Beckett play, and at the same time as rooted in real life as a Steinbeck novel, Mary and the Giant is a weirdly compelling story" (Tim Powers); and "Boy, that guy was good!" (Suzy McKee Charnas). Now Arbor House is proud to present The Broken Bubble, new and complete, for the first time anywhere, by arrangement with the estate of Philip K. Dick. Excitement has been building as the unpublished works of this intriguing writer have continued to appear, with increasingly widespread review attention and a steadily growing cult audience. And this is just the book to satisfy his fans and hook new readers. The
Broken Bubble is a novel of San Frandsco in the 1950s, about the unusual events that mix up and entwine the lives of four peop1e at a turning point in American culture: the rise of rock and roU and the teenage life-style. Jim Briskin is a disc jockey on radio KOIF. He's stiU in love with his ex-wife. Pateven thougl'l she's about to marry someone else at the station-and she's vadUating between them. But when he takes her to visit the desperate household of two of his teenage fans, she seduces the boy into abandoning his pregnant wife-who then claims Jim as her protector and support. And aU around them the cultural upheaval of postwar American sodety is manifest, by teenage outcasts who have a remote-controUed Nazi automobile they use to bump into the rich kids' cars; by Thisbe Holt, the dancer who performs for conventioneers by stuffing herself inside a clear plastic bubble; by blaring used-car ads and the conflict between generations. The solution to this human muddle is a literary triumph equaling in power Dick's finest novels. Dick gives us a vision of redemption tempered with layered ironies and a lot of real humor. The Broken Bubble now takes its place beside the other major works of this fine writer.
Philip K. Dick was considered by many to be the greatest living author of science fiction. His work won many awards, including the Hugo Award for best novel.
From the inside flap of the Gollancz 1989 edition
Philip K. Dick's novels of American life in the 1950s have been received enthusiastically both by admirers of his matchless science fiction and by readers and critics only now discovering his talent. "The writing's marvellous control of implication comes close to matching even Patricia Highsmith at her menacing best;' wrote the Observer of In Millon Lumky Territory, while the Guardian described Humply Dumply in Oakland as "this clever laconic novel. . . spins a black comedy of misunderstandings with considerable technique".
The Broken Bubble is set in San Francisco in 1956 and focuses on four characters: local radio dj Jim Briskin, his ex-wife Patricia Gray, and a young married couple, Art and Rachael Emmanual, who are fans of Briskin's. Briskin is suspended from his job when he refuses to read a particularly repellent commercial, and Art becomes mixed up with an absurd group of would-be revolutionaries, but the novel primarily concerns the shifting relationships between Jim and Pat and Art and Rachael as they become entangled, and not quite disentangled, seeking only - in typical Dick fashion - to live more-or-Iess happily, if not ever after, then at least for a while. With its acutely-observed characters and sympathetic black comedy, The Broken Bubble is another highly enjoyable novel.
Philip K. Dick, who died in 1982" is widely regarded as the greatest contemporary sf writer. His novels include The Man in !he High Caslle, Martian Time-Slip, Ubik, A Scanner Darkly, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (filmed as Blade Runner). His short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" is about to be filmed - as Total Recall- by Robocop director Paul Verhoeven.