Top critical review
Loses something in revision
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2013
Aa a near-charter member of PKD's "cult following," I never thought I'd give UBIK, which I always considered one of his late masterpieces, anything less that 5 stars. The problem is that the original version, which I read soon after it came out in 1969, has been extensively revised--I hope by Dick himself. The result is a more elaborate and probably a structurally superior novel, with more characters and an additional major plot line. UBIK was one of Dick's novels that the critics at the time saluted as a work of "genius" which, however, was "flawed." Also, the revised version may be seen to be closer to Dick's central theme, that we all create our own worlds and no one knows what's really going on until near the end of the story, if then. However, the more rational plot development loses some of the intensity and plain terror of the more focused treatment given the original antagonist, and therefore the immense relief I remember feeling when his power is finally blunted. It's as though some of Dick's critics rewrote his book. Still, it's a good read; and I don't doubt that the added aspects, particularly the new plot line based on "deconstruction" theory, are pure PKD.