Radio Free Albemuth

Philip K. Dick
Radio Free Albemuth Cover

Radio Free Albemuth


This was Dick's last novel. I had read VALIS, that he wrote late in his career, and had decided that I wanted no part of the next two books in that trilogy. VALIS, a deity-like entity, is also featured in this book, and there is a part near the middle where the main character goes off on a deranged recounting of pseudo-religious experiences. Fortunately that doesn't last too long and the book gets back on track. Of course, with PKD, on track can be bizarre.

The audio book I heard was read by Tom Weiner, who reads a good bit of PKD, as well as Heinlein, Niven, and Poul Anderson, among others.

Phil Dick is himself one of the characters in the novel. Parts 1 and 3 are first person narratives by him, and Part 2 is first person narrative by his friend Nick Brady, who is really the main character in the book. SPOILER--> At the end of the book, Nick is murdered by the FAP police, (FAP = Friends of the American People) and Dick has been sentenced to 50 years without parole for treason. At the very end, he realizes that the only hope for the future lies with the kids, just as Winston Smith realized that the only hope lay with the proles.