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Publisher's Summary

Ragle Gumm has a unique job: Every day he wins a newspaper contest. And when he isn’t consulting his charts and tables, he enjoys his life in a small town, in 1959. At least, that’s what he thinks. But then strange things start happening. He finds a phone book where all the numbers have been disconnected, and a magazine article about a famous starlet named Marilyn Monroe, whom he’s never heard of. Plus, everyday objects are beginning to disappear and are replaced by strips of paper with words written on them, like "bowl of flowers" and "soft-drink stand". When Ragle skips town to try to find the cause of these bizarre occurrences, his discovery could make him question everything he has ever known.

©1987 Laura Coelho, Christopher Dick, and Isa Dick (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Time Out of Joint

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well ahead of his time even in 1959

People who know PKD's works do not need a review.

To hear one of PKD's earlier novels has been a great experience. His stories travel better through time than most of Heinlein's novels. At times I was reminded of 'The Manchurian Candidate' ( Richard Condon, 1959) and of the more recent CIA experiments in mind control.
I was/am keen to again hear Heinlein's 'Moon is a Harsh Mistress' (that I do rank as one of my favouite stories) after listening to this.

Jeff Cummings' reading was good as were the ideas embedded in the story. The quest for the nature of reality and the nature of words in defining percieved reality is interesting at very least. ( Not a spoiler because that is not the story, just following through to his later works.)

For anyone new to PKD this is a mystery story set in a future written over 50 years ago, and not too hard to follow,

For me it was a great listen.

9 people found this helpful

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Nice and Easy until Something Gives!

Any additional comments?

The nice and easy fifties, families living their post war lives until one day something odd happens. Discover ever so slowly what is hidden and then hang on for the ride of a lifetime!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it starts out very slow, almost boring. It is so worth it, because it intensifies the suspense that builds up slowly until suddenly everything falls apart and the reader sits at the edge of the seat until the last page!

7 people found this helpful

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Mediocre Mother to Gravity's Rainbow and the Truman Show?

A book that could have inspired both Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (anticipation of rockets) and the Truman Show (community set up around one man). While I give it points for anticipating a couple generations early the narcissism of the 21st century, the absurdity of American Exceptionalism, the shallow falseness of community on FB, etc., it was in the end just too damn slow. Most of the narrative was underwater. Not as kinetic or beautiful as his later stuff (read, it is sometimes boring). There was no rush. There were no prose daisies to pick as I picked through the pages. It was good just not great. It was PKD, just not great PKD

19 people found this helpful

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would PKD do well today?

masterful world building and fascinating storytelling by PKD as usual, thought provoking.
but one has to wonder if his works would have been very well received in today's day and age with some subtle views hinted within the book and the overtone of sexism consistent in all his writings.

1 person found this helpful

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Better than I Remember

This is better than I Remembered it being. It is very satisfying. I’ll be listening to this over and over again.

1 person found this helpful

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Dystopic future with pastoral past

Time Out of Joint by Philip K Dick is a dystopian future where Earth is at war with lunar colonists and the only individual who can inform defense is living in a 1959 version of the US where solving a daily newspaper puzzle provides the clues for the next planetary strikes. Gumm is surrounded by others most of which have been brainwashed into believing this fantasy. Gradually, he becomes aware of something not right and finally escapes to learn the truth.

Surprisingly, Dick utilizes very little sci-fi, other than the lunar colonization which is only mentioned. 1998 offers little in the way of advancement (other than lunar conquest) in terms of technology. The elaborate nature of the ruse seems overdone as is the ease of which lunar spies and sympathizers can infiltrate.

The narration is reasonable with good pacing that moves the tale along quickly.

1 person found this helpful

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Satisfying

Time Out of Joint is a great book. It's a reminiscent of the film Truman Show and the novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. PKD employs some of his usual tropes: constructed reality and government conspiracy, to build a gripping story about a man undergoing a Freudian regression. In this novel the 50's utopia, called "Old Town", is more quaint than creepy, but it's wrought with glitches and non sequiturs. The only reason I didn't give this book a 5 star rating is that it's a small scale read, with a limited world. That said, no questions are left unanswered and it's overall a very satisfying production:) Enjoy!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mo
  • 03-17-22

Enjoyable

Yes this is good, but not PKD's best. If you're just starting to explore PKD, maybe start elsewhere.

This one gets off to a slowish start and then wraps up a little too neatly. I'll say no more to avoid spoilers.

I just listened to PKD's "Now Wait for Last Year" which I thought was better than this book.

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Could not be more dull.

I was looking forward to "reading" a new Philip K. Dick book but was very disappointed. The writing was incredibly pedestrian and boring and the early part of the book seemed to be going nowhere fast. I bailed out at that point. Even if he had gotten into a time travel plot with its infinite possibilities for plot twists, L knew the writing would bore me to death. Stay away from this one.

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Great performance

This was a neat one. As always the performance was wonderful and immersive. This particular story was not as immediately engaging as some others of Dick's, but as a whole it was a good premise and when more details about what was going on were revealed it kept me hooked. A great example of Dick's writing where reality is not what it seems and nothing can be trusted.

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  • Kamawan
  • 12-08-18

That's some good Philip K Dick.

I'm a huge fan of Philip K Dick, but will be the first to say that some of his books are terrible. This is no such book, it's a mind-bender in the classic Dick way, but not over the top or so twisted that it's hard to follow. Absolutely worth a credit. Great easy listen, very good storyline. Reports that it was predictable fail to take into account that it's familiar only because it's good, and the concepts have been appropriated by others over the years. You'll recognise parts which have been reused in modern books and films. This book is one of the founding fathers of modern sci-fi, and I really enjoyed it in the couple of days in which I didn't put it down. Same narrator as The Man In The High Castle, who plays some characters in a really odd way (think of Robert Childen from that very book - that particular voice is recycled here).

3 people found this helpful

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  • Oliver ede
  • 06-27-18

Influential story

A variety of voices from the narrator but not really for me. A solid performance nevertheless. The book is instantly recognisable as a classic. I won't spoil the plot but listening to this book I can see where many stories and popular films have found their Inspiration. Very forward thinking. Cannot say too much without spoiling the plot but a very good story and one for all fans of science fiction.

2 people found this helpful

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  • G
  • 02-12-21

very good but not pkds best

the first pks classic as he was just finding his stride. some of his work over the next couple of decades explored similar themes and types of story and did it better, but if you have worked your way through those this is well worth a read/listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RichR
  • 01-13-22

Classic PKD. Lures you in, then pulls the rug

Great story, decent narration. Gives you a world, shatters it absolutely, then somehow rebuilds it coherently into something else entirely.

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  • mr d l merrill
  • 07-21-21

very enjoyable

first pkd audio book. the performance was excellent, as Wad the pacing. the narrators ability to move through the different layers in the later scenes seamlessly Wad excellent, creating a very eerie sense of displacement.

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  • Mr. Farren K. Perkins
  • 07-12-20

A great introduction to the writing of PKD

This was my first foray in to his writing and it did not disappoint. It's fairly grounded for much of the book, which lets you settle in to his writing style as thing become increasingly out of joint, then kind of crazy.

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  • Nicola S.
  • 08-29-18

Stupid twist at the end

Story is a little slow. Not Philip K Dicks’s best book. Still I enjoyed it.

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  • Justine Powell
  • 07-10-16

Very good, but the misogyny is hard to take

The plot was fantastic, but the relentlessly dim, trivial female characters, and the awful ways the men related to them made it hard to listen to.

I won't rush to listen another Philip K Dick, even though I bought several in one go.



4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-01-16

True to the central themes of Philip K Dick

What made the experience of listening to Time Out of Joint the most enjoyable?

True to the central themes of Philip K Dick, but set in the perfectly mundane world of 1959. Somehow, it once again manages to be prescient. I think this could be my new favourite book by Philip K Dick.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-20

Typical Philip K Dick Fare

This comes off to me as primitive Philip K Dick. Which is to say, latter Philip K Dick works take the deconstruction of reality as a given, whereas for this story, it's the whole point. So although you could see it a mile away; to follow the plot along to it's climax is still as fun as rereading a Philip K Dick book. Something I've done many times.

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  • Slain
  • 10-05-18

The Truman Show meets Total Recall

Fantastic story! Well performed, albeit it the first few chapters seemed to drag on a little bit, but in the end I found it made for great scene setting and plot building.

Well worth the purchase! :)