Confessions of a Crap Artist

Confessions of a Crap Artist

3.8 6
by Philip K. Dick
     
 

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"A funny, horribly accurate portrait of a life in California in the Fifties."—Rolling Stone

Jack Isidore doesn't see the world like most people. According to his brother-in-law Charlie, he’s a crap artist, obsessed with his own bizarre theories and ideas, which he fanatically records in his many notebooks. He is so grossly unequipped

Overview

"A funny, horribly accurate portrait of a life in California in the Fifties."—Rolling Stone

Jack Isidore doesn't see the world like most people. According to his brother-in-law Charlie, he’s a crap artist, obsessed with his own bizarre theories and ideas, which he fanatically records in his many notebooks. He is so grossly unequipped for real life that his sister and brother-in-law feel compelled to rescue him from it. But while Fay and Charlie Hume put on a happy face for the world, they prove to be just as sealed off from reality, in thrall to obsessions that are slightly more acceptable than Jack's but a great deal uglier. Their constant fighting and betrayals threaten their own marriage and the relationships of everyone around them. When they bring Jack into their home, he finds himself in the middle of a maelstrom of suburban angst from which he might not be able to escape.

Confessions of a Crap Artist is one of Philip K. Dick's most accomplished novels, and the only non–science fiction novel published in his lifetime.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction." -- The Sunday Times (London)

"Dick is entertaining us about reality and madness, time and death, sin and salvation.... We have our own homegrown Barges."-- Ursula K. LeGuin, New Republic

"Philip K. Dick's best books always describe a future that is both entirely recognizable and utterly unimaginable? -- The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547572499
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/23/2012
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,148,613
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

Meet the Author

Over a writing career that spanned three decades, PHILIP K. DICK(1928–1982) published 36 science fiction novels and 121 short stories in which he explored the essence of what makes man human and the dangers of centralized power. Toward the end of his life, his work turned toward deeply personal, metaphysical questions concerning the nature of God. Eleven novels and short stories have been adapted to film, notably Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall,Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. The recipient of critical acclaim and numerous awards throughout his career, Dick was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007 the Library of America published a selection of his novels in three volumes. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

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Confessions of a Crap Artist 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Jon_B More than 1 year ago
Many of Philip K. Dick's books are very well known - several having been made into successful Hollywood movies - but I've often been confused as to why this isn't among them.

Unlike most of his work, it's not science fiction. It takes place mostly in Marin County, California in the late 1950's and it's basically an intense character study of three fairly eccentric people in a family, following a rather twisted, dark, but all-too-plausible plot.

The quality of the writing and the depth of character here is in my opinion superior to a lot of Dick's other work. Of special note, however, is the that it seems to me that the character most central to the narrative - Jack Isidore - is Dick's portrayal of himself through fear - that is, Jack Isidore isn't meant to be him, nor necessarily related to how he saw himself on a daily basis, but is in some way a version of himself that he's afraid of being or that he was afraid that - at some points - he actually was.

And even if I'm off the mark in that regard, Isidore is still a very interesting, real, and honest examination of some of the more unpleasant aspects of the "nerd" type so commonly associate with sci-fi. And even though the novel itself is far from science fiction, an examination of this type of character coming from one of the genre's modern masters is a valuable read.
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