Puttering About in a Small Land

( 1 )

Overview

When Roger and Virginia Lindhal enroll their son Gregg in Mrs. Alt’s Los Padres Valley School in the mountains of Southern California, their marriage is already in deep trouble. Then the Lindhals meet Chic and Liz Bonner, whose two sons also board at Mrs. Alt’s school. The meeting is a catalyst for a complicated series of emotions and traumas, set against the backdrop of suburban Los Angeles in the early fifties. The buildup of emotional intensity and the finely observed ...

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Puttering About in a Small Land

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Overview

When Roger and Virginia Lindhal enroll their son Gregg in Mrs. Alt’s Los Padres Valley School in the mountains of Southern California, their marriage is already in deep trouble. Then the Lindhals meet Chic and Liz Bonner, whose two sons also board at Mrs. Alt’s school. The meeting is a catalyst for a complicated series of emotions and traumas, set against the backdrop of suburban Los Angeles in the early fifties. The buildup of emotional intensity and the finely observed characterizations are hallmarks of Philip K. Dick’s work.

This is a realistic novel filled with details of everyday life and skillfully told from three points of view. It is powerful, eloquent, and gripping.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Dick was…one of the genuine visionaries that North American fiction has produced in this century.”
—L.A. Weekly

“This work is radically different from the famous science fiction author’s past successes. It is a mood piece, a somber study of two young couples…a curious, oddly compelling book….Turning each page…the reader feels an odd suspense and a reluctance to abandon these four unpredictable but somehow endearing people.”
—Booklist on Puttering About in a Small Land

“Dick here writes plainly about life in California, the vagaries of love, and the struggle, sometimes spiritual, to survive.…These are real people Dick is writing about, the kind of morally complicated people you might find in any nearby store, and they each have their own dramas.”
—Rain Taxi on In Milton Lumky Territory

“[Dick] reworks the territory of soured domesticity (á la Richard Yates and John Updike) in a working-class milieu anticipating Raymond Carver. Decades later, his oeuvre (like Philip Roth’s) is lovingly enshrined in our national pantheon.”
—Los Angeles Times
on Voices from the Street

Barbara Tritel
In ''Puttering About in a Small Land,'' though, the characterizations, the dialogue, the plotting are mostly inept in telling of a dismal marriage and an adulterous love affair in Los Angeles in the 1950's. The reader is faced with page after page of meaningless details....Dick has been praised as ''a visionary among the charlatans'' and ''our own home-grown Borges.'' This publishing gaffe will do nothing to mar the reputation earned by his nearly 40 other books. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Since his death in 1982, science-fiction writer Dick's reputation has reached cult status, fueling the publication of many previously unpublished works. In this, one of his mainstream novels, Dick is most perceptive about the relationships between men and women. The story concerns Roger Lindahl, 30-ish, intense, very competent but also very insecure; he is married to Virginia, a cool, intelligent, distant woman. The Lindahls meet Chic and Liz Bonner, and as a friendship between the couples develops, Roger finds himself attracted to warm, earthy, simple Liz. The two stumble into an absurd affair, and when Virginia discovers what has happened, she blackmails her husband out of his business and what is left of his self-respect. Dick demonstrates a surer hand at delineating the complexities of married life than in most of his works, and he crafts the story with such skill that, though the conclusion has the inevitability of a Greek tragedy, it is fresh and unpredictable. November
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765328359
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip K. Dick has had many movies based on his stories, including the classic, Blade Runner.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Tedious

    I love pkd, but this novel is over written in the extreme. The ending is a horrible let down. Save your money.

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