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In my ongoing journey to read every Philip K. Dick book and after tearing through his most well-known ones. I picked up the lesser known Counter-Clock World. I wanted to see what PKD could do with a World that was hurtling backwards in time.
This really didn’t live up to expectations. I can see why Counter-Clock World gets lost in the shuffle. The task of tackling such a complicated premise appeared to be too much for PKD. The problem is that PKD seemed more focused on answering his own queries about religion and death, than that of writing a coherent story. He built a World going backwards, but refuses to obey his own rules and guidelines which was confusing. It was never explained in any kind of detail what was affected and the people in the story didn’t seem all that bothered to find out.
I am under no illusions that when reading PKD, I don’t expect to understand much about the story for the first half. That’s just how the man writes. But then there is always that one moment, the Dick effect as I call it. That one moment in the story that brings everything altogether, like the seemingly incoherent ramblings of the mad scientist actually made sense. This book didn’t have that, I was amazed at how unremarkable it was, of how vanilla it was. I know what to expect from PKD, in his characters and plot, I know that it won’t be all that different from his other books. As long as I get that moment that brings it altogether and still has that ability to shock me, I won’t care. This lacked that.