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5 March 2011

Paycheck (2003)

There is something about Philip K Dick that is special. The very fact that it impossible to say his name without mentioning the 'K' alerts you to this. His prose is simple and easy to read. His subject matter is other-worldly. If you dig deep enough, you'll find that his stories have been the basis of, or have influenced a number of films over the years. I discovered his works in my teens and he immediately became my favourite author. Little by little I acquired everything I could by him. And then in a moment of madness that I still can't quite understand, I gave it all away! Doh!

Recently, I picked up a collection of short stories called 'Paycheck' just to see if any of that old magic is still there.

There are 12 stories in this book, but 'Paycheck' is the stand-out yarn. It was written in the early 50s and holds up remarkably well. This is the story that inspired the film of the same name and this collection obviously came out to coincide with the release of that film. What ever happened to Ben Affleck? Don't answer...

I'm not going to give you blow-by-blow reviews of the stories, but suffice to say that there are a couple of gems in this book. There are also some right old pieces of tosh. It's a real mixed bag. At times I couldn't put it down. At times I couldn't pick it up.

If I was starting out with Philip K Dick, I don't think that I'd start here. That said, there is plenty in this collection to keep the sci-fi enthusiast, or die-hard Philip K Dick fan happy. Overall I'm going to give this book a Perky Pat 5. Phil's done better...

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