Book Review - Counter-Clock World

Image of book cover taken by David Wilder.

Image of book cover taken by David Wilder.

In Counter-Clock World, Philip K Dick creates a world where time flows backward, resulting in various interesting environmental characteristics. For example, instead of inhaling cigarette smoke, smokers light up finished cigarette butts and exhale smoke into them to form brand-new cigarettes. People greet each other with "Goodbye" and end interactions with "Hello". Deceased folks wake up in their graves and shout until they are heard and rescued by "vitariums"—businesses that dig up "old-born" dead people and revive them.

One of the "deaders" who is pulled out of the ground happens to be a controversial religious figure named Anarch Peak. The novel centers around his coming back to life and how it affects the people involved. This is a pretty action-packed PKD book, complete with a lot of drama between the involved parties. Some are excited that Anarch has been revived, others are not, and still others are caught in between the two of them in some sort of paranoid fantasy—the likes of which only Dick can create.

The book was published in 1967 and combines the best of Dick's older writing themes with the more science fiction style approach used in his later works. I definitely enjoyed this one, although not as much as many other PKD novels. The story is engaging enough, and there were certainly parts that really gripped me. However, I rate PKD novels against one another, and this one comes out somewhere near above average. Regardless, a Dick book is consistently a great read, and I wouldn't hesitate to suggest Counter-Clock World to anyone new to his writing or science fiction in general!

3/5 stars. 222 pages.