Vote for your Fave PKD Story!   BROKEN BUBBLE. I think the world lost a  fine "mainstream" writer when Dick died. -- David Jackson, CA

Vote for your Fave PKD Story!   "2. THE BROKEN BUBBLE. The best of the straight novels, this one serves up more tension and anxiety than any of the others, while still managing to be playful in the manner PKD virtually trademarked. The parody of the sci-fi "fans" and the short story written by one of them, embedded in the story somewhat gratuitously, are nearly unique in all of PKD's writings, and are entirely welcome as a diversion, as a time-marking device, in order to pace the rest of the book to best advantage. This is PKD's "coming of age" novel, and as with everything else he wrote, his take on this form is utterly unique."
{Andy Watson}

PKDS-15 7:

THE BROKEN BUBBLE. David Hartwell at Arbor House announces that Arbor House will bring out another previously unpublished exprimental mainstream novel by PKD, THE BROKEN BUBBLE in the Spring of 1988...

THE BROKEN BUBBLE was originally called THE BROKEN BUBBLE OF THISBE HOLT, and was apparantly written in 1956, after MARY AND THE GIANT and before PUTTERING ABOUT IN A SMALL LAND.

PKDS-18 7:

THE BROKEN BUBBLE was published in July, a month later than scheduled, by Arbor House/William Morrow.

PKDS-18 10:

THE BROKEN BUBBLE has been published in hardcover by Arbor House/ William Morrow, with a great cover by Richard Powers (too bad he doesn't get a credit line). Price is $16.95... The list of books facing the title page contains 51 entries; adding BUBBLE, GLIMMUNG and THE DARK HAIRED GIRL, the count will soon be 54.

PKDS-18 12:

What They're Saying: THE BROKEN BUBBLE was just published this month, but the early reviews are in (based on advance galleys), and they're quite good. My favorite is Publisher's Weekly (5-27-1988): "Dick, primarily known for his science fiction, produced a number of mainstream novels, but only one of these was published during his lifetime. Since his death in 1982, these fresh, involving books; written in the 1950s have been appearing at the rate of about one a year; they reveal the author as a keen observer of life and love with an acutely modern sensibility." The plot of TBB is described, and the review ends, "A fascinating, totally believable account of life in the age of anxiety."

Kirkus Reviews (5-1-88) calls TBB "Yet another haunting mainstream novel unpublished during Dick's lifetime... Basically a love story -- quirky, alternately hopeful and bleak, sad and funny, quintessentially Philip K. Dick -- with a less successful stab at social issues like juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy and the like."

Booklist (6-1-88) says TBB "Successfully evokes an era: the San Francisco of the 1950s... Subtle yet bold, TBB captures the confusion and fears of making life decisions and facing their consequences: A touching and poingnant novel."

Library Journal (6-1-88) calls TBB "A truly offbeat tale" that is "marked by excellent characterization and a strong sense of place and time ... should further enhance Dick's growing literary reputation, highly recommended for collections of serious fiction.

The San Francisco Chronicle (6-29-88) ran a large review with an author photo, under the headline "Philip K. Dick's Reality Check." The reviewer, Michael Berry, is more enthusiastic about Dick's work in general ("one of our finest science fiction writers") than about TBB, but he still recommends it for its "deft characterisations and intriguing plot."

PKDS-20 19:

The New York Times Book Review, didn't think much of THE BROKEN BUBBLE, which had its first British hardcover from Gollancz in July. Gollancz and Grafton/Paladin have been PKD's most loyal English publishers during the past decade or more; now Malcolm Edwards, who was in charge of the science fiction at Gollancz (and has been a great champion of and sometime correspondent with PKD) has moved over to be science fiction editor at Grafton. We thank him for all the great things he did for PKD at Gollancz, and wish him well in his new position.

PKDS-22 15:

Colin Greenland's review in the London Sunday Times book section, August 6, 1989. ... "As they pass someone else's front yard, Rachael Emmanuel, three months married and pregnant at 17, breaks off the head of a dahlia to give to a man more than ten years her senior, a man who is not her husband, though Rachael has been trying to persuade him he should be.
"Put it back," he tells her.
"It won't go back," she says.
"THE BROKEN BUBBLE is a novel about consequences." The piece ends, "Tidiness was never one of Dick's virtues... But for the emotional electricity of the unstated, and the subtlety of his play with the most unsuitable material, he has few equals."

PKDS-26 17:

John Clute writes intelligently and sympathetically about THE BROKEN BUBBLE ("much of the book is astonishingly funny") in the Times Literary Supplement, Dec 8, 1989. He thinks the publisher should have kept the original title (THE BROKEN BUBBLE OF THISBE HOLT)

SL:38 PKDS Pamphlet #1    7

{...} BROKEN BUBBLE OF THISBE HOLT. I estimate this to be a marred work -- marred by a romantic sentimentality. It is a Quixotic novel; not the protagonist but the author was the tilter at windmills. But it has style, some good characters, good scenes. It is not funny. It is full of fear, apprehension, and hate. I identify with the most helpless, the most defenceless and weak persons in society -- the kids. Pathetic idealism, plus an almost morbid imagination, are the keys in this book. It is a bad dream, but possibly true. As Mailer says, "The shits are killing us." The institutions of society are cruel; it is Kafka's lawcourts without the religion and mysticism.

{... ...}

{PKD>Eleanor Dimoff, 01 Feb 1960}{See: A TIME FOR GEORGE STAVROS for more from this letter . Complete text can be found in  PKDS Pamphlet #1 or THE SELECTED LETTERS OF PKD:1938-1971}

To the Novels page

Return to