Philip K. Dick is one of my favorite authors, and not because of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? or The Man in the High Castle. My love for his work stems from Ubik and Valis. Those two are unique and enchanting books, and with both, you know you have stepped into Dick’s universe. Our Friends from Frolix 8 had that same feeling. I couldn’t put the book down.
Except at some point, the writing turned sloppy, going with first instinct with the story and characters. You could say there were several cliches that made me want to scream. And I kept wondering why was Bob, the main character’s boy, left behind. He would have been an interesting character to follow and tell us about the world.
I loved the concept of the division between New Men, Unusuals, and Old Men, their impact on the world, and relationship with each other. The book could have been great if it had been allowed time and pages to develop. And if the main character’s love interest would have been chucked out. I didn’t find the sixteen years old abused drug addict compelling or necessary. Even less as a plaything for the power-maddened leader(s).
the book could have played more with the politics and the concept of friends from Frolix 8. I was disappointed, but still, the book inspired me. It had solid world-building elements; it felt real, and the characters could have been interesting after some polishing.
I would say read this if you like Philip K. Dick, but if this is your first time with him go with another book like Ubik or Valis.