OVERRIDE

Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

Philip K. Dick

Tor Books

Set in San Francisco in the late 1950s, Humpty Dumpty in Oakland is a tragicomedy of misunderstandings among used car dealers and real-estate salesmen: the small-time, struggling individuals for whom Philip K.Dick always reserved his greatest sympathy. Jim Fergesson is an elderly garage owner with a heart condition, who is about to retire; Al Miller is a somewhat feckless mechanic who sublets part of Jim's lot and finds his livelihood threatened by the decision to sell; Chris Harman is a record-company owner who for years has relied on Fergesson to maintain his cars. When Harman hears of Fergesson's impending retirement he tips him off to what he says is a cast-iron business proposition: a development in nearby Marin County with an opening for a garage. Al Miller is convinced that Harman is a crook, out to fleece Fergesson of his life's savings. As much as he resents Fergesson he can't bear to see it happen and--denying to himself all the time what he is doing--he sets out to thwart Harman.

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter 1
As he drove, Jim Fergesson rolled down the window of his Pontiac, and, poking his elbow out, leaned to inhale lungfuls of early-morning summer air. He took in the sight of sunlight on stores and pavement as he went up San Pablo Avenue at a slow pace. All fresh. All new, clean. The night machine, the whirring city brush, had come by, gathering up; the broom their taxes went to.
At the curb he parked, turned off the motor, sat for a moment lighting a cigar. A few cars appeared and parked around him. Cars moved along the street. Sounds, the first stirrings of people. In the quiet their
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REVIEWS

Praise for Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

"A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet."
--The New York Times
 
"Remarkable. . .echoes of Dick's contemporaries such as Ralph Ellison, Richard Yates, Rod Serling, Raymond Chandler and early Kurt Vonnegut Jr. resonate, and a bonus exists in Dick's impeccable eye for detail. . . .Dick fans will be in rapture."
--Publishers Weekly [boxed review] on Voices from the Street
 
"He reworks the territory of soured domesticity (à la Richard Yates and John Updike) in a working-class milieu anticipating Raymond Carver. Decades later, his oeuvre (like Philip Roth's) is lovingly enshrined in our national pantheon." -LA Times
 
"It may be hard for some to accept that the same writer who recently snuck into the American canon as a visionary and paranoid pop surrealist also penned a half dozen or more proletarian-realist novels set in the California of the '50's and early '60's, the best of which occupy a region demarcated by Richard Yates on one side and Charles Willeford on another. But accept it."  --Jonathan Lethem

"Well written, it is a welcome addition to its authors' large and brilliant canon."
--Booklist on Voices from the Street
"A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet."
--The New York Times
 
"Remarkable. . .echoes of Dick's contemporaries such as Ralph Ellison, Richard Yates, Rod Serling, Raymond Chandler and early Kurt Vonnegut Jr. resonate, and a bonus exists in Dick's impeccable eye for detail. . . .Dick fans will be in rapture."
--Publishers Weekly [boxed review] on Voices from the Street
 
"He reworks the territory of soured domesticity (à la Richard Yates and John Updike) in a working-class milieu anticipating Raymond Carver. Decades later, his oeuvre (like Philip Roth's) is lovingly enshrined in our national pantheon." -LA Times
 
"It may be hard for some to accept that the same writer who recently snuck into the American canon as a visionary and paranoid pop surrealist also penned a half dozen or more proletarian-realist novels set in the California of the '50's and early '60's, the best of which occupy a region demarcated by Richard Yates on one side and Charles Willeford on another. But accept it."  --Jonathan Lethem

"Well written, it is a welcome addition to its authors' large and brilliant canon."
--Booklist on Voices from the Street

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Philip K. Dick

  • PHILIP K. DICK has had nine movies based on his stories made, including the classic, Blade Runner. Prior to his death in 1982, Dick lived in California.
  • Philip K. Dick
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Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

Philip K. Dick

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Tor Books

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