Voices from the Street
by Philip K. Dick
Once More With...Well, Whatever
A review by John Burgman
Stuart Hadley, the anti-hero of Philip K. Dick's previously unpublished novel Voices From the Street, has one hell of a chip on his shoulder. The suburban American landscape of the 1950s doesn't impress him. And while he acknowledges the joie de vivre provided by the rise of television and consumerism, he definitely doesn't subscribe to it.
So it's not surprising that when we first meet Hadley he's stirring among the grit of the Cedar Groves jail unable to recall why he was arrested. From his cell, Hadley can recall the previous night's events only in fragments. As Dick methodically follows his subsequent release from jail, the novel unfolds like a prolonged session of McCarthy-era eavesdropping. We see Hadley's numb devotion to the sales department of Modern TV Sales and Service, and his dabbling into religious fanaticism. He's a man lost in a world he doesn't understand.
Considering some of Dick's most well-known science fiction, such as Ubik and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, domestic realism may seem like a sharp deviation for him. But Voices From the Street gnaws on the same bone as much of Dick's sci-fi catalog. Like his other characters, there is something disturbingly familiar about Stuart Hadley and his mid-life devolution.
to Esquire and Save 75%
Get 12 fantastic issues of Esquire magazine
for only $8. The best culture, entertainment, style, financial advice, women
and more delivered right to your door every month ? at an incredible 81% savings
off the newsstand price! What could be better... or easier?
here to subscribe now!