THE BROKEN BUBBLE by Philip K. Dick

THE BROKEN BUBBLE

KIRKUS REVIEW

Like last year's Mary and the Giant, yet another haunting mainstream novel unpublished during Dick's lifetime. Once again, the setting is California during the 50's. The protagonist is popular San Francisco disc jockey Jim Briskin, who does everything from rock to classical on station KOIF, but gets sick and tired of announcing inane commercials for Looney Luke's Used Cars, says so on the air, and is given a one-month suspension by his irate boss. Jim then begins trying to woo back his lovely, alcoholic ex-wife Pat Grayson, who had divorced him when she found out he was sterile, and is now engaged to the shallow station manager at KOIF. Except that meanwhile Pat has gotten drunk and seduced poor Art Emmanuel--a teen-ager with a pregnant teen-age wife (both of them are fans of Jim's)--who refuses to stop at a one-night stand, blackening Pat's eye when she wants to back out of the relationship. By the time Jim rescues her from a motel on the outskirts of town, Pat is a suicidal wreck. Hovering around the edges of this mainstream plot--a kind of Dickian joke--is a weird group of kids, members of a science fiction-fan club called The Beings from Earth, who have hooked up with a truly weird paranoid named Ludwig Grimmelman, who wants to cleanse the world with fire and violence. Dick is never quite able to bring the two plots together; Grimmelman and his charges merely fade out of the action. But Pat and Jim's bittersweet reconciliation--a story of epic forgiveness--makes for a dramatic and even suspenseful close. Basically a love story, then--quirky, alternately hopeful and bleak, sad and funny, quintessentially Philip K. Dick--with a less successful stab at social issues like juvenile deliquency, teen-age pregnancy, and the like.
Pub Date: July 20th, 1988
ISBN: 0586090665
Page count: 246pp
Publisher: Arbor House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1988




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