The Divine Invasion (VALIS #2) (1981) by Philip K. Dick

TheDivineInvasionAnd yet–his ultimate move had fallen through because Linda Fox … it had been the wrong time. Her menstrual cycle, he thought. Linda Fox has periods and cramps? he asked himself. I don’t believe it. But I guess it’s true. Could it have been a pretext? No, it was not a pretext. It was real. (201)

Herb Asher experiences cognitive dissonance when faced with the biological reality of his Linda Ronstadt fantasy, while readers face similar uncertainty about the entire text. Which is the real timeline? Who is dead and who is alive? What do these weird names signify? Who knew that eyelashes could emote?

But I guess it’s true. This is not a pretext. This is real.


PKDBINGOTheDivineInvasion (1)-page-001 (1)

  • One diagonal BINGO. That’s a fail.
  • Not many BINGOs, but it hits peak boob-ogling, biblical-scholaring vastness.
  • Best use of “vast”: “It was an animated horror: a vast hemorrhoid that swelled and pulsed angrily.” (36)
  • This is, perhaps, the most adverb-happy PKD I’ve read so far.
  • Starting to think PKD’s fascination with the words “sidereal” and “ergic” occupied only a small moment in his output.
  • Technically there’s no precinct or jail, but I think I need to change that box to “Confrontation with Law Enforcement” to be more accurate. I might cheat and do that next month.

The Divine Invasion is messy, quirky, odd, and off-putting,– like any PKD novel– but it might be the only PKD novel (so far) that has eluded me enough to think it deserves a reread. After a hearty dose of critical interpretation, that is. Those mystical-sounding references and biblical-sounding names (like, you know, “The Big Noodle”) are as mystifying as apprehensive facial hair.


Need more PKD BINGO?
Radio Free Albemuth

Just need more PKD?
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974) by Philip K. Dick
The Philip K. Dick Exegesis with a side of fiction @ Bookpunks

16 thoughts on “The Divine Invasion (VALIS #2) (1981) by Philip K. Dick

  1. Tammy says:

    LMAO! OK, I have never even heard of this book. Where did you even find it?? The cover was a warning…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol… that cover is my favorite.

      It’s the “sequel” to his more famous VALIS. It was even nominated for the BSFA!


      • His novels were self contained and his characters were trapped in dire situations that seemed to be dictated by fate.TDI can only be subjectively seen as a sequel to “Valis”,despite the fact Valis does make a cameo apperance.Yes,it does of course contain very similar themes that follow “Valis”,but he was interested in pseudo religious themes from the early days of his career,without any obvious connection.

        Despite this,it does examine themes to be found in the previous book that was written only a short while before TDI,so it’s pertinent to say that the two are very closely related.Unlike “Valis”,it can be said to be almost vintage Dick in i’t’s quirky,comical tone and is much more fun to read,but seems to fail miserably as a follow-up novel.It would have been very successful as a stand-alone novel I think,with only a tenuous connection with “Valis” I think,as otherwise Dick’s invention and humour race along at full steam.

        Liked by 2 people

        • graycope14 says:

          I enjoyed this more than I did VALIS, although it was a bit all over the place if you know what I mean. I like your description of it being “almost vintage Dick in it’s quirky, comical tone”. Yes it was fun to read, and felt more like the slightly/completely (delete as appropriate) bonkers PKD of Ubik.


          • Yes well,as I said,it isn’t much good as an independant novel,as “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” was,which it might be compared to,but unlike TDI,it is only remotely connected to his other stuff concerning it’s themes.It was an obvious but weak sequel,that could otherwise have been a much better novel than “Valis”.


  2. transrealfiction says:

    I liked it a lot when it first came out (every new PKD novel was a small event eagerly awaited in the bookshop i had a Saturday job in) and remember reading it at least once again four or five years later.
    One thing that disappointed me initially was that I had read the opening section as a short story maybe two years (iirc) before. I liked it as a short story and was slightly annoyed that I wasn’t getting a ‘full’ novel for my money!
    I still have my copy but I’ve no idea when I’ll feel like reading it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can see how that first part could live as a short story, and I bet being around as a PKD fan during the releases of each novel would have been really cool. I’m sure his underground celebrity was fascinating to watch and be a part of.


  3. Ha, this is the first I’ve heard of PKD Bingo! I had a good time just reading through the card, and almost fell out of my chair when I got to “What her breasts are doing.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Widdershins says:

    Why do you do this to yourself?

    I mean I love reading your reviews and the Bingo card is genius … but whyyyyyy?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. PKD Bingo remains the best thing ever.

    Uuuugh this book. That’s my official review right there.


  6. […] The Divine Invasion (1981) by Philip K. Dick, in which I had a massive BINGO fail, but the cover got some laughs. […]


  7. […] *[I think it left an impression on fromcouchtomoon, too! PKD Bingo fun here.] […]


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