How-To Live Counterclockwise

“You died around twenty years ago. While you were  dead something happened to the time: it reversed itself. So you’re back. How do you like it?” ― Philip K. Dick, Counter-Clock World

Philip K. Dick is my favorite science fiction authors. I can not understand why in his times he was more or less underrated author. I think if I could be any author in this genre, I would choose PKD as I often think of the same ideas he put into paper.

“…we all lie to ourselves; we tell our own selves more lies than we ever do other people.”
― Philip K. Dick, Counter-Clock World

In Counter-Clock World, as revealed on the title of the book, the time is reversed.  In fictional 1998, the dead are re-born in their own graves and dug out. Old-born live their lives in reverse and eventually end back to the womb. From Tomb to Womb (as book was translated in Finnish).  I like the book because it is original and  I don’t think anyone wrote about this before PKD.  There are some inconsistencies, however, I wasn’t too troubled by them.  For example, sdrawkcab klat ro klaw t’nod nrob-dlo eht , although I think it would have made the book genuinely confusing. Of course, we know it’s counter-clock world,so I do understand why not everything, for the sake of the book and the reader, is happening backwards (goodbye is hello though) . Or maybe it is not inconsistency because it’s not counter-clock world as there are people who are still… ‘new-born’?

I didn’t like any of the characters in the novel as they weren’t made too likeable. I believe that CCW concentrates more on the plot and ‘from tomb to womb’ concept so characters were basically just created in purpose of telling a great story.

“Could I come along? Ann Fisher asked. ‘I’ve never seen old-born in his first hours back…I understand they have a certain, special expression, on their faces. From what they’ve seen.”
― Philip K. Dick, Counter-Clock World

I would give this book 7/10.

How-To Read Counter- Clock World
1. Book is short, a bit over 220 pages, fast read if you read much.
2. It’s kind of weird. How everything is reversed (eating, smoking).  Yet not quite everything.
3. As the author does not go too deep in explaining how everything reverses, you can stop before the next chapter and use your imagination. How the everyday habits change?
4. The idea of the book of is very entertaining, however, if this is the first of PKD for you I would not recommend it. You should rather read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (So very known movie was made of this book…) or The Man in the High Castle (my first PKD book).
5.  If you are a fan of PKD/this book/this genre then you might want to look into  the short story called Your Appointment Will Be Yesterday.

Post Scriptum.
Is Counterclockwise actual word?

8 thoughts on “How-To Live Counterclockwise

  1. Molly Mortensen says:

    This sounds like the strangest book, definitely original. I like the tomb to womb title. I don’t think it would work if everything was backwards. Eww eating is reversed! Electric Sheep is gather dust on my shelf, I’ll have to start with that. Nice review! :) And yes counterclockwise is an actual word, it’s usually used when unscrewing something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anastasia says:

      Very original, I always appreciated it in PKD’s books. Oh you should! :) And then let me know what you think of it. Thanks ^^
      I see, haha, well I think I will just leave it there as it is. Usually English isn’t the language to combine words like that so it seemed odd.

      Like

  2. bookheathen says:

    Coming so soon after my own review of The Man in the High Castle, I just had to read yours of Counter Clock World. Confirms my view that Dick doesn’t write specially nice or warm characters, but is good at drawing them. Those in Electric Sheep aren’t really nice either. I think I’ll read this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anastasia says:

      :) Thank you for reading, I actually got inspired to write a post about some book of his after reading your review! He doesn’t really, I think Dick just always concentrated on writing his ideas down though.

      Like

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