" I hate to say I really didn't like this book, but it's the honest truth. The book was written in two pieces, with the second piece being shoved into the middle two-thirds of the original and providing half the text of the book as a whole. The later addition is incredibly hard to follow, if only because it's boring to read and I found myself reading a whole paragraph just to get through it and not internalizing any of it. But also, it starts discussing things in Dick's sort of made-up drug terminology - paraworlds and the like, in a way that is never clearly defined and fairly unintelligible. The timeline is also such that it's very hard to tell what is happening in what order and what if anything is real or not for several of the characters. What is interesting, is that although there is a reference to someone being dosed with LSD, for the most part, what may or may not be hallucinations are not necessarily linked to drugs. Except with his other novel dealing with hallucinations and confusion, A Scanner Darkly, you understand why the characters are experiencing weird visions and occurrences, even if you don't understand the particulars of the visions. Here, there is no understanding of why the visions exist or why they are what they are - or who is behind it and why exactly. The existence of a garrison state meant to create supersoldiers, which seems to be the actual reality on Whale's Mouth (but I don't know, is it?) has nothing to do with this small group of people living in an enclosed space experiencing different realities...who are these few, why are they there, why should we care? It's all so irrelevant to the emotional plot of the book I just couldn't wait for it to end and for the "real" story to continue.
The original story, taken without the addition is written in a much clearer style and is easier to take in and much more enjoyable to read. You actually care about the characters here. Except, that things are still shifted in timeline and it's unclear to me exactly what happened in what order - what were the causal relationships between the scenes...I wish I understood. "
— Sara, 2/11/2014