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Extended Audio Sample The Transmigration of Timothy Archer Audiobook, by Philip K. Dick Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 5 3.97 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip K. Dick Narrator: Joyce Bean Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Valis Series Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781455832071
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The final book in Philip K. Dick’s VALIS trilogy, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer brings the author’s search for the identity and nature of God to a close. The novel follows Bishop Timothy Archer as he travels to Israel, ostensibly to examine ancient scrolls bearing the words of Christ. But more importantly, this leads him to examine the decisions he made during his life and how they may have contributed to the suicides of his mistress and son. This introspective book is one of Dick’s most philosophical and literary, delving into the mysteries of religion and of faith itself. As one of Dick’s final works, it also provides unique insight into the mind of a genius, whose work was still in the process of maturing at the time of his death. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Albert | 2/18/2014

    " Philip K. Dick. I am not a huge fan. I do have some respect for some of his knowledge and vocabulary, but not in how he synthesized it into his writing. It's always clear to me that he does not understand anyone other than himself or his myopic perceptions of how people behave. He has some clever plot tricks and some descriptive chops, but I am always left flat because I find it hard to sympathize with most of his characters. This book is no different. I enjoyed the allusions to the arcane religious dogma and to the 30 Years War, but I did not see how any of these characters could stand one another. Occasionally funny dialogue, but mostly just a lot of preaching and bitching, which is probably what it was like to hang around him. Dick is a prisoner of himself. Angel Archer is a doormat, and when she does get the chance to truly be helpful (something she usually only offers to do when she knows they won't accept her assistance) she clings to the most shallow parts of herself, even going against the desire to offer the help that Dick had showed just a few pages before. Even her music knowledge and record collector bent was not very believable to me, being a past record store employee myself. Tim Archer was just a self-absorbed egomaniac, not in touch with anything outside of his books and vocation (Dick does a fine job of expressing this, an easy feat), his son, Jeff is just a head-case with few exhibited sympathetic qualities, Kirsten is just a shallow bitch, and her son Bill, a schizophrenic (more specifically a hebephrenic, a term I was unaware of) is the only character it seems Dick could create any sliver of sympathy for, yet his condition just makes him more pitiful than sympathetic. All in all, a nice quick read and full of nice heady vocabulary to stimulate you, but just understand, it's still a pretty empty experience, like the life of Philip (annoyingly one L) K. Dick most likely was. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 2/5/2014

    " Hmmm, didn't quite like this on one read. Definitely on the to re-read shelf, for when there is nothing else there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JJ W | 2/2/2014

    " PKD's characters remind me of programs set going in an AI simulation. He carries them through several iterations, surprising you at each turn. This book plays with the familiar themes of death, fate, classical philosophy and speculative Christianity that the first two VALIS books cover, but have a kind of retro appeal, being set as they are in the early 80s around the time of John Lennon's death. Makes me want to read Allegre's book on Jesus as mushroom, which he uses as premise for the main character's disillusionment with the Christian faith. It has a roughness or almost unfinished quality that the first VALIS books don't have, but maybe my perception was colored because I read that Dick died while writing this. Long live PKD! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mel | 1/26/2014

    " I really enjoyed this. It was the first Philip K Dick book I've read that had a woman first person narrator and I think she was one of my favourite characters ever. I just loved the way she wrote. There were passages in here that were just really beautiful and moving. I actually marked some which is something I've never done with a PKD before. It was sad and also hopeful the way she coped with her life and the tragic death of those she was closest to. The way she tried to understand what was going on for the people around her. I thought the title character came across as a bit of a dick and also a fool. I found it hard to understand why Angel loved him so much. I had more sympathy for the schizophrenic. But I really enjoyed reading this. No science fiction just life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shane | 1/25/2014

    " The third in the Valis trilogy, and one of many to explore PKDs thoughts on religion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 1/19/2014

    " *FUCKING SPEECHLESS* "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/19/2014

    " Another good read. Interesting to think that Dick considered this as part of the VALIS trilogy, as it is quite realistic and down-to-earth in tone. It could basically all happen in real life, even with the "twist" in the last few chapters. The narrator (a female--I have the feeling that this is rare for Dick) is truly endearing and one of the main reasons that this is such an enjoyable read. I totally dug her Berkeley, over-educated, down-to-earth stoner chill stoner vibe in the face of the novel's events. Dick is also great at effectively conveying the grief of losing close friends and loved ones to death and madness. Really liked this and I especially liked how this had a happy ending. A good novel for Dick to have gone out on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 1/4/2014

    " It's getting to the point now where I recommend this, Dick's last novel, above any others. But maybe that's just me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tav | 12/24/2013

    " Phil's meditation on "faith" and its loopholes and absurdities. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jef | 11/21/2013

    " Through the life and death of Timothy Archer (based on Bishop James Pike) his daughter-in-law, Angel, comes to grips with life. Always remember to get the sandwich! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace Lovelace | 11/19/2013

    " I finally made it through a P.K. Dick book. And I liked it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leben Norrie | 10/14/2013

    " Although a really good book and interesting themes/story I found this book uninspiring and slow against other PKD books, I find the Transmigration as a long rant by the author of his views... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jim | 10/12/2013

    " I can't believe I read the entire trilogy. Valis and the other book made little sense, but I kept going, hoping the final book would tie it all together and make it make sense. Nope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raimo Wirkkala | 10/12/2013

    " The final book in the VALIS trilogy is a funny and poignant look at religion through the jaundiced eye of the author. He sets aside any sci-fi angles and just tells the story straight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donald | 8/4/2013

    " I thought Ubik was his best, but this book moved me in a profound way that I cannot fully describe, or even attempt to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 11/8/2012

    " Different than the rest of his stuff. You get the existentialism in a Christian setting, rather than the post-apocolyptic sci-fi of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Lee | 10/30/2012

    " For such a short book, it seemed a little overwritten, and I found the characters annoying. But it was compelling in places. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 8/16/2012

    " As good as VALIS. Nearly as good as A Scanner Darkly. Not just good ideas but really great characters, people you care about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tommy Miller | 7/9/2012

    " Brilliant - nuff said! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 5/30/2012

    " Not sci-fi at all, this still ranks as one of the best PKD books I've ever read. Full of spiritual and philosophical questions, it fully engages the imagination. It's probably the best writing by him from a technical standpoint that I've read to date. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridgett | 4/18/2012

    " I love most of Philip K. Dick's books, including this one. I loved the inclusion of religious elements (especially gnostic Christianity, but also a bit of Buddhism). I found the characters interesting, though Bill sounds a lot more autistic than he does schizophrenic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brendan | 1/6/2012

    " absolutely mindblowing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rupert | 10/19/2011

    " One of Dick's most spiritual, least sci-fi novels. An intimate read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fiona | 7/27/2011

    " One of the most thought provoking books I have ever read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donald | 7/7/2011

    " I thought Ubik was his best, but this book moved me in a profound way that I cannot fully describe, or even attempt to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 6/2/2011

    " Probably my overall favorite book by PKD, also his last. There is some real depth here, and a kind of sad longing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robsteady | 4/1/2010

    " Not my favorite Philip K Dick story but I believe it was a great one. I'd actually love to see this one made into a movie, despite how utterly depressing some may take it to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 12/7/2009

    " At last, a decent portrail of a strong woman character from my favourite sf writer. Has an air of sadness to it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jef | 11/17/2009

    " Through the life and death of Timothy Archer (based on Bishop James Pike) his daughter-in-law, Angel, comes to grips with life. Always remember to get the sandwich! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tav | 10/7/2009

    " Phil's meditation on "faith" and its loopholes and absurdities. "

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About the Author
Author Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (1928–1982) was a writer of extraordinary vision and imagination whose works reflected a strong interest in metaphysics, theology, and speculative politics. In his work, the individual is often pitted against authoritarian governments or monopolistic corporations. He also drew from his own experiences of altered states, paranoia, and mystical reveries. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in the Library of America series. In addition to his dozens of published novels, he wrote over 120 short stories, many of which appeared in science fiction magazines. At least eight of his stories have been adapted for film.

About the Narrator

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to having won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, she has been nominated multiple times for the prestigious Audie Award. Equally adept at narrating fiction and nonfiction, and she also narrates audiobooks under the name Jane Brown.