Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cover of the Day


Reader Ludovico in Genoa, Italy writes:
"I'd like to give my little contribution with the Italian cover of "Gather Yourselves Together." The title is "Il paradiso maoista" in English it may sound like this: "Maoist Heaven" (very different from the original one...)
It has been released on February 2007 as one of the 25 books printed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dick's death."

After seeing this cover I couldn't imagine what PKD novel it would be appropriate for but then I remembered that Gather Yourselves Together was a very early mainstream novel that has never been widely available in America about Americans in Communist China. Sutin suggests this may have been the first novel Dick ever completed.

Ludovico, boy are you lucky you speak Italian! The only English copy of Gather Yourselves Together on amazon.com is a first edition for $170.00!

I've never read this one so Ludovico you'll have to let us know if it's any good. Thanks for contributing!

Update: Ludovico responds with his brief impressions of the novel:
"Just a few words about the plot:
1949, mainland China. Three Americans (two men and a woman) have remained to hand over control of a factory to the new government.

It's a mainstream novel, but there is also something very close to sci-fi as in the description of the abandoned factory: it remembers some of later Dick's post-atomic sceneries.

The first half is a bit tedious (well, nothing is really tedious in PKD...). There are a lot of flashbacks and long dialogues for minor incidents. But they bring you deep inside the character's psychologies.

The second half explains much better their personalities: weaknesses, doubts, feelings. It's also interesting to see their different responses to living in such an enclosed space. Gather yourselves together, not to "die", not to loose yourselves.

The political background (emphasized too much in the Italian title) plays a minor role, it's not very important. Communism is something remote and imminent at the same time, not negative at all, I think.

My opinion: You have to read it. It's the first Dick, inside of it you can discover many elements that he will reveal later in his works.
I hope someone will publish soon a new edition of it..."

Thanks again Ludovico for contributing!
All you Dick-Heads out there, keep sending me these crazy covers...

2 comments:

ludovico said...

well, thanks for your request...Sorry for my English...
Just a few words about the plot:
1949, mainland China. Three Americans (two men and a woman) have remained to hand over control of a factory to the new government.

It's a mainstream novel, but there is also something very close to sci-fi as in the description of the abandoned factory: it remembers some of later Dick's post-atomic sceneries.

The first half is a bit tedious (well, nothing is really tedious in PKD...). There are a lot of flashbacks and long dialogues for minor incidents. But they bring you deep inside the character's psychologies.

The second half explains much better their personalities: weaknesses, doubts, feelings. It's also interesting to see their different responses to living in such an enclosed space. Gather yourselves together, not to "die", not to loose yourselves.

The political background (emphasized too much in the Italian title) plays a minor role, it's not very important. Communism is something remote and imminent at the same time, not negative at all, I think.

My opinion: You have to read it. It's the first Dick, inside of it you can discover many elements that he will reveal later in his works.
I hope someone will publish soon a new edition of it...

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