Voices from the Street

Voices from the Street

infobox Book |
name = Voices From the Street
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover of first edition (hardcover)
author = Philip K. Dick
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Novel
publisher = Tor Books
release_date = 2007
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
pages = 301 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-7653-1692-7
preceded_by =
followed_by =
"Voices From The Street" is an early novel by the late science fiction author Philip K. Dick, written c1952-53. Unpublished at the time, it was released on January 23, 2007 by Tor Books.

As with many of his early books which were considered unsuitable for publication when they were first submitted as manuscripts, this was not science fiction, but rather literary fiction. The original manuscript was 547 pages in length. There is some speculation that the unpleasant marriage in the manuscript may be an attempt by Dick to sort out his own faltering second marriage to Kleo Apostolides (1950-58), as noted in Lawrence Sutin and Emmanuel Carriere's biographies of the author.


According to Lawrence Sutin's book, "Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick", (Published 1989) the plot was as follows:

:"A young man, struggling with an unsatisfying job and a dreary marriage, falls into total despair when the supposed ideals of both politics and religion fail him...Jim Fergesson, the...owner of Modern TV Sales and Service, has a paternal, quarrelsome relationship with salesman Stuart Hadley, a would-be dandy in his mid-twenties who is, for all his pretensions, a lost and frightened soul whom Fergesson nicknames "Stumblebum." Hadley's wife, Ellen, with whom he has a son, bores him; once he has even struck her. Hadley adores his beautiful older sister Sally, who would protect him from the world if she could" -although she is trapped in a similarly fragile marriage with her boorish husband, Robert. (Phil's own idealized representation of his deceased sister Jane figures in this portrait). "His friends the Golds, a Jewish socialist couple, disgust him..with their victimlike ways. Hadley is drawn to strong, extreme types like Marsha Frazier, the tall, gaunt editor of the fascist literary quarterly Succubus, and Theodore Beckheim, the charismatic black preacher who heads the Society of the Watchmen of Jesus. Hadley has a bitter affair with Marsha, who resembles [Phil's own] mother Dorothy in physique and forceful temperament." Eventually, "Fergesson fires Hadley when he wanders off on an identity quest once too often. This spurs a drunken spree (likely influenced by the "Nighttown" sequence in Joyce's "Ulysses") and then disaster. This takes the form of a nervous breakdown. Too late, Fergesson realises that Hadley is indispensable to his television and radio store, but Hadley and Ellen have moved house, and Hadley seems set to establish himself as an artist.

Connections to other Dick works

Fergesson appeared briefly in Dick's previous novel "Gather Yourselves Together", and appears again in Dick's later post-apocalyptic science fiction novel "Dr. Bloodmoney" (1964), again as proprietor of a television and radio repair shop, although he is killed in the opening stages of World War III. The character of Hadley also returns in "Dr. Bloodmoney", as a black man, as opposed to the Caucasian character that he was in "Voices from the Street", and again in Dick's science fiction novel "The Crack in Space" (1966). In this novel, the character is once again Caucasian, and works for a character named Darius Pethel, who is essentially the same as Fergesson. However, despite these multiple appearances of characters, the books in which this happens are mutually exclusive, and the characters in each make no references to incidents that took place in the others.


*Bibliography of Philip K. Dick


*Lawrence Sutin: "Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K Dick":London: Gollancz: 2006: ISBN 0575076588

*Emmmanuel Carriere: "I am Alive and You are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K Dick": London: Bloomsbury: 2006: ISBN 0747569193

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