Valis Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Valis

This late (1980) novel mixes autobiography and science fiction, drug trips and theologic speculation, into a bewildering brew. Horselover Fat, troubled by the suicide deaths of several women friends and his own suicidal tendencies, argues religion with various friends, including the narrator ("Philip K. Dick"), until all of them catch a cheap science fiction movie called "Valis" that suggests an ancient, greater civilization placed a satellite in orbit to control and guide human destiny. Eventually they meet Linda and Eric Lampton, a couple of saintly aliens who claim to have traveled from Albemuth to present Earth with a new Savior, their daughter Sophia.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

In Philip K Dick's 1980 novel, Valis, the main character, Horselover Fat, is living in early 1970s California when a beam of pink light zaps him in the forehead. The beam transmits bizzare theological knowledge to Fat. Believing he has been contacted by God, Fat goes on an inner and outer journey to understand what has happend to him. Has Fat simply gone nuts due to the suicide of a friend and too many drugs, or will he find the savior for whom he seeks? Though driven to attempt suicide in a spectacular manner (without success), it seems nothing can deter Fat (Philip K Dick?) in his quest for spiritual transcendance.
The review of this Book prepared by Scott David Mclemore

VALIS is a semi-autobiographical account of PKD's religious experiences. It depicts himself as the main character and his split personality Horselover Fat. Fat searches for God after his religious experience in the book and finds him or something like him in a cheesy sci-fi movie named Valis that is more then it seems. Contains a large amount of theological and philosophical discussion, mostly dialog, little action, but awesome book.
The review of this Book prepared by Trent Dick

Chapter Analysis of Valis

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   cynical or dry-wit FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   search for identity/new understanding Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Religious overtones?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   40's-50's If magical mental powers:    -   can see into the future Really unusual traits?    -   Mentally ill or deluded


Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Valis

Philip K. Dick Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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