This book is part of the SciFi MasterWorks series, so I had high expectations, especially as it was written by the lauded Philip K Dick. However, this book is different to others that I’ve read by him – it starts very slowly, seemingly in a normal family in a sleepy American town. Only much later does the plot encompass a more science fiction element, and a more sinister reason behind the daily puzzle that Ragle Gumm must complete is revealed.
The edition of the book that I bought has a very helpful afterword that explains how the author was trying to break away from the pulp science fiction stories into non-sci-fi novels. They bill “Time Out Of Joint” as the first of a cross-over book between the two genres. He specifically intended it to break away from the sci-fi treadmill that he was on, because he knew his current publisher would reject it in its original form!
This book is interesting for what it says about the author’s own history, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the story alone.