Voices from the Street
Philip K. Dick
Tor, Nov 2007, $14.95
In 1950s Oakland, California affluent Stuart Hadley lives the American dream. He owns a nice home; has an adoring pregnant wife; and recently was promoted manager in a television and radio shop. Stuart Hadley is dissatisfied with his near perfect life as he wants more but has no idea why this is the season of his discontent. He turns to alcohol and sex to dull his anger at middle class existence but that only makes him internally rage more; and he wants to reject the respective adulation of his wife and his boss as that frightens him because once gain he does not know why.
Stuart turns to the Society of the Watchmen of Jesus for salvation. At the sect he meets Marsha Frazier, who he desperately craves. However, Stuart fails to find solace with his new religious order; instead he spirals deeper into depression and begins to destroy his life by tearing down his relationships and losing the respect of his wife and his boss.
VOICES FROM THE STREET is a complex character study of a person living and rejecting the American dream as pronounced during the Ike era. Not an easy read as the story line is somewhat murky and convoluted, but fans of Philip K. Dick will appreciate the rich look at the unhappy days of the 1950s through the increasingly psychotic mindset of the prime protagonist.