Four people's lives intertwine and collide in this early novel from one of the SF greats
San Francisco in the 1950s, a turning point in American culture: the rise of rock and roll and the teenage lifestyle. Jim Briskin is a disc jockey on radio KOIF. He's still in love with his ex-wife, Pat - even though she's about to marry someone else at the station - and she's vacillating between them. But when he takes her to visit the desperate household of two of his teenage fans, she seduces the boy into abandoning his pregnant wife - who then claims Jim as her protector and support.
And all around them the cultural upheaval of postwar American society is manifest, by teenage outcasts who have a remote-controlled Nazi automobile they use to bump into the rich kids' cars; by Thisbe Holt, the dancer who performs for conventioneers by stuffing herself inside a clear plastic bubble; by blaring used-car ads and the conflict between generations.
Dick gives us a vision of redemption tempered with layered ironies and a lot of real humour.