The Broken Bubble is a mainstream novel Dick wrote in 1956, although it wasn’t published until 1988 after he died.
A San Francisco radio DJ and his ex-wife get involved with a teenaged married couple, and in a subplot, a woman lets herself get kicked around inside a plastic ball for the amusement of some drunk optometrists at a convention party.
It lacks a hook to get excited about, although the relationships felt real. Maybe a touch melodramatic at times but definitely not terrible like I kind of expected.
Cast of characters
- Jim Briskin – radio DJ for KOIF. Jim Briskin is also the name of the news-clown in The Crack In Space
- Patricia Gray – Jim’s ex-wife
- Bob Posin – salesman for KOIF
- Art Emmanual – eighteen-year-old married kid befriended by Jim
- Rachel – Art’s wife
- Ferde Heinke and Joe Mantila – Art’s friends
- Ludwig Grimmelman – mid-twenties. Head of some kind of revolutionary group that Art and his friends belong to
- Luke Sharpstein – owns Looney Luke’s Used Car Lot. This character was repurposed for The Simulacra
- Nat Emmanual – Art’s older brother. Owner of Nat’s Auto sales.
- Hugh Collins – wealthy San Francisco optometrist
- Tony Vacuhhi – Bob Posin’s acquaintance
- Thisbe Holt – the girl in the plastic bubble at Hugh Collin’s party