Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Originally published  1966
3.9/5 Goodreads

Author  Philip K. Dick
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale t3gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcQVPFq8nz02To27J

Adaptations  Total Recall (2012), Total Recall (1990)
Similar  Philip K Dick books, Other books

Philip k dick we can remember it for you wholesale alternate version audiobook

"We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" is a short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in April 1966. It features a melding of reality, false memory, and real memory. The story has been the subject of two film adaptations, Total Recall (1990), with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the story's protagonist; and a 2012 film of the same name with Colin Farrell in a similar role.


Philip k dick we can remember it for you wholesale audiobook

Plot summary

Douglas Quail, a simple and ordinary clerk, wishes to visit Mars. Unable to afford it, he visits a company, REKAL (pronounced "recall") Incorporated, which promises to implant an "extra-factual memory" of a trip to Mars as a secret agent. The procedure involves administration of narkidrine, a sedative and truth drug, which causes Quail to remember and reveal that he went to Mars as a secret government agent. His conscious memories of the trip have been erased, but his initial desire to sign up for the trip cannot be removed. The REKAL staff quickly get Quail out of their office without implanting anything, but his real memories slowly return. At home, he finds physical evidence to support his trip but also remembers that he attended REKAL. This conflict causes him to angrily return for a refund, which he is given.

When two police officers show up to kill him, Quail discovers that his former handlers have been reading his thoughts by means of an implanted device that was used to communicate with him during his mission on Mars. As more memories return, he realizes that he was an assassin for the government, but also remembers how to disarm the cops and escape. Since he can be tracked by the device, this cannot last for long. He thus makes a deal for the memory of his Mars mission to be replaced by a false memory of his deepest fantasy as analyzed by psychiatrists, in order to prevent any further desires to visit REKAL. He is sent back to REKAL for the procedure, but under the narkidrine, he reveals that the memories they are about to implant are real – that aliens visited him when he was nine and were so touched by his kindness and compassion that they decided to postpone their invasion until his death. By simply remaining alive, he is the most important person on Earth, and the government is now unable to kill him.

Film adaptations

The plot was loosely adapted into the 1990 film Total Recall, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the film, the hero, renamed Quaid, travels to Mars, but the initial memory implant scene foreshadows much of what he achieves while there, thus causing the viewer to doubt whether or not everything that happened after the Rekall scene happens or is all in Quaid's purchased memory.

Another adaptation, also titled Total Recall, was directed by Len Wiseman and released on August 3, 2012. The film features Colin Farrell as the hero, also named Quaid, and largely follows the lines of the first film. It includes numerous references and nods to the 1990 film, but removes the Mars element. Instead, the action in this film takes place on Earth, between the UFB (located in Great Britain) and the Colony (located in Australia). Much of the remaining 1990 plot is retained in a similar format.

Publication history

"We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" was first published in the April 1966 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It has since been republished in the following collections:

  • The Preserving Machine (1969)
  • Alpha 5 (Robert Silverberg anthology) (1974)
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick: Volume V (1987)
  • The Little Black Box (1990)
  • We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (1990)
  • The Philip K. Dick Reader (1997)
  • Minority Report (2002)
  • Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (2002)
  • References

    We Can Remember It for You Wholesale Wikipedia