This book dates to the earlier part of Philip K. Dick's career, and surprise, it is not a science fiction novel. This novel reveals the intricacy of marital relationships in their sickest moments; alcoholic wife, workaholic money making husband. In another couple, the reader sees the husband who cannot stand to have a wife who is capable of thinking for herself, to the point of completely prohibiting her to work - mind this novel is set in the late fifties. She defies him by getting a job at the company he works for, thus causing a rift both in his career and their relationship. To exact his revenge, the husband resorts to violence and rape in order to force his wife to conform to his standards, which she does in the end.
Surrounding everything we find a feud between neighbors, and deceit lies at the bottom of the plot. P.K.Dick reveals his mastery of plot development, and flawed characters that do not bring any sympathy from the reader. There is no hero in the point of view of this reader, but one may sympathize with Runcible, even though he is of the magnitude of Shakespeare's Shylock.
This is definitely a masterpiece.