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Mind- and reality-bending drugs factor again and again in Philip K. Dick's hugely influential SF stories. A Scanner Darkly cuts closest to the bone, drawing on Dick's own experience with illicit chemicals and on his many friends who died from drug abuse. Nevertheless, it's blackly farcical, full of comic-surreal conversations between people whose synapses are partly fried, sudden flights of paranoid logic, and bad trips like the one whose victim spends a subjective eternity having all his sins read to him, in shifts, by compound-eyed aliens. (It takes 11,000 years of this to reach the time when as a boy he discovered masturbation.) The antihero Bob Arctor is forced by his double life into warring double personalities: as futuristic narcotics agent "Fred," face blurred by a high-tech scrambler, he must spy on and entrap suspected drug dealer Bob Arctor. His disintegration under the influence of the insidious Substance D is genuine tragicomedy. For Arctor there's no way off the addict's downward escalator, but what awaits at the bottom is a kind of redemption--there are more wheels within wheels than we suspected, and his life is not entirely wasted. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
America in the near future has lost the war against drugs. Though the government tries to protect the upper class, the system is infested with undercover cops like Fred, who regularly ingests the popular Substance D as part of his ruse. The drug has caused Fred to develop a split personality, of which he is not aware; his alter ego is Bob, a drug dealer. Fred's superiors then set up a hidden holographic camera in his home as part of a sting operation against Bob. Though he appears on camera as Bob, none of Fred's co-workers catch on: since Fred, like all undercover police, wears a scramble suit that constantly changes his appearance, his colleagues don't know what he looks like. The camera in Fred/Bob's apartment reveals that Bob's intimates regularly betray one another for the chance to score more drugs. Even Donna, a young dealer whom Bob/Fred loves, prefers the drug to human contact. Originally published in 1977, the out-of-print novel comes frighteningly close to capturing the U.S. in 1991, in terms of the drug crisis and the relationships between the sexes. But the unrelenting scenes among the addicts make it a grueling read.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Explores deep into the mind of the undercover narc, being ripped apart by his identity. Great read for a college course, especially in the context of writing english, storytelling,... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Helena
I like the twists in his stories and this one did not disappoint. He makes me cock my head and look at things from a different angle. Read morePublished 29 days ago by peepaw
I couldn't stick with this book. I just wasn't interested in the drug aspects of the story, and it seemed almost like the author was under the influence when he wrote it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by N. H.
ASD is one part hilarious, 2 parts terrifying, and 3 parts endearing. The amount of empathy and love PKD has for his "junkies" is outstanding. The afterward is a must read too.Published 1 month ago by The Action Effect - Nick Sayers
Although not my favorite Dick's book, this is the one that drew me in the story the most. This is not even the sort of sci-fi you would expect after reading other Dick's books,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Fabbricatore Alfredo
This is my second title from PKD and I really enjoyed it. The main character has a duality that continues to grow and unfold and I found myself right along with the transition.Published 1 month ago by Denise Moore
A classic, good read, but the writing style is not an easy one to take in. Definitely a higher reading level, and the concepts require you to pay close attention too. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jessica Alvarez
Im a Huge PKD fan and i think this is one of his best character pieces.Published 1 month ago by Alexander Clauss Rettig