- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (June 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312424515
- ISBN-13: 978-0312424510
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick Paperback – May 12, 2005
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“Strange, fascinating man, and this a strange, fascinating book.” ―The San Diego Union Tribune
“Emmanuel Carrère's I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick is remarkable--a depth charge, a CAT scan, and an exorcism. Carrère, whose own eerie novels include The Adversary, proves that it's still possible for the French to write like Voltaire rather than Derrida. Informed, affectionate, sardonic, he is also crystal clear.” ―John Leonard, Harper's
“Consistently fascinating and brilliantly written . . . Carrère combines fact and fiction to form a new sort of genre, blending literary criticism and cultural history with a novelist's earnest speculation.” ―Los Angeles Times Book Review
“The story of a remarkable life marked by great burst of creativity and equally frequent bouts of mental turmoil . . . Carrère wisely eschews the ‘and then he wrote' approach to literary biography . . . He neither overstates Dick's gifts nor belittles his more outlandish hypotheses about the underlying meaning of reality . . . Captures . . . [Dick's] sense of humor , his intellectual curiosity, his very human vulnerability . . . Compelling.” ―Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle
“Startling . . . Carrère gets so far inside the head of the deeply troubled author . . . the resulting text is remarkably vivid, intimate, often haunting.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer
“What Dick thinks and feels as a man and writer is richly developed in this riveting biography. Mr. Carrère's book is mesmerizing. Seldom have I read a biographer who drew me so deeply into his subject's world.” ―Carl Rollyson, The New York Sun
“Every whorl of Dick's mind, every delusion, every leap through the looking glass, is chronicled. The effect is powerful.” ―James Parker, The Boston Globe
“[A] painful and unconventional biography [that] portrays Dick as a Cold War Don Quixote, flailing at the totalitarianism he suspected was taking over 1950s-60s America. Aimed at hardcore Dick fans, it's a powerful treatment of a difficult subject.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Emmanuel Carrère is one of France's most critically acclaimed writers, author of several screenplays and novels, including Class Trip & The Mustache, as well as The Adversary, a New York Times Notable Book of 2001. Carrère lives in Paris.
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It seemed to me that Dick had a miserable, tortured life, and I left the book feeling quite sorry for him. His interactions with women played a significant role in his life — he was married five times. We can see elements of these women in some of his works. However, I thought the biographer kind of glossed over some really critical information about these relationships for several of the marriages. I think more could have been learned about Dick if more were put into that area.
I always wondered if Dick was writing from his life, if he was as paranoid as his characters, as caught up with alternative worlds and realms of being. This book seems to answer those questions with a resounding yes, I was right! He really did seem to write from his life. Clearly, he was one messed up dude. However, his literary gems wouldn’t exist today without his tortured life to serve as an example for him. On the whole, it was a pretty sound book, and I don’t know how Carrere pulled off such a comprehensive work.