An interesting book about a fascinating subject. Fans of PKD and/or Peake need not hesitate. It is easy, however, to be irritated with this author - with all the information easily available, why can't he even be bothered to get famous people's names right? Anybody heard of bandleader Glen Miller? Or rock singer Neal Young? Maybe they are relatives of famous psychologist Karl Jung, from Peake's first book? Dick's classic novel Now Wait for Last Year is here constantly (banally) referred to as Now Wait for Next Year, even in the notes section and index.
Peake is equally casual with dates - a major problem when the writing time of any Dick novel is cited as evidence of the author's precognitive abilities. The first two thirds of the book are a straightforward biography of PKD, rather inferior to Sutin's Divine Invasions, though with interesting details. Often, however, one wonders why Peake has selected these particular details above others, as little is made of them. Neither does Peake exhibit a profound understanding of Dick's literary qualities, indeed his acquaintance with this author seems to be of a fairly recent date.
While the general scholarship fails to impress, the book scores in its final third, where Dick's ideas, especially centered around his famous VALIS experience, are seen in relation to newer mind/brain research, neuroscience and personality models. This makes for fascinating reading, as do the extracts from Dick's letters and his monumental Exegesis.
An entertaining read. 4 stars, with reservations.