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on 13 September 2002
Dick is renown for his dark, paranoid even delusional visions of the future. But 'A Scanner Darkly' is probably the most accomplished example of this. The story traces the ever declining life of undercover Narc. Bob Arctor, a man so beyond redemption he has given up his family to become a full-time professional police informant. As the story unfolds the lines between Arctor's lives become more and more blurred, a burned out addict on the one hand an undercover agent on the other. All seems well until the mysterious 'substance D' the 'D' being for 'Death' hits the streets and Arctor is assigned to find out what it is and where it comes from.
The assured and confident prose is a sign of this being a work by an author in his prime and very much on home soil, Dick's own life was in a constant state of flux due to his own drug abuse and this gives this novel the touch of realism lacking in so many other drug culture novels.
'A Scanner Darkly' is simply a wonderful look inside addiction, insanity and paranoia. A must for any Phil Dick fan, a great start for any potential converts.
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on 28 March 2017
One if the best books of PKD. Thoroughly enjoyed, & much better than the film! Much more detail.
Its not so futuristic & 'out there' Luke his other books; more Real Life than other books of his I've read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 3 April 2017
Ta, bit nervous but......
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on 19 March 2016
Too much babbling
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on 12 October 2016
:)
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on 27 February 2017
Amazing book
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on 13 January 2011
A Scanner Darkly follows the legally ambiguous assignment of Bob Arctor. In a world where the government has lost the fight against narcotics, the law must turn to more and more radical ways to regain the control it has lost. Bob Arctor is a nark; a cop who masquerades as a user in order to infiltrate the paranoid hierarchy of the drug world and reach the dealers and distributors.

Philip K. Dick sets the book up to be part of the crime writing genre, undercover cop uncovers a dark conspiracy and moves towards a solution, but this gets lost within the first few chapters. The longer Arctor spends undercover, the more he loses his identity. His true identity seems even less real than his created one.

When Arctor is hauled in for questioning about his health and habits the pace of the book changes entirely. Soon Arctor is suveilling himself as well as the other suspects and loses sight of his assignment and his true self entirely. A whirlwind tour of the mixed up world of drugs and the people it attracts. When everyone else goes mad around you how long is it before you are forced to fall in line with them?

Or if you are the only sane person left, how do you know that you are not the only mad person in the room and everyone else is fine?

Dick weaves an incredibly dark narrative, drawing the reader into a world of addiction, paranoia and sin. The characters come alive from the instant they appear on the page and the world they are painted in is frighteningly not too far removed from our own.
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on 20 December 2016
This is my favourite book of my favourite author, the man himself, Philip K Dick.
Loved this book, it's so quirky yet funny, disturbing yet richly philosophical.
There's a bit of a Platonic theme going on in this book, especially when the narrator talks about fitting into the role of a character.
The character's in this book are very interesting, moreso than the one's from 'Ubik'.
It also starts with a man who lives with a ton of bugs floating about in his house, so give it a gander if you're into ultra weird stuff.
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on 15 September 2002
This is the only Phillip K Dick novel I have read and thoroughly enjoyed.
The ideas conveyed are not particularly that of a science fiction writer but as a human being who lived a life very affected by substance abuse.
Touching, imagenative with a cruel punch at the end, in my opinion the author's best book.
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on 28 August 2010
Plotwise it's a pretty baffling read first time around. Makes more sense second time, but there are still bits where I think huh, I don't get it.
Regardless, this is my favourite PKD novel. What's brilliantly done and most pleasing for me is the characterisation and character interaction.
Anyone who's taken mind-altering drugs, or had any kind of addiction will see how well-rendered every aspect of the character's drug-addled lives is. A darkly entertaining read.
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