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A Scanner Darklyby Philip K. Dick
Synopses & Reviews
Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D — which Arctor takes in massive doses — gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.
Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick's industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling.
"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." Publishers Weekly
Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug-dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. It sounds like a standard case. The only problem is that Bob and Fred are the same person. In this multiple-award-winning novel, friends can become enemies, good trips can turn terrifying, and cops and criminals are two sides of the same coin. In this highly autobiographical novel, Dick is at turns caustically funny and somberly contemplative, fashioning a novel that is as unnerving as it is enthralling.
About the Author
Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. He briefly attended the University of California, but dropped out before completing any classes. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short story collections. He died on March 2, 1982, in Santa Ana, California, of heart failure following a stroke.
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