Mstation Book Reviews
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Mon, 02 Oct 2006

Philip K. Dick

Emmanuel Carrere, Philip K. Dick,
Bloomsbury paperback

This paperback coincides nicely with the release of the movie, A Scanner Darkly, which I haven't seen yet but I will. The stills from the rotoscoping look quite cool.

This book is an absolute must for PKD fans. It tells the story of his life while continually dipping into his fiction to illustrate how his life and his work entertwined.

It's not an altogether happy story of course. PKD had more than his fair share of demons and bad habits although quite a few of his habits were thrust upon him by circumstance and the times were heavy with the idea that drugs were both enlightenment and salvation. They weren't and aren't of course but it is worth noting that criminalisation vastly added to the number of victims by introducing "bad" drugs and worse than usual people into the equation. Is it that badly educated, stupid people will always vote in cretinous politicians?

Read in one way, PKD's story is that of a living nightmare, as his works bear out. But there are lots of moments of light along the way, sometimes provided by his humour, and sometimes provided by passers-through, including the people at Cal State Fullerton who rescued him from one of his dark times when he had nowhere to go.

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