In the fortieth anniversary year of Philip K Dick's fortieth novel, Eli Lee finds a prescient and poignant work of grief, less concerned with sci-fi predictions of the future than with exorcising the ghosts of the past and confronting the quiet horror of addiction in the present. I saw people who were reduced to a point where they couldn't complete a sentence…and this was permanent, this was for the rest of their lives. Young people. These were people maybe 18 and 19, and you know, it was like a vision of hell.
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
A Scanner Darkly
When one reads any story written by Philip K. Dick, one expects certain themes and situations to appear. An example would be the question: What constitutes reality? In A Scanner Darkly, Dick uses drug culture and the often-debilitating effects of drug abuse to take the reader through a journey into a fracturing mind. It is an honest portrayal of the cost of experiencing life through the distorted mirror of altered states of consciousness.
Leonard Pierce: Philip K. Dick—often marginalized when he was alive, and now canonized after his death—was, like many writers, a man of vast talents and noticeable flaws. And like many writers, he was consumed by very specific themes or, in his case, obsessions that managed to work their way into almost everything he wrote. A Scanner Darkly is no exception; in fact, with one major exception I'll mention later, it may be considered the essential Dick novel in the way it combines the themes that characterized almost all his noteworthy works.