A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick
A Scanner Darkly Cover

A Scanner Darkly


I would put Philip K. Dick on the same shelf as Kurt Vonnegut, William Gibson, and Hunter Thompson. His writing usually seems a little... off the wall. A Scanner Darkly is no exception. It is a caricature of the sixties drug culture set in the nineties. Setting it in the nineties, which was the future when the book was written, puts it in the science fiction genre. Just about the only fictional science is the narc's surveillance technology, their holographic scanners.

The book at first isn't particularly captivating, it gets lost in its own drug induced confusion. By the time we're halfway finished, though, we've figured out who the main character is, even though he can't figure out who he is. The course of the novel has become worth following.

The author's note at the end of the book is an essential part of the experience of the reading of it.