A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick, Author
Philip K. Dick, Author Vintage Books USA $12.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-679-73665-3
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 00/00/0000
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-87997-923-2
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-547-60131-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-26064-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7393-5389-9
Ebook - 978-0-307-49770-3
Hardcover - 189 pages - 978-0-375-42402-1
Paperback - 289 pages - 978-0-547-57217-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-2392-2
Paperback - 217 pages - 978-0-575-07681-5
Paperback - 217 pages - 978-1-85798-847-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-89970-4
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America in the near future has lost the war against drugs. Though the government tries to protect the upper class, the system is infested with undercover cops like Fred, who regularly ingests the popular Substance D as part of his ruse. The drug has caused Fred to develop a split personality, of which he is not aware; his alter ego is Bob, a drug dealer. Fred's superiors then set up a hidden holographic camera in his home as part of a sting operation against Bob. Though he appears on camera as Bob, none of Fred's co-workers catch on: since Fred, like all undercover police, wears a scramble suit that constantly changes his appearance, his colleagues don't know what he looks like. The camera in Fred/Bob's apartment reveals that Bob's intimates regularly betray one another for the chance to score more drugs. Even Donna, a young dealer whom Bob/Fred loves, prefers the drug to human contact. 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. (Dec.)
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