This review originally appeared on WorldOfJoel.com
This is my first foray into Philip K. Dick, a prolific author that I've always wanted to read but never knew where to join the fray. For the Gamers Read book club the latest pick was A Scanner Darkly. I remember vaguely the trailers for the 2006 movie which had big stars and a different art style but that's all I knew about it going in.
A Scanner Darkly is a weird, often disjointed tale about a man who's sent to find the source of a drug that's ripping the streets of America. What follows is a story that's quite frankly all over the place. Part of my problems with A Scanner Darkly is that it's a world that I have a hard time relating to. As someone who's literally never done a drug in my life it is hard for me to relate or understand this world. Now having learned more about Philip K. Dick I know that it was a big part of his life and something that he often wrote about.
For me even after the devastating conclusion to A Scanner Darkly I couldn't help but find myself scratching my head. What just happened? What was the point of all of this? There weren't characters that I ever cared about. There weren't any meaningful relationships or conversations had. It's a story that meandered its way to a devastating conclusion, one in which I never felt it earned. This is a book that many consider a master piece. One of Philip K. Dick's best works. But for me it was all over the place and one that had it not been for a book club I would have never finished.
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