Week 12 and A Scanner Darkly

Another week down and I actually like the story I did this week… for now. I may hate it when I read it again in a couple weeks. It’s about an old man with a head injury trying to decide if the strange thing he’s seeing out his kitchen window is real or not. I sort of modeled him of some of the junkies in the book I just read, A Scanner Darkly, by Phillip K. Dick.

I haven’t read a lot of PKD, but I think I’m going to have to start reading more of him. The book is about a fictional drug called ‘Substance D’ that deteriorates the addict’s brain, leading to paranoia and memory loss and other problems. The protagonist is an undercover narcotics agent, posing as a junkie. He is so far undercover that he ends up being assigned to report on himself, his undercover  persona. This, and the fact that he is taking the drug himself, leads to him becoming increasingly confused as to who he even is.

The story is humorous at times and disturbing at others, but over all very sad. Many of the characters are based on real friends of Dick’s who died from drug use. At the end of the book is a long list of names, all with the descriptors ‘deceased, brain damaged, psychosis’ next to them. These are names of people Dick knew who succumbed to drug addiction.

I have never been into drugs or been close to anyone who was, and this book makes me feel very grateful of that fact.

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